Friday, February 22, 2008

John McCain Lobbyists as Advisors

Dissecting McCain

Reasons, perhaps, Rush Limbaugh won't budge over to McCain's side, endorse him for the Republican nomination for President?

According to Brent Bozell, John McCain "cannot win without Rush Limbaugh, and other..." radio talk show hosts like Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity...

Friday, February 22, 2008
Bozell: McCain Cannot Win Without Rush Limbaugh others

During the segment on C-Span, Bozell also said:

Y'day says Bozell the New York Times didn't have any there, there.

On the other hand, Bozell says, the Washington Post story, does have a there, there.

We saw the segment again later, and the C-Span host held up another news article we found it wasn't dated yesterday, however, but maybe it was online Thursday eve.

The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists By Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers Friday, February 22, 2008

Cnn discussing: role of high-powered lobbyists in the candidates' campaigns during CNN Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room Aired February 22, 2008

We later found the following.

McCain defends lobbyist ties
Republican candidate says lobbyists who advise him are honorable

McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street
32 Lobbyists Aiding Industry's Longtime Foe
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 31, 2007; Page A01

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took a break from the presidential campaign trail in March to fly to a posh Utah ski resort, where he mingled with hundreds of top corporate executives assembled by J.P. Morgan Chase for its annual leadership conference...

...McCain began his anti-special-interest drive two decades ago after he and four other senators were accused of trying to influence bank regulators on behalf of donor Charles Keating, a savings and loan financier later convicted of securities fraud. The Senate Ethics Committee said McCain had used "poor judgment" but also said his actions "were not improper" and did not merit punishment.

Ever since, McCain has made high ethical standards a hallmark of his public persona. In his 2002 memoir he wrote that "money does buy access in Washington, and access increases influence that often results in benefiting the few at the expense of the many." Just this month in Detroit he told reporters that he had "never done any favors for anybody -- lobbyist or special interest group -- that's a clear, 24-year record."

Nonetheless, a recent study by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute and the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen found that McCain has more lobbyists raising funds for his presidential bid than do any of his rivals. He has 32 "bundlers" of donations who are lobbyists. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) is the closest to him with 29 lobbyist bundlers, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 18...

Report Raises More Questions Over McCain’s Close Ties to Lobbyists
Friday, February 22, 2008

John McCain, who has based much of his political career and his presidential candidacy on his high ethical standards, faces a new set of questions about his ties to the lobbying industry that he has decried publicly.

The Washington Post details in a story Friday how a number of top McCain campaign advisers — including campaign manager Rick Davis, chief political adviser Charles Black, and senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon — either have worked as lobbyists for major corporations, or work for lobbying firms.

The article notes that McCain also has hired a former lobbyist as his Senate office chief of staff — Mark Buse — and his chief presidential campaign fundraiser also is a lobbyist: former Texas Rep. Tom Loeffler.

McCain said Friday that while lobbyists serve as close advisers to his presidential campaign, they are honorable and he is not influenced by corruption in the system.

The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists
By Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 22, 2008; A01
For years, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has railed against lobbyists and the influence of "special interests" in Washington, touting on his campaign Web site his fight against "the 'revolving door' by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided."

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.

McCain's relationship with lobbyists became an issue this week after it was reported that his aides asked Vicki Iseman, a telecom lobbyist, to distance herself from his 2000 presidential campaign because it would threaten McCain's reputation for independence. An angry and defiant McCain denounced the stories yesterday, declaring: "At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust."

...In McCain's case, the fact that lobbyists are essentially running his presidential campaign -- most of them as volunteers -- seems to some people to be at odds with his anti-lobbying rhetoric...

Many Lobbyists Among McCain Fundraisers
By Matthew Mosk
Sen. John McCain attempted to capitalize on the resurgence of his presidential campaign at a Washington, DC, fundraiser last night that was expected to raise more than $300,000.

As of Sunday, the event had 30 co-chairs, according to the invitation. Each co-chairman had pledged to raise at least $10,000 for the senator.

Many of the sponsors of the function at Charlie Palmer's Steakhouse are Washington lobbyists, who have become a staple of his fundraising effort, according to a review released today by the advocacy group Public Citizen.

The group found that McCain has more bundlers -- people who gather checks from their networks of friends and associates -- than any other presidential candidate from either party.


Clinton and Obama Hope to Gain Ground After Texas Debate; McCain Wants no More of Lobbyist Story; Congressman Rick Renzi Accused in Alleged Scam

Aired February 22, 2008

BASH: Now, one of McCain's senior advisers, Charlie Black, is still actively lobbying Congress while he works on McCain's campaign. Now, Black tells CNN he helps McCain strictly on a volunteer basis and never, under any circumstances, he says, would he or does he try to lobby McCain for one of his clients -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Dana, there's a "Newsweek" story that just moved out on the Web just a little while ago from their investigative reporter, Michael Isikoff. "Newsweek" suggesting in this story that the there could be a hole, maybe even a serious hole, in what McCain has been saying.

There was a deposition that McCain gave, what, five years ago in which he admitted in that deposition that the head of that Paxson telecommunications lobbying effort, that they did ask him to lobby the FCC on its behalf. "Newsweek" says that contradicts one of McCain's strong points. What are you hearing from the McCain camp?
BASH: The McCain campaign insists, Wolf, that there is no contradiction there. Of course, this whole thing is about whether or not McCain used his influence on the Senate Commerce Committee to help this -- to help this lobbyist, to help the lobbyist in question in "The New York Times" story.

But what the McCain campaign says is that Senator McCain himself admitted yesterday that, yes, he did send letters to the FCC, but what he said is he insists he didn't actually ask the FCC to rule one way or the other. So they say, yes, he got a call perhaps from Mr. Paxson, but he didn't ask the FCC to rule on his behalf. And I'll read you a statement from Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for John McCain.

She said, "... his letters to the FCC concerning this matter simply urged the commission to make up its mind. He did not and would not ask the FCC to approve or deny the application."

So, this is a strong denial from the McCain campaign, but it is a reminder, Wolf -- there's no question it is a reminder that this is a very complicated story. It's a very complicated issue. And it's one, despite the denials that John McCain is making, is likely not to go away. And there will be lingering questions about all of the details, and there are a lot of details that probably are still to come out -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Dana. Thank you. Dana Bash watching this story for us.

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