Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Julie Finley

  • State Department: Former U.S. Ambassador to OSCE
  • National Endowment for Democracy: Former Board Member
  • Committee for the Liberation of Iraq: Founding Member

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Julie Finley, a founding member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, is a former U.S. diplomat and long-standing political activitst. Described by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), where she served on the board for four years, as “a prominent Republican Party activist,” Finley worked for many years as a Washington, D.C.-based GOP organizer and fundraiser, including as finance co-chair of the Bush-Cheney ’04 reelection team.[1] She served as U.S. permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during the second Bush administration.[2] Finley also has a long tack record working on neoconservative-aligned advoacy campaigns concerning democracy promotion, NATO, and Russia.

As of 2016, Finley was a member of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council and a member of the board of advisors of the Center for a New American Security, a “liberal interventionist” think tank led by Michèle Flournoy.

In September 2014, Finley co-signed an open letter coordinated by John Kramer of Freedom House that called for aggressive U.S. actions against Russia in light of the Ukraine crisis. “The bottom line is that Russia must end its invasion of and aggression toward Ukraine, withdraw its forces and fighters, rescind its annexation of Crimea, and end its use of energy and economic measures to punish Ukraine and its other neighbors,” the letter read. “Russia will never become the civilized state its citizens deserve without such a transformation.”[3]

The letter added: “Until Russia does so, the West must ratchet up serious sanctions against the Putin regime and immediately provide Ukraine with the full support, including military equipment and intelligence cooperation, it needs and has requested to defend itself.”[4]

Other signatories to the letter included a host of hawkish figures, including Jamie Kirchick of the Foreign Policy Initiative, Joshua Muravchik, and columnist Leon Wieseltier.[5]

Track Record

Finley was a founding member in 1996 of the Bruce Jackson-led U.S. Committee on NATO (USCN), a group that advocated bolstering NATO so it could serve as an instrument of U.S. influence and military power. Its motto was “Strengthen America, Secure Europe, Defend Values, Expand NATO.” When USCN shut down in 2003, Finley, Jackson, and fellow USCN member Randy Scheunemann became founding members of the spin-off group Project for Transitional Democracies, which used the former USCN office space. Jackson served as president, Finley as board chair, and Scheunemann as treasurer.[6] The group, which “work[ed] with the countries of New Europe to foster economic and military ties with the United States,”[7] closed its doors in late 2004 or early 2005. The same trio founded the short-lived Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was formed in 2002 in order to promote the Bush administration’s vision of overthrowing Saddam Hussein and disbanded shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.[8]

Finley served on the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy from 2001 to 2005, during which time she also served as NED treasurer;[9] Vin Weber and Francis Fukuyama joined the board at the same time as Finley. While serving on the NED board, the NED threw a reception in June 2003 honoring Sen. Mitch McConnell; Finley, who was serving on the NED board, hosted the reception as chair of the Project on Transitional Democracies.[10]

Long involved in Republican Party politics, Finley was national finance co-chair of Sen. Bob Dole’s (R-KS) 1996 campaign, a role she reprised in 2004 for Bush. She founded Republican Primary PAC, a now-inactive small-time political action committee that in 1998 raised $18,500 and $13,500 in 2000 for Republican candidates across the country.[11] But these amounts were miniscule compared to the money she typically secured as top fundraiser for the Republican National Committee’s so-called Team 100—donors who give more than $100,000.

During the 2000 presidential primary election season, the New York Times described Finley as “the queen of soft money—soft money being the large and unrestricted contributions that flow from the rich and powerful to the political parties, to be used for things like voter-registration drives and party advertising, much of this being barely disguised television spots for candidates.”[12] Finley was solidly in George W. Bush’s corner in his race against Sen. John McCain, the Times reported. “Although officially neutral until the nominee is selected—by law, she raises money for the party, not for any particular presidential candidate—she tells just about anyone who asks, ‘Privately, I am with Bush.’”[13]

Finley was a member of Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA), a group cofounded by Gale Norton that came recevied public attention during the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal after it was discovered that Abramoff had solicited donations for the group in an effort to gain access to Norton, who was by then George W. Bush’s secretary of the interior.[14] A Senate report determined that CREA and four other conservative nonprofits “‘perpetrated a fraud’ on taxpayers by selling their clout to Abramoff.”[15]

