Dems Hitting McCain Hard on Lobbyist Ties

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Democrats began today what is sure to become a long-term campaign of attacking McCain for his ties to lobbyists. Democrats seek to target McCain’s reliance on lobbyists for fund raising and, frequently, upper-level staffing.

exxonmccain.jpg

The Democratic National Committee launched a strategy today of using images—always tinged deep Republican red—to disseminate the idea that McCain is owned by big oil. One such image, a fake check for $2 million from “Exxon and friends” comes on the heels of some suspicious donations from Hess employees.

The campaign finance watchdog group, Public Campaign Action Fund, also piled on today, launching a website dedicated to cataloging McCain’s lobbyist ties.

Of course, Public Campaign Action Fund may not be as totally nonpartisan as they claim. Major donors include billionaire Democratic activist George Soros and the group Campaign to Defend America, which is run by MoveOn.org co-founder Wes Boyd and Tom Matzzie. Matzzie is—wait for it—a lobbyist, having worked for MoveOn.org as well America Coming Together and Media Fund. The Washington Post described the latter two as “outside-the-party” Democratic groups.

There’s also McCain’s record. He may still rely on the lobbyists Obama goes without, and the implications of his lobbyist ties remain severe and real, but he did co-sponsor the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Better know as McCain-Feingold, the law was an historic blow to lobbyist tactics like soft money and buying political ads. The law is also the reason why political candidates must state “I’m so-and-so, and I approve this message” in every ad. McCain may not be Obama when it comes to independence from lobbyists, but he’s not George W. Bush, either.

—Max Fisher

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate