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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain Campaign -- Loaded with Lobbyists Part 3

By Keith R. Schmitz

Last night we heard John McCain explain how the disaster of the past eight years must of been perpetrated by someone else other than the Republicans. Kind of like the plot of Fight Club, where Ed Norton's character finds out he is really beating himself up, it will be Republicans vs themselves saying they promise they won't screw up another four years. The first rule of fight club is not to talk about fight club.
Charlie Black doing business in the back of
the StraightTalk Express

Here is yet another example of how John McCain's promises of last night ring hollow. Meet:

Charlie Black

Charlie Black of BKSH & Associates, a Bush Pioneer in 2004, is perhaps the most experienced and respected Republican lobbyist in Washington, D.C. He is a close friend of former president George H.W. Bush and has served as an adviser to presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, as well as working as official spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

Recent reports about his work for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) observed that, prior to taking a leave of absence, he did a lot of his lobbying work from the back of McCain's campaign bus. He certainly has had a lot of clients to manage, many of whom have pressing business in Washington.[1] Over the years his client list has included Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress[2], Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party[3], the China National Off-Shore Oil Corp[4], Zaire dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi.[5]

Black has also said that he sees great opportunities for lobbyists in Iraq and has considered opening up a branch of his office there. "Is there too much cronyism?" he asked, referring to Iraq. "I just wish I could find the cronies."[6]

For a complete look at Charlie Black's lobbying activities, please visit the non-partisan Center For Responsive Politics' money-in-politics database.

[1] Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists," The Washington Post, February 22, 2008.

[2] Kate Zernike, "'Steady Hand' Helps McCain On a New Path," The New York Times, April 13, 2008.

[3] Jim McElhatton and Jerry Seper, "McCain Advisers Tied to Foreign Lobbying," The Washington Times, April 11, 2008.

[4] Tory Newmyer and Kate Ackley, "K Street Files," Roll Call, July 18, 2005.

[5] Wheeler, Tim, "Corporate Lobbyists Drive McCain's Campaign," People's Weekly World, March 1, 2008.

[6] Jane Mayer, "Contract Sport," The New Yorker, February 16, 2004.

From McCain's Lobbyists

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