In 1992, Finley was a founding member of WISH (Women in the Senate and House) List, an organization dedicated to “recruit[ing] and support[ing] pro-choice GOP women candidates for Senate, Congress, and governorships.”[16] The New York Times opined in 2000, “Finley is herself a moderate, and she would like to see her party show a more compassionate face to the have-nots and to shed the strident, right-wing image that has put off many female voters.”[17] Her pro-choice stance cost her the RNC co-chair seat in 1997.

Share RightWeb

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

Sources

[1] National Endowment for Democracy, “Carlucci, Clark, Finley, Fukuyama, Holbrooke Join NED,” Democracy Newsletter, Spring 2001,https://web.archive.org/web/20081014115759/http://www.ned.org/publications/newsletters/spring01.html; U.S. Mission to the OSCE, “About the Ambassador: Julie Finley,”https://web.archive.org/web/20080509122502/http://osce.usmission.gov/archive/misc/finley.html.

[2] State Department, “Biography: Julie Finley,” November 17, 2005,https://web.archive.org/web/20090113224833/http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/57067.htm.

[3] Uri Friedman, “'A Ukraine Peace Plan That Excludes Ukrainians Is Unacceptable,’” The Atlantic, September 1, 2014,http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/response-boisto-peace-plan-ukraine-russia-us/379428/.

[4] Uri Friedman, “'A Ukraine Peace Plan That Excludes Ukrainians Is Unacceptable,’” The Atlantic, September 1, 2014,http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/response-boisto-peace-plan-ukraine-russia-us/379428/.

[5] Uri Friedman, “'A Ukraine Peace Plan That Excludes Ukrainians Is Unacceptable,’” The Atlantic, September 1, 2014,http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/response-boisto-peace-plan-ukraine-russia-us/379428/.

[6] Project on Transitional Democracies, “Mrs. Julie Finley: Chair,”http://web.archive.org/web/20040206135041/http://www.projecttransitionaldemocracy.org/html/bios/finley.htm.

[7] Tom Barry, “Long Live NATO,” April 1, 2004, http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/Long_Live_NATO.

[8] Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, “Officers,”http://web.archive.org/web/20030802073337/http://www.liberationiraq.org/committee_officers.shtml.

[9] National Endowment for Democracy, “Carlucci, Clark, Finley, Fukuyama, Holbrooke Join NED,” Democracy Newsletter, Spring 2001, http://web.archive.org/web/20081014115759/http://www.ned.org/publications/newsletters/spring01.html; National Endowment for Democracy, “NED Board Welcomes Shelton, Bids Farewell to Finley,” Democracy Newsletter, Issue 3, October 2005, http://web.archive.org/web/20081007060747/http://www.ned.org/publications/newsletters/3-05.html#7.

[10] Project on Transitional Democracies, “National Endowment for Democracy Reception in Honor of Senator Mitch McConnell—Hosted by PTD Chairperson Julie Finley, June 11, 2003,”http://web.archive.org/web/20040611024508/www.projecttransitionaldemocracy.org/html/PTD_gallery1.htm.

[11] Open Secrets, “Republican Primary PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates,”http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cmte=C00309195&cycle=1998.

[12] Jill Abramson, “The Belle of the Soft Money Soiree,” New York Times, February 20, 2000.

[13] Jill Abramson, “The Belle of the Soft Money Soiree,” New York Times, February 20, 2000,http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/20/magazine/the-belle-of-the-soft-money-soiree.html?pagewanted=all.

[14] James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, “Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff,” Washington Post, October 13, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200889.html.

[15] James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, “Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff,” Washington Post, October 13, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200889.html.

[16] WISH List, “WISH Founders,” http://www.thewishlist.org/Founders.htm.

[17] Jill Abramson, “The Belle of the Soft Money Soiree,” New York Times, February 20, 2000,http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/20/magazine/the-belle-of-the-soft-money-soiree.html?pagewanted=all.

