McCain Followed Lobbyist-Advisors in Killing American Jobs

The ongoing story of John McCain's all-too-close ties to the lobbying community gets that much more tangible today. The AP's team of Jim Kuhnhenn and Matthew Daly report that the top advisors for McCain's presidential bid were lobbying for European manufacturer Airbus to receive a multi-billion dollar deal from the federal government instead of American manufacturer Boeing -- at the same time that McCain squashed the Boeing deal, which subsequently went to Airbus.

Top current advisers to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign last year lobbied for a European plane maker that beat Boeing to a $35 billion Air Force tanker contract, taking sides in a bidding fight that McCain has tried to referee for more than five years.

Two of the advisers gave up their lobbying work when they joined McCain's campaign. A third, former Texas Rep. Tom Loeffler, lobbied for the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. while serving as McCain's national finance chairman

[...]

McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, has been a key figure in the Pentagon's yearslong attempt to complete a deal on the tanker. McCain helped block an earlier tanker contract with Boeing and prodded the Pentagon in 2006 to develop bidding procedures that did not exclude Airbus.

[...]

EADS' interest in the tanker deal is evident in the political contributions of its employees. From 2004 to 2006, donations by its employees jumped from $42,500 to $141,931, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So far this election cycle, company employees have donated $120,350. Of that, McCain's presidential campaign has received $14,000, the most of any other member of Congress this election cycle.

This story hurts McCain on so many levels. To begin, it seriously undercuts the notion that he is a real reformer. McCain has put himself forward as THE driving force behind killing the Boeing deal, which he said he did in the interest of clean government. But just how clean is it for a career politician to do the bidding of his key donors and lobbyist-supporters? Were this this only evidence of McCain doing the bidding of lobbyists close to him, perhaps he would be able to get a pass. Yet given all of the recent revelations about McCain and lobbyists -- that his staff believed that he had an inappropriately close relationship with a telecom lobbyist at the time that he was overseeing the industry as chairman of the Senate Communications Committee, that his campaign is chock full of lobbyists -- it's hard to see this new story as anything but another example of McCain not knowing how to or being willing to extricate himself from the Washington special interest power game.

But this story goes beyond that as well. The Boeing deal would have supported 44,000 new and existing jobs across 40 states -- jobs that will be shipped to Europe and elsewhere as a results of the tag-team combination of McCain in the Senate and McCain's lobbyists pals on K Street. At a time when the economy appears to be faltering and America faces tepid job growth -- or even job losses -- it's not clear to me that the American public is clamoring for someone who is so tone deaf about employment issues.

McCain can, and likely will, try to spin this as an example of his reformist ways. But looking at all of the details, it's becoming ever more clear that McCain's interest is not as much in reform as it is whatever is in the best interest of his lobbyist supporters and pals.

Tags: jobs, John McCain, Lobbyists (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

This is not going to hurt McCain...

anywhere else but the netroots. Out here, when you talk to people, they think all politicians are the same and that they're all corrupt.

Mention McCain's Lobbyist to them, they'll return with with Obama's Rezko and Clinton's Chinese connections.

Only Edwards was making a big deal of lobbyists. Both Clinton & Obama has lobbyists working for them. They can't attack McCain on something they're doing themselves unless they want to sparse which lobbyist are good and which are bad.

by cosbo 2008-03-11 08:52AM | 0 recs
I disagree

A tangible example of reducing American jobs on behalf of lobbyists.

If WA was close, this should put WA in the Dem category for sure.

by magster 2008-03-11 08:57AM | 0 recs
I would believe if it was another...

country than America, where information is played with and manipulated by the media. Right now that story is going exactly the same place as all the other bad stories about McCain.

by cosbo 2008-03-11 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: This is not going to hurt McCain...

I disagree as well. McCain's popularity is based in large part on his reformer/maverick appeal. The netroots knows better, but there is plenty of time to redefine him as Bush Jr. in the general. It'll be a lot of work, but it can be done.

by J Ro 2008-03-11 11:58AM | 0 recs
Boeing did not lose because of McCain

They had a better proposal, but they lost because of their past shenanigans.

by SevenStrings 2008-03-11 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

I agree with everythign you said...except where you said that Boeing had an inferior proposal.

They did not.  I know some folks at NGC who were involved in the NGC proposal...even they felt that Boeing had a superior proposal.

by SevenStrings 2008-03-11 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

To be fair, its a lot easier to win, when you start from scratch after seeing your competitor's proposal.

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-11 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

And as we all know, the best proposal always wins...regardless of anything else!!

by SevenStrings 2008-03-11 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

Have you lost your mind?  Despite the man love the TradMed has for McCain .. this is something you can hit him over the head with(metahphorically, of course) ... do you think the people that watch TV are going to look too close into the details of exactly what went on here?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-03-11 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

Exactly, I realize that politically this could hurt McCain, but we're on the wrong side here (McCain appears to be on the right side primarily due to lobbyists so I'm not sure how much credit he should get) the MD-Airbus plane is a superior aircraft according to the Air Forces own standards, buying the Boeing would be an example of the very thign we hated when the Army did it with body Armor (choosing the inferior option due to politics).

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-11 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Boeing did not lose because of McCain

You have a point, it would have looked absurd to give Boeing the largest Airforce contract in memory just what a year after showing they basically bribed they're way into contracts.

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-11 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Followed Lobbyist-Advisors in Killing A

McCain: "These Boeing jobs are not coming back".

by Bob H 2008-03-11 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain - Killing American Jobs

This is not about who had the better proposals, this is about whether Americans or Europeans are employed in the building of the tanker.  This is about jobs, and this will be an effective line against McCain.

Lou Dobbs is all over this story, and he will have to skewer McCain over it.  Even to just ignore the connection, let alone pooh-pooh it, would Dobbs' credibility on the issue (and to be fair, I like Dobbs on the outsourcing front).  

In fact, I'm going to check out his website right now and post a link of he's bringing McCain into this.  

by CLLGADEM 2008-03-11 03:52PM | 0 recs

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