Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rewriting History: Part 3

And now for the lobbyists running McCain’s campaign. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, is co-founder of a lobbying firm that represents Verizon and SBC Communications, among other clients. McCain's chief political adviser, Charles R. Black, Jr., is chairman of BKSH and Associates, a major Washington lobbying firm whose client list has included AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan, U.S. Airways, General Motors and United Technologies. Black and his partners have also been registered foreign agents for a collection of foreign leaders with appalling human rights records including: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigerian Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, Angola's Jonas Savimbi and the countries of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, among others. Black has admitted that he now conducts much of his lobbying work by phone from McCain's campaign bus, the "Straight Talk Express."

Campaign advisers Steve Schmidt and Mark McKinnon are lobbyists, having represented Land O'Lakes, UST Public Affairs, Dell and Fannie Mae. McCain's top campaign fundraiser is former Texas Republican congressman Tom Loeffler, who now leads a lobbying law firm bearing his name. The Loeffler Group's clients include Saudi Arabia, AT&T, Toyota and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

McCain's new Senate chief of staff is Mark Buse, who until last fall represented eBay, Goldman Sachs, Cablevision, Tenneco and Novartis as a lobbyist for ML Strategies.

"The problem for McCain being so closely associated with lobbyists," suggested Melanie Sloan from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, "is that he's the candidate most closely associated with attacking lobbyists."

But in the fictional world of McCain and Palin, if you say something enough the American public will believe it. So expect to hear them beat this one into the ground: McCain is the anti-lobbysist candidate! The reality is, he's the lobbyists' favorite candidate.


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