John McCain Admits Being Influenced by Lobbyist (Updated)
Then there was this story on CNN
Want to know where John McCain stands on issues that affect you? Meet the 134 lobbyist that are either senior campaign advisers, aids, or fund raisers.
Washington, D.C. – Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, announced today the result of a new analysis of the fees Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) lobbyist bundlers, advisors and staff members have collected from domestic clients over the past decade.
The total? A staggering $930,949,819.
“The McCain campaign relies on big money lobbyists, and they’ll rely on him,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “In the ‘you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours’ world of Washington, $931 million gets the special interests the best government money can buy. But just think of the payday these lobbyists might expect in a McCain Administration.”
Campaign Money Watch’s analysis of data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (http://www.opensecrets.org) also found that employees and Political Action Committees of these lobbyists’ clients have donated $11,750,051 to McCain’s campaigns, a fact that raises its own set of problems, Donnelly said.
“How can John McCain say he’ll reduce the influence of special interests in Washington, when he’s so fully dependent on lobbyists and their clients to finance his campaign?” Donnelly asked. “All candidates need to raise money, but is this exemplary of a candidate who claims he’ll tackle the special interests?”
To highlight the connections between John McCain and his lobbyists, Campaign Money Watch launched a new Web site last Tuesday calledMcCainsLobbyists.com. The site shows focuses on 40 of the most prolific – some would argue profligate – lobbyists around McCain. It shows how much money their clients have given to McCain, as well as how much money those lobbyists have earned off those clients.
Campaign Money Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.