PEEK

McCain's Lobbyists Continue to Cause Him Headaches

Lobbyists turned campaign staffers resign over connections to military dictatorships.
Following up on an earlier item, John McCain had to accept the resignation of Doug Goodyear, the man he tapped to manage the Republican National Convention, after reports surfaced that Goodyear’s lobbying firm represented Burma’s brutal military junta.

But Goodyear simply ran the firm. What about the specific lobbyist who actually worked on the junta’s behalf? As it turns out, that would be Doug Davenport who, you guessed it, also works for John McCain’s campaign. (Davenport is a regional campaign manager for McCain, overseeing the operation in mid-Atlantic states.)

Apparently hoping to clear this unpleasantness up before the weekend’s over, Goodyear resigned yesterday afternoon, and Davenport resigned this morning.
“Doug has tendered his resignation and we have accepted it,” Jill Hazelbaker wrote in an e-mail.
She said Davenport quit this morning for the same reason that spurred McCain’s hand-picked convention manager to resign yesterday: connections to the DCI Group.
The lingering oddity is that the McCain team knew that their lobbying connections were controversial, and that the lobbyists-turned-campaign-staffers might be scrutinized based on their client list. We know this because Newsweek reported that McCain passed over a different lobbyist for the convention post because he’d served as a consultant for “Viktor Yanukovich, the former Ukrainian prime minister who has been widely criticized for alleged corruption and for his close ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin — a potential embarrassment for McCain, who in 2007 called Putin a ‘totalitarian dictator.’”

One McCain strategist said, “The Ukrainian stuff was viewed as too much.”

If they knew this, why not consider the seriousness of the association with the Burmese junta? As hilzoy asked, “Ukraine is too much, but Burma is OK?”
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