That Depends on the Meaning Of…

Michael Roston of Raw Story nails McCain in yet another falsehood connected to his clearly flailing defense of his relationship to and employ of lobbyists. Earlier today the Washington Post reported McCain as saying:

“I have many friends who represent various interests, ranging from the firemen to the police to senior citizens to various interests, particularly before my committee,” McCain said.

Roston looked at the lobbyists on McCain’s campaign and senate staffs and found that just isn’t true.

Unfortunately for McCain, a review of federal records maintained by the Senate Office of Public Records show that the lobbyists at the top of the senator’s campaign and senatorial staffs do not represent fire fighters, civil servants, or retirees, the legitimate causes he identified in his address on Friday.

According to the SOPR database, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) does its own lobbying, and has also employed Dutko Worldwide, McAllister and Quinn, and Valis and Keelen, LLC.

The American Association of Retired People (AARP) also does much of its own lobbying, and has at times retained Bracewell & Giuliani, CJ Strategies, Davis, Wright Tremaine, LLP, Duberstein Group, Ernst & Young, Fleishman-Hillard Goverment Relations, Innovative Federal Strategies, Mark J. Iwry, Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland, and Stewart, and Reinecke Strategic Solutions.

Finally, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) does much of its own lobby work, too, and has also paid Jefferson Government Relations and Lussier, Gregor, Vienna and Associates. At the federal level, the American Federation of Government Employees is a member of the AFL-CIO, and has been represented by mCapitol Management, and Murphy, Frazer, and Selfridge.

A report in Friday’s Washington Post noted some of the lobbying firms that McCain’s lieutenants are members of: Rick Davis of Davis Manafort; Charles Black at BKSH and Associates; Steve Schmidt of Mercury Public Affairs; Marc McKinnon of Public Strategic, Inc.; Mark Buse of ML Strategies; and, Tom Loeffler of the Loeffler Group.

None of these firms are in the employ of the main representatives of the causes McCain identified as having a legitimate need to lobby government: fire fighters, civil servants, and retirees.

TeddySanFran at FireDogLake has more on the companies McCain’s lobbyists qua staff are working for.

McCain never should have been given a pass for representing himself as an anti-lobbyist candidate when he employs fifty-nine lobbyists and has them working out of his campaign bus. He was allowed to skate by without having these relationships scrutinized in a serious way for over a year. The revelations about his improper relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman has created an opportunity for questions to be asked that should have been asked long ago. From the roles lobbyists are playing on his staff, to who their clients are, to what sort of resources the McCain campaign affords their lobbyists to work with, questions are now being asked and the answers do not reflect well on John McCain.

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