It’s the Corruption, Stupid

As always, emptywheel has done the research.  This is really the nub of the McCain lobbying scandal, as much as we know about it now:

[Today’s NYT article] suggests–but doesn’t say it–that companies with business interests before McCain could hire Iseman as the best way to get entre to him. Buy Vicki Iseman and you get McCain. No wonder she was bragging about her access to him.

There are two things that [the article] doesn’t say, but that are fairly clear. McCain intervened to help Sinclair keep its shell company. This was no mere marketing agreement to help a struggling broadcaster survive, this was an attempt to get around the law. …

And then there’s the sheer hypocrisy of it. Five years later, when Sinclair used its concentration to smear a military hero, McCain blamed that smear not on the motivations of the family running Sinclair or those bankrolling the propaganda, but on the concentration of Sinclair’s company.

“I do have an opinion that this is an issue that results when you have media concentration, which I have been opposed to,” he said at a fund-raiser for Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.). “When you have media concentration – this is the largest TV owner with 62 stations – this is something that happens.” [[emptywheel’s] emphasis]

As the NYT shows, Sinclair only achieved that concentration thanks to McCain’s inappropriate intervention.

McCain used, emptywheel notes, “the same kind of inappropriate, pushy tactics for Sinclair as he had with Paxson.”

I really don’t care whether the McCain-Iseman relationship was more than professional.   I do care that Mr. Campaign Finance Reform was acting inappropriately on behalf of a lobbyist who represented companies that gave large donations and jet rides to his campaigns.

I hadn’t seen this before— the Senate Ethics Committee Special Counsel who recommended that McCain be dropped from the Keating investigation was Robert S. Bennett, now McCain’s lawyer and fixer to the stars.  I don’t think there’s anything at all improper, but it is funny how the same folks tend to pop up.

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