A campaign finance watchdog group that has been going after John McCain's campaign and its lobbyist connections reported this morning that his staffers, advisers, and top fund-raisers have received nearly $1 billion from domestic lobbying clients over the past decade.
Campaign Money Watch, analyzing data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, also said that employees and political action committees of the clients have donated nearly $12 million to McCain's campaigns over the years.
“The McCain campaign relies on big money lobbyists, and they’ll rely on him,” David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch, said in a statement. “In the ‘you-scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours’ world of Washington, $931 million gets the special interests the best government money can buy. But just think of the payday these lobbyists might expect in a McCain Administration.”
The group launched a website today to focus more attention on McCain's lobbyists. “How can John McCain say he’ll reduce the influence of special interests in Washington, when he’s so fully dependent on lobbyists and their clients to finance his campaign?” Donnelly asked. “All candidates need to raise money, but is this exemplary of a candidate who claims he’ll tackle the special interests?”
While McCain has had to dismiss several top campaign aides because of their lobbyist ties and Democrat Barack Obama has eschewed campaign money from Washington lobbyists, independent observers say that lobbyists play an important role in how the federal government works.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.