Share RightWeb

Julie Finley Résumé

Affiliations

  • Atlantic Council: Member, Board of Directors
  • Center for a New American Security: Member, Board of Advisors
  • U.S. Committee on NATO:Founding Member (1996-2003)
  • Project on Transitional Democracies: Board Chair (2003-2005)
  • Bush-Cheney ’04: District of Columbia National Finance Co-Chair
  • Committee for the Liberation of Iraq: Founding Member, Treasurer (2002-2003)
  • Host Committee for the Prague NATO Summit: Chair (2002)
  • Republican Party: District of Columbia Chair (1992-2000)
  • Dole for President 1996: National Finance Co-Chair (1995-1996)
  • Republican National Committee: District of Columbia Committeewoman (2000-2004); Team 100 Fundraising Co-Chair (1997-2004)
  • Republican National Convention: Assistant Secretary (1996)
  • Republican Primary PAC: Chairperson and Founder
  • WISH List (Women in the Senate and House): Founding Member
  • Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy: Former Member
  • Republican Leadership Council: Former Member of Steering Committee
  • American Academy in Berlin: Former Trustee

Government

  • State Department: Former U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE
  • National Endowment for Democracy: Trustee (2001-2005), Former Treasurer

Education

  • Vassar College

Related:

Julie Finley News Feed

Karen L (Caldwell) Hartman - Hanford SentinelThe East Lancs Ripper murdered and mutilated women including a Liverpool sex worker - why was he never caught? - Liverpool EchoThousands of home-bound seniors get Thanksgiving delivered by Meals on Wheels - KATUMayor's race getting revved up in Oglesby | Free - LaSalle News TribuneGovernor: Norfolk Southern moving headquarters to Atlanta - Miami HeraldTroubled Global Village Academy charter school in Fort Collins told to close by June 30 - The ColoradoanMadison mayor’s wife pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time for driving 103 mph on the interstate - whnt.comCounty officials return position to 2019 budget - News - Hillsdale.net - Hillsdale, MI - The Hillsdale Daily NewsTrial date set for Madison mayor's wife charged with DUI, reckless driving - AL.comSnowed-in South makes the best of day off from work, school - Miami HeraldThe University Libraries Holiday Gift Guide | News Center - UNLV NewsCenterMadison mayor Paul Finley's wife clocked at 103 mph when stopped, charged with DUI, police say - AL.comBlu-ray breakdown: The best movies newly available on disc - TechHiveEffingham Unit 40 stops summer food program | Local News - Effingham Daily NewsEUPISD announces EUP Regional Science & Engineering Fair results - Sault Ste. Marie Evening NewsJulie Finley murder: £20,000 reward over 1994 killing - BBC News7 Frisco ISD students win Celebration of Reading Essay Contest - Star Local MediaTJC Fall Commencement is set for Friday - Tyler Morning TelegraphThis Morning fans have just one piece of advice for woman scared of stairs - Liverpool EchoBest 2018 books - The Boston Globe

Right Web is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

The Right Web Mission

Right Web tracks militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

Featured Profiles

On August 16, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). It would “be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me,” he stated. Amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration was focused on…


Norm Coleman is a lobbyist for the Saudi Arabian government, chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and former senator from Minnesota, known for hawkish, pro-Likud, and anti-Iran foreign policy views.


The millionaire pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Texas, John Hagee argues that U.S. support for Israel will play a “a pivotal role in the second coming” of Jesus. He has also risen to new prominence during the Trump administration.


Michael Gerson, an evangelical Christian who served as a chief aide and speechwriter in the George W. Bush White House, is a conservative columnist for the Washington Post and one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics on the right, calling him an “unhinged president.”


Robert Kagan, a cofounder of the Project for the New American Century, is a neoconservative policy pundit and historian based at the Brookings Institution.


Mira Ricardel, former weapons marketer for Boeing, is the deputy national security adviser under John Bolton. She is a well-known foreign policy hawk who has served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush and, earlier, in the office of former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS).


Fred Fleitz left his role as chief of staff at the National Security Council under John Bolton to succeed notorious Islamophobe Frank Gaffney as president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy.


RightWeb
share