Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘McCain lobbyist scandal’ Category

McCain’s Tax Problem

Posted by MEC on July 1, 2008

John McCain has a problem with taxes, and it’s not just that Cindy McCain neglected to pay property taxes for the last four years on a California condo.

The IRS is going after suspected tax evaders at the Swiss bank UBS AG. McCain’s economic adviser Phil Gramm is the vice chairman of the bank’s U.S. division.

Republicans are trying to divert attention by pointing out that one of Barack Obama’s fundraisers is CEO of UBS Americas. But raising money for a candidate is not in the same category as being an official member of the campaign to advise the candidate on economic issues. And this isn’t the first financial scandal in which Phil Gramm is embroiled.

When will John McCain fire the scandal-tainted Phil Gramm from his campaign? Or at least disavow the rumors that he’d make Gramm his Secretary of the Treasury?

Posted in John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

The McCain drinking game

Posted by Charles II on June 2, 2008

(in which, if he’s elected, anyone with any sense will get and stay drunk)

Tomasky in the NY Review of Books has an inevitably amusing take on John McCain (via t/o):

It was on Capitol Hill that he met and befriended important senators – Gary Hart of Colorado, William Cohen of Maine, and most of all John Tower of Texas, the buddy to whom he was closest during a period of his life that included its share of carousing and irreparably strained his marriage to his first wife, Carol. When asked to explain the dissolution of their marriage in the late 1970s, she said, “I attribute it more to John turning forty and wanting to be twenty-five again than I do to anything else.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abortion, Busheviks, corruption, hypocrites, immigration, Iraq war, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, mediawhores, Republicans acting badly, torture | 3 Comments »

Stray Talk Excess?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 12, 2008

mccain-bus.jpg

John McCain’s been busy fending off questions about his efforts to make sure that EADS got a $35 million air tanker contract, even as EADS lobbyists are high-level advisers to his campaign. Wonder if he’ll stop serving up those delicious ribs to naughty reporters who keep pestering him on this.

Posted in John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, media, Media machine, mediawhores | 1 Comment »

McCain Lies. Sun Rises In East.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 29, 2008

Howie over at Down With Tyranny! has the goods:

McCain must have stopped paying whatever little Dutch boy he had on his payroll plugging the dike because has it ever burst! Today ABC News is reporting that he was lying again when he tried rebutting the NY Times expose about his comfy relationship with lobbyists.

After the story broke, the McCain campaign distributed a lengthy document stating that the senator’s commerce committee staff “met with public broadcasting activists from the Pittsburgh area” who opposed a controversial license swap involving Iseman’s client, Paxson Communications, before it sent two letters to the Federal Communication Commission urging the commissioners to vote on the issue.

“It never happened,” said Jerold Starr, who led the grassroots opposition to the deal as the co-chairman of the Save Pittsburgh Public Television Campaign. “Moreover, we had no idea that McCain had any interest in our local matter.”

Starr’s co-chair on the campaign, Linda Wambaugh, said that she and Starr handled all the lobbying for campaign.

“We were it. Anything would have come through us,” said Wambaugh. “There was absolutely no contact whatsoever– no meetings, no phone calls, no correspondence.”

The McCain response document also claimed that both Paxson’s lobbyists and the public broadcasting activists “expressed to staff members their frustration that the proceeding had been before the FCC for over two years. Both parties asked the staff to contact the FCC regarding the proceeding.”

That’s a bold-faced lie,” said Starr, who wrote about his experience leading the campaign in his 2000 book “Air Wars.” “The longer it took, the better our chances were. It meant that the FCC was paying serious attention to our complaint.”

Geez, is there anything that comes out of McCain’s mouth that isn’t a lie?

Posted in 2008, corruption, cronies, hypocrites, John McCain, liars, McCain lobbyist scandal | 3 Comments »

Be Still My Beating Heart!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 25, 2008

John McCain’s in trouble. BIG trouble. Between the FEC and his lobbyist woes, he’s in much more trouble than America’s broadcast media has been willing to admit.

How do we know this?

