Friday, February 22, 2008

John McLobbyist and the company he keeps

As the right wing extremists continue to try and paint this McCain lobbyist story as about sex when it is clear that even the Washington Post realizes that it is about the “anti-lobbyist’s” surrounding himself with lobbyists.

Meaning his trustworthyness, his double talk, his lack of character, his lack of, well, credibility.

This is the story. This what John McLobbyist is all about. As Red Wind says, he has the “straightest talk that money can buy. But it is more than just lobbyists.

The recent news about Rick Renzi, Arizona Congressman being indicted on land deals and other charges is telling on a few levels. You see, Renzi was, up until around noon today, a member of John McCain’s campaign leadership team (a co-chair, nonetheless). Interestingly, it appears as though Renzi either resigned from the leadership team or was booted from the leadership team right around the time his indictment was announced because Renzi’s name is no longer listed on McLobbyist’s website.

But what about the lobbyists and special interests that he “never did a favor for or gave preferential treatment to”? Of course, there was the matter of Charles Keating and McLobbyist’s (not to mention Cindy McLobbyist’s) special relationship with him. There is also the little matter of McCain gave a deposition where he admitted to giving preferential treatment to a lobbyist

Just hours after the Times's story was posted, the McCain campaign issued a point-by-point response that depicted the letters as routine correspondence handled by his staff—and insisted that McCain had never even spoken with anybody from Paxson or Alcalde & Fay about the matter. "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," the campaign said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. "I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue," McCain said in the Sept. 25, 2002, deposition obtained by NEWSWEEK. "He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint."

And there is Rick Davis, lobbyist and campaign manager as well as McLobbyist’s chief political advisor, Charles Black, Jr. However, Black and Davis aren’t just any lobbyist though. According to the WaPo article:

But 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. 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, JPMorgan 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.

A real good summary is in by Joe Conason, which also outlines the phoniness that is the “reformer” meme. In fact, McLobbyist’s campaign team has the most lobbyists on its staff, and he has always surrounded himself with lobbyists. This is leadership? This is “change”? Is this the kind of experience that McLobbyist is going to bring to his administration? After Cheney’s secret energy team including corporate interests, do we really need telecommunication lobbyists and other corporate lobbyists dominating the policy direction in this country? Do we want someone who has taken over $100,000 from Charles Keating, written letters on behalf of lobbyists after receiving over $20,000 in contributions and surrounding himself with indicted criminals, corporate interests and lobbyists who are looking to line their pockets instead of helping Americans?

Many of you know the old saying about how you can tell a person’s character by the company they keep. Based on who has supported John McLobbyist throughout his Congressional career, as well as the people who make up the inner circle of his campaign, not to mention the ones who he relies on for advice, it is very easy to tell what his character is.

This is not a man who cares about this country. Rather, it is more evidence in a long string of evidence which begins with leaving his first wife after she raised his children for an heiress, runs through the same people who finance his campaigns and advise him.

It is a man who cares only about himself, and about those who pay his way.

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