News reports of an emerging McCain scandal are starting to surface in the past few hours regarding McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis. Davis, it seems, was previously paid several hundred thousand dollars by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lobby on their behalf.
The story, it seems, is just as bad as it sounds. The clearest explanation can be found at Politico (link goes directly to the story). On the site, you’ll see a letter to the editor, which I have quoted below:
To The Editor:
Yesterday, Senator John McCain released a television commercial attacking Barack Obama for allegedly receiving advice on the economy from former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines. From the stump, he has recently tried tying Senator Obama to Fannie Mae, as if there is some guilt in the association with Fannie Mae’s former executives.
It is an interesting card for Senator McCain to play, given that his campaign manager, Rick Davis, was paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac several hundred thousand dollars early in this decade to head up an organization to lobby in their behalf called The Homeownership Alliance. …
I worked in government relations for Fannie Mae for more than 20 years, leading the group for most of those years. When I see photographs of Sen. McCain’s staff, it looks to me like the team of lobbyists who used to report to me. Senator McCain’s attack on Senator Obama is a cheap shot, and hypocritical.
Fannie Mae Senior Vice President for Government and Industry Relations (1983-2004)
I’m going to take things one step further. It seems that McCain had this to say about Obama’s connection with Freddie Mac folks in today’s San Fransisco Chronicle (published prior to the Davis disclosure):
“McCain charged Obama with tapping two former Fannie Mae executives as advisers, James Johnson and Franklin Raines, who left under the cloud of an accounting scandal. “When I pushed legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Sen. Obama was silent,” McCain told a rally in Iowa Thursday. “He didn’t lift a finger to avert this crisis. While the leaders of Fannie and Freddie were lining the pockets of his campaign, they were sowing the sees of a financial crisis we see today … That’s not change, that’s what’s broken in Washington.”
It’s one thing to have a former executive as an advisor (and the Obama camp reports that the advisory roles were for the VP selection process and did not relate to anything economic), but it’s quite another thing to have their head lobbyist as your campaign manager.
To this extent, everything McCain has said about Obama comes back on McCain several times over.
The foxes are guarding the chicken coop. Don’t let this one die, Dems!