Because Mitt Romney is thinking of jumping back in the race:

Josh Romney, one of former Gov. Mitt Romney’s five sons, says it’s “possible” his father may rejoin the race for the White House, either as a vice presidential candidate or seek to become the Republican Party’s standard bearer if the campaign of Sen. John McCain falters.

The 60-year-old Romney, who “suspended” his campaign for the GOP nomination after a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday and a week later endorsed McCain, was taking a break from politics this weekend on a skiing vacation in Utah with his wife Ann, according to his 32-year-old son.

[…]

Becausehe suspended rather than terminated his campaign, Romney still retains control of the nearly 300 delegates he’s already won. Another former governor, Mike Huckabee, remains in the race and is nearing Romney’s delegate totals, though few give him a realistic chance of catching McCain with more than 900 delegates.

This wouldn’t done without the support of a non-trivial number of Republican kingmakers. Between McCain’s FEC problems and lobbyist problems, the likelihood of his having to drop out grows with each passing day. If that happened, the GOP would be forced to go with Mike Huckabee, and they would rather gargle razor-blade cocktails than do that.

Furthermore, Mittens doesn’t want to go down in GOP legend as 2008’s Steve Forbes. Forbes, you will recall, had no chance in the 1996 general election but ran a hard-fought primary campaign against Bob Dole, which drained Dole’s coffers to the point where his campaign had to go dark that entire late spring and summer, until after the Republican National Convention; this allowed then-President Clinton to hammer at Dole unanswered for months. Romney could have spent McCain into the ground, forcing a replay of 1996, but was persuaded not to do so — and once persuaded to step aside, it would have taken a lot of persuasion to get him to step back into the ring.

Another way in which he’s not like Steve Forbes: He’s a good deal more cautious with his money. He’s not going to pull the trigger on spending another $60 million of his own dough unless he knows he has the backing of the party establishment. If he’s re-entering the race, it’s because he knows he can, at the very least, force a brokered convention by denying McCain the delegates he needs to win — or possibly win the nomination outright well before then, should McCain be made to step aside.

UPDATE: Romney’s hand may have been forced here: Mitt’s kid made the announcement bare hours after Huckabee loudly suggested to a crowd of Dobsonites that he’s entitled to Mitten’s delegates.

I’m betting that Romney probably wanted to wait a little while longer so as not to look like a ghoul picking at McCain’s wounded carcass, but Huckabee’s feint frightened him into essentially begging his delegates to stay put.

Posted in 2008, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 4 Comments »

McCain And The GOP/Media Complex

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 24, 2008

John McCain’s willingness to shill for the telcos and conservative media networks like Pax and Sinclair is not only telling, it’s a description in miniature of the relationship between American media corporations and the Republican Party.

That’s why, once again, we have a big story involving Republican wrongdoing that the blogs and the UK media understand and delineate properly, but the US media (especially the TV media) generally does not.

Posted in 2008, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, media, Media machine, mediawhores | Comments Off on McCain And The GOP/Media Complex

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 23, 2008

Shorter Paxson: Yeah, I met a lot with McCain on this FCC issue. Yeah, McCain’s a liar for saying that he never met with me on this.

As emptywheel sez, channeling Scooby-Doo: “Rut roh.” Here’s why:

Paxson seems quite interested in defending the honor of Iseman. But the most intriguing detail, IMO, stains the honor of all involved.

The second letter came on Dec. 10, a day after the company’s jet ferried McCain to a Florida fundraiser aboard a yacht in West Palm Beach. The fundraiser was arranged by Hector Alcalde of Alcalde & Fay and was hosted by a cruise line that Alcalde had represented, Paxson said. Paxson said he attended the fundraiser.


As I suspected, Paxson flew McCain to a fundraiser in FL, organized by Iseman’s boss, and probably hosted at the house of the owner of Carnival Cruise lines. Paxson, Iseman, McCain, Alcalde–they all were there. In other words, this was Alcalde and Fay as a company sponsoring McCain’s campaign, not just individual clients of Iseman’s who had businses with McCain.

