Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain-Davis Ties to Freddie Mac

John McCain is having a run of bad luck. People aren't taking the Straight Talk maverick at his word anymore, and it's taking a toll.

The latest crooked talk comes from McCain's ties to the bailout of Freddie Mac. Turns out McCain Aide's Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac. (NYTimes)

"One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

"The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years....

"They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

"Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said."

In order to get around truth telling about Davis's involvement with the Federally-rescued Freddie Mac as interest is reignited with the controversy now swirling around the Bush administration's latest gigantic $700 billion bailout proposal, the McCain campaign states emphatically that Davis hasn't received a "salary" from Davis & Manafort since 2006.

It depends on what the meaning of "salary" is.... a truly Clintonian parse. Davis owns Davis and Manafort and shares in its profits.

McCain’s campaign has been attacking Senator Barack Obama for supposed ties to former mortgage lending officials of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.... running a television commercial suggesting that Obama takes advice on housing issues from Franklin D. Raines, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, a contention flatly denied by Raines and the Obama campaign.

Freddie Mac’s roughly $500,000 in payments to Davis & Manafort began immediately after Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in late 2005 disbanded an advocacy coalition that they had set up and hired Davis to run.

So..... it turns out that it's McCain's campaign manager who has the close and deep ties to Freddie Mac.


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