What's the haps, wheelers and dealers? McCain campaign manager/lobbyist Rick Davis here.
You know, I love me some America, but we lobbyists get such a bum rap. I just don't understand it. We're just like any other hardworking Americans, we just get paid more!! Haha! Suckers.
I'm here to talk to you about my buddy John McCain, a true maverick. He doesn't discriminate against us just because it's popular to hate on lobbyists. Oh no. John McCain is a friend of the lobbyist.
Some of you might have heard about John's involvement in the Keating Five Scandal. Well, after that brouhaha John McCain started the Reform Institute, which is devoted to -- you guessed it, reform. Just check the website. The Reform Institute was formed to keep money out of politics. Ha!
Let me tell you about one real humdinger bit of reform. Since I was doing such a great job lobbying on behalf of Verizon and SBC, who better to head up the Reform Institute than me! I was in charge of the Reform Institute from 2003-2005, and I'll tell you what, salary was great -- $395,000, and I didn't even have to quit my day job lobbying for telecoms.
Only in America, people!
Well, I know a good thing when I see one. Right after my buddy James Dolan (CEO of Cablevision and doing A GREAT JOB with the New York Knicks) met with John McCain and the Senate Commerce Committee, he kicked in $100,000 to the Reform Institute. No coincidence at all! Then when John wrote a letter in support of Cablevision, Dolan kicked in another $100,000. Now that's what I call reform!
Since then, John has tackled reform by making me his campaign chair, and he employs a whole bunch of my buddies. Why there's Wayne Berman, the finance committee co-chairman, he's a lobbyist for the Carlyle Group (whose problems are TOTALLY EXAGGERATED), Charlie Black, he's chief political advisor and he's a lobbyist for BKSH & Associates, and he even lobbies from the Straight Talk Express! Now there's dedication, people.
Let's see, who else. Oh, there's Christian Ferry, Mark Buse, Tom Loeffler, Susan Nelson, John Green, Tim McKone, David Crane, Carlos Bonilla, John Timmons, Judy Black, Bryan Cunningham, Juleanna Glover Weiss, Peter Madigan, James Pitts, Kirk Blalock, Kirsten Chadwick, Aleix Jarvis, Alison McSlarrow, and Michael Meece. And that's just off the top of my head! Most of these fine lobbyists have also donated thousands of dollars to McCain's campaign. Is that love or is that love?
So next time you hear someone talk about lobbyists and influence-peddling like it's some evil thing, just remember that there's one maverick who will tell you where you can stick your lobbyist-hating schtick. That man is John McCain.
USA!! USA!! USA!!!
Sources: Ken Silverstein "My Lobby Myself" from Harper's May issue, Media Matters, USA Today