The stories about John Weaver chasing Iseman away have always suggested, to me, that her closeness (and her bragging about her closeness to McCain) created that perception that McCain was Alcalde and Fay’s Senator, not just Iseman’s. And the confirmation that this fund-raiser was about several of Alcalde and Fay’s clients, and not just Paxson, certainly supports that perception.

Yupper. Especially with McCain’s sudden interest in cruise line deregulation that started round about the time of that fundraiser.

Posted in 2008, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal | 1 Comment »

Yet Another Hole Blown Into McCain’s Denial Attempt

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 22, 2008

Courtesy of Michael Isikoff, of all people:

A sworn deposition that Sen. John McCain gave in a lawsuit more than five years ago appears to contradict one part of a sweeping denial that his campaign issued this week to rebut a New York Times story about his ties to a Washington lobbyist.

On Wednesday night the Times published a story suggesting that McCain might have done legislative favors for the clients of the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, who worked for the firm of Alcalde & Fay. One example it cited were two letters McCain wrote in late 1999 demanding that the Federal Communications Commission act on a long-stalled bid by one of Iseman’s clients, Florida-based Paxson Communications, to purchase a Pittsburgh television station.

Just hours after the Times’s story was posted, the McCain campaign issued a point-by-point response that depicted the letters as routine correspondence handled by his staff—and insisted that McCain had never even spoken with anybody from Paxson or Alcalde & Fay about the matter. “No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC,” the campaign said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. “I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue,” McCain said in the Sept. 25, 2002, deposition obtained by NEWSWEEK. “He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint.”

As Emptywheel notes, this would be why McCain didn’t try his usual tactic when dealing with erupting scandal, which is to try to get the story out first and frame it before anyone else can talk about it. This is pretty much unspinnable, even to a press corps that is pro-Republican and worships McCain’s toenails.

Instead, McCain and his people worked feverishly since at least December to suppress the story. But there seem to be quite a few persons out there in the Republican Party who are looking to make sure that effort doesn’t succeed.

Posted in 2008, GOP/Media Complex, John McCain, liars, McCain lobbyist scandal, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

ABC Plays “Let’s Pretend”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 22, 2008

Last night they spent one-half of their coverage of the McCain Lobbyist Scandal pretending that the New York Times was the sole place that knew about the scandal, much less published anything on it.

Of course, as has been shown repeatedly over the past thirty-six hours, this is just plain wrong.  (The Washington Post, for one, had covered McCain’s attempt in December to stifle the story back then.)  But they’ll never change their ways unless they’re forced to do so.

Contact information (per Media Matters, 02/15/08):

ABC
ABC News
ABCNews
7 W. 66th St.
New York, NY 10023

As Media Matters says:  “When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.”

Posted in 2008, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, media, Media machine, mediawhores | Comments Off on ABC Plays “Let’s Pretend”

NYT Holds Stories Like McLobbyGate ‘Cuz It Fears Conservatives

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 21, 2008

Cenk said it, he can prove it, that settles it:

The John McCain-Vicki Iseman story is not the first article the New York Times has held back for political reasons. They have now done this on at least three occasions:

1. The original FISA story on how the Bush administration was not getting warrants for wiretaps inside the United States.
2. The original story in 2004 that showed Osama bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.
3. The McCain-Iseman story.

We had James Risen, the writer of the first two stories on our show back in 2005 and he admitted that they held the Bin Laden story until after the 2004 election because the New York Times didn’t want to “get caught up in the politics of it.”

Another way of stating that is that they were afraid of being called the liberal media by Republicans. After decades of being chastised for being liberal, they have become gun-shy. In this McCain story, they also held off until they were about to outed by other news agencies as sitting on the story.

And again, the New York Times wasn’t the only news outfit aware of this story. TNR’s piece on the run-up to publication explains this once again.

Posted in 2008, big money, corruption, cronies, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, hypocrites, John McCain, McCain lobbyist scandal, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans | Comments Off on NYT Holds Stories Like McLobbyGate ‘Cuz It Fears Conservatives