Saturday, March 01, 2008

Abuse of Power 2

I have posted earlier about John McCain's connection to the "Keating Five" scandal, and more recent similar contacts with regulatory agencies on behalf of campaign contributors. The blog Think Progress has more today,
In 1999, McCain wrote two controversial letters to the FCC on behalf of broadcaster and campaign contributor Lowell “Bud” Paxson. He urged the commissioners to make a “rapid decision on Paxson’s quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.” McCain had flown on Paxson’s corporate jet on four occasions, and received $28,000 in contributions from Paxson and his law firm.

McCain has insisted that his letter-writing had nothing to do with Paxson. In fact, he claimed that he wasn’t even on Paxson’s side; he simply wanted the FCC to make a decision.

"He simply wanted them to make a decision" does not let McCain off the hook. Even assuming that it is true, pressuring them to make a decision constitutes pressure even when he does not specify what decision he wants. What part of that is not clear? Paxon's business was being harmed by the delay and McCain was pressuring the FCC to end the delay.

Read the entire post linked above. McCain's influence peddling was not limited to that one campaign contributor. He also wrote letters in behalf of BellSouth, Ameritech, AT&T, Sprint, MCI Worldcom, SBC, and Echostar.

All of this would be bad under any circumstances, but coming from someone who claims to be a champion against the influence of lobbyists it is especially disgusting.

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