Tuesday, February 26, 2008

McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and His Own Reforms

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/
-- - After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain can be trusted to adhere to his own reform agenda.

After the Keating Five scandal, John McCain rebuilt his political career and image as a "maverick" by championing campaign finance and lobbying reforms. But, now that the law stands in the way of his political ambitions, John McCain seems to think it doesn't apply to him.

John McCain may already be violating campaign finance laws by trying to unilaterally withdraw from the public financing system, even though he has already violated a key condition for being let out of the program -- pledging public matching funds as collateral for a private loan. McCain obtained a $4 million line of credit -- drew $2,971,697 from it -- and documents make clear that the promise of public financing was used to secure his loan. McCain has also or is close to violating the spending limits associated with the public financing system and used his qualification for matching funds to qualify for the ballot in some states. Now, McCain is trying to skirt the law by withdrawing from the system without FEC approval, which the law specifically requires.

At the same time, new reports this weekend shed more light on McCain's pattern of doing favors for lobbyists and campaign contributors despite his alleged support of lobbying reform. Despite his campaign's blanket denials, the New York Times reported this weekend that McCain sent an "unusually blunt letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commission, warning that he would try to overhaul the agency if it closed a broadcast ownership loophole" that was "vitally important" to one of his lobbyists friends' clients. [New York Times, 2/23/08] Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that McCain took $20,000 from another company with business before his Commerce Committee and flew to campaign events on the company's corporate jet at the same time he was sending "highly unusual" letters on the company's behalf to the FCC. [Newsweek, 2/22/08]

Apparently John McCain thinks the reforms he built his political career around apply to everyone but himself.

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