Friday, February 22, 2008

McCain's "Revolving" Straight Talk

It's candidate Sen. John McCain's public face..... for years he has ranted against lobbyists and the influence of "special interests" in DC. His website even says he's fighting against "the 'revolving door' by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists...."

Well, he should know.

The Washington Post today spells it out, "The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists."

"...when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried.

"His campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm whose clients have included Verizon and SBC Telecommunications [remember McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee]. His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington's lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JP Morgan and U. S. Airways.

"Senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon work for firms that have lobbied for Land O' Lakes, UST Public Affairs, Dell and Fannie Mae."

These lobbyists are not only running McCain's campaign, but most of them aren't getting paid.... at least by McCain.... for their campaign work.

There's more.... McCain recently hired Mark Buse to be his Senate chief of staff. Buse until last fall was a lobbyist. McCain's top fundraising official is former congressman Tom Loffler (R-TX) who revolved himself into heading a lobbying law firm that counsels the Saudis and Toyota among others.

Public Citizen found that McCain has more bundlers from the lobbying community gathering checks for him than any other presidential candidate during the entire campaign from either party. By their current count, McCain has at least 59 federal lobbyists raising money for his campaign.

Of course, all these influence peddlers proclaim that they don't lobby McCain, or that they aren't currently working as lobbyists.... but how do they square that with McCain's "revolving door" rhetoric that is his crusading persona for his all-war-all-the-time no hope agenda.

In November we must stop the "revolving door" The Decider exits as McCain enters pushing the same failed policies and hackneyed ideas in the vanguard of an army of lobbyists with special influence.

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