It’s sort of weird to hear Senator John McCain condemn the influence of special interest lobbyists when you consider that he has strong financial and political ties to dozens of corporate lobbyists. Perhaps the Senator’s closest ties are to lobbyists for the telecommunications industry. Interestingly, that is an industry that the GOP standard bearer has helped to oversee in the U.S. Senate. Of the 66 lobbyists known to be working for McCain, 23 of them are directly connected to telecommunications companies. Fund-raising has been at the forefront of their activities. It’s difficult to calculate the total amount of money these 23 lobbyists have raised for the McCain campaign since 18 of them are “bundlers.” However, I suspect the total amount is in the millions. Another matter of interest lies in that fact that Senator McCain has introduced or pushed a great deal of industry-backed legislation since 2000. Surely the fact that the Arizona Senator is on the very Committee that controls legislation affecting the telecommunications industry is not just a coincidence.
In a recent story, USA Today identified the industry lobbyists who are involved in the McCain campaign. It was reported that the following people work, advise or raise campaign money for Senator McCain and also have lobbied for telecommunications companies since 1999: Rick Davis is now McCain’s campaign manager; Christian Ferry is McCain’s deputy campaign manager; Charlie Black is a chief advisor to McCain and he is one of the persons with the most influence over campaign decisions; Tom Loeff, a former Congressman, is co-chairman of the McCain campaign; Susan Nelson is finance director of the McCain campaign; Wayne Berman is a national finance co-chairman of the campaign; John Green is a key campaign worker; Tim McKone is a campaign fundraiser; David Crane, a former McCain aide, is now a key fundraiser; Carlos Bonilla is an economic advisor to the McCain campaign; John Timmons, another former McCain aide, is now a key fundraiser; Julianne Glover Weiss, a former spokesperson for Dick Cheney, is now a key fundraiser for the campaign; Judy Black, Bryan Cunningham, Peter Madigan, James Pitts, Kirk Blalock, Kirsten Chadwick, Aleix Jarvis, Alison McSlarrow, Michael Meece and Eric Burgeson are all additional fundraisers for the McCain campaign.
It’s not hard to find the common denominator between John McCain and each of the persons listed above – each is a lobbyist for the powerful telecommunications industry – and that’s not good news for ordinary folks. Senator McCain has carried water in the U.S. Senate for the companies in this industry, but that may be just another interesting coincidence. Nevertheless, it’s certainly a bit disturbing, especially when you consider the vast influence and power of these lobbyists in Washington. Mark Blue, who is McCain’s Senate Chief of Staff, is working closely with all of these lobbyists and is also very active in the campaign. It should be noted, however, that the lobbyists from the telecommunications industry aren’t the only lobbyists working for the McCain campaign. There are at least 43 others from different special interests groups who are directly involved in the McCain campaign. Political observers say these powerful Washington lobbyists have a vested interest in John McCain becoming president. What do you think?
I don’t believe there is any way Senator McCain can be an instrument of change considering his very strong ties to the special interests that have controlled our Nation’s Capitol for the past seven years. While the Senator talks one way to the media and the public about the undue influence of lobbyists, he has special interest lobbyists literally running his campaign and raising large sums of money in his race for the White House. This sort of thing simply doesn’t meet the “smell test” and I believe voters will recognize that fact long before Election Day in November. If John McCain is elected president we can expect business as usual in our Nation’s Capitol for the next four years.
Source: USA Today
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