|Senator McCain has denied he did anything improper.|
WASHINGTON - A former
Dean Goodman, who was in charge of the company's lobbying efforts in 1999, told the Associated Press that he also doubts that chief executive Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson met with McCain over the issue and said he doesn't recall such a meeting.
McCain's presidential campaign said the Arizona senator and then-chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, before sending the letters, which have drawn controversy in recent days.
But Paxson told The
Goodman, who left the company a year and a half ago, took issue with that account in a telephone interview from West Palm Beach, Fla.
"I never met with or discussed this with Senator McCain," Goodman said. "I don't recall Bud meeting with McCain. It would be extremely rare that there would be a meeting that I didn't attend, and I can tell you that I didn't have a meeting with McCain on this issue."
"Whether Bud discussed it with him or not, via some other mechanism, I can't rule it out," Goodman added. But, he said, "I don't think there was a meeting."
Efforts to reach Paxson and Iseman were not successful.
McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee who routinely rails against the influence of lobbyists and special interests, was forced to address suggestions Thursday in news reports that he had an inappropriate relationship with Iseman and advanced the interests of her clients, including Paxson Communications. McCain has denied he did anything improper.
Among the issues raised in The
At the time, Paxson was also a contributor to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign.
McCain did not urge the FCC commissioners to approve the proposal, but he asked for speedy consideration of the deal, which was pending from two years earlier. In an unusual response, then-FCC Chairman William Kennard complained that McCain's request "comes at a sensitive time in the deliberative process" and "could have procedural and substantive impacts on the commission's deliberations and, thus, on the due process rights of the parties."