Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McCain's Top Lobbyist Advisors: Hypocricy or Lying?

How do you define hypocrisy? Presidential Candidate Sen. McCain telling Fox's Chris Wallace "they are not lobbyists," when asked about his two top campaign advisors. Wait, maybe that's not hypocrisy. Maybe it's lying.

Hypocrisy would be McCain saying: "Registered lobbyists who work for campaigns as fundraisers clearly represent a conflict of interest. When a campaign employs an individual who also lobbies that Member, the perception of undue and unfair influence is raised." McCain has at least 177 lobbyists on his team.

Lying? Hypocrisy?

Here's a short list of McCain's lobbyist advisors:

Campaign manager Rick Davis is a major telecommunications lobbyist.

Senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann lobbied on behalf of the Republic of Georgia, which has been embroiled in a military conflict with Russia.

Senior adviser Charlie Black was a foreign lobbyist for dictators in Zaire and Angola in the 1980s.

The Republican National Committee's liaison to the McCain campaign, Frank Donatelli, represented Exxon Mobil.

Economic adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer has lobbied for corporate giants like Koch Industries.

McCain's congressional liaison, John Green, and national finance Co-chairman Wayne Berman both lobbied for Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant seeking bailout from the taxpayers.

In all, McCain has at least 177 lobbyists on his team, according to a 65-page report released a few days ago by the Democratic National Party.

In my mind, not all lobbyists are evil and greedy. Some advocate for worthy causes. To me, it's not inherently wrong to seek the expertise of lobbyists. But it is wrong when there is an actual conflict of interest, and it is wrong when McCain says he wants to "stop the revolving door" of lobbyists in Washington and then stacks his staff with lobbyists for Big Oil, Fannie Mae, and failed financial institutions. So I ask, is this hypocrisy or lying?

Source: BBC News: Fact Check: McCain-lobbyist connections

Source: No Reformer: McCain Puts Lobbyists First While Millions of Americans Struggle, DNC, Sept. 12, 2008; http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/9eed1edb9898c04ed5_5bm6bpi8v.pdf

Source: Fox News: McCain Falsely Claims Top Advisors Are Not Lobbyists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc5souRy4YM

Source: Sam Stein: McCain's '97 Lobbyist Bill Would Cripple Current Campaign

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