I guess that all affairs must end some time. It is sad and painful when you get found out. Well, it appears that Senator John McCain and his ‘maverick’ image were found with a couple of lobbyists. This is the same McCain who “boldly” fought for campaign finance reform. If you listen to the news, one might believe that McCain hated lobbyists when in fact the opposite was true. McCain got in trouble with lobbyists over 20 years ago as part of the Ketting Five. The New York Times reported that McCain may have had an affair with a lobbyist but that wasn’t the important part of that article. The take-home message was that McCain remains very close to a number of lobbyists.
Well, Newsweek, among other new outlets, reported that McCain’s close ties to several lobbyists need to be cut. It looks bad for the ‘maverick’ image. McCain’s campaign is packed with lobbyists.
Stung by the news that two aides once lobbied for the Burmese junta, John McCain last week rolled out a sweeping new conflict-of-interest policy for his campaign, requiring all staffers to fill out questionnaires identifying past or current clients that “could be embarrassing for the senator.” Aides say that McCain was furious over the Burma connection (which he learned from a NEWSWEEK story) and was “adamant” about banning campaign workers from serving as foreign agents or getting paid for lobbying work.
But the fallout may not be over. One top campaign official affected by the new policy is national finance co-chair Tom Loeffler, a former Texas congressman whose lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts. Loeffler last month told a reporter “at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain.” But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to “discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.” (more…)