McCain to Accept More Abramoff-Linked Dollars
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 07:45:47 PM EDT
John McCain's presidential campaign must be more cash-strapped than previously believed. Certainly it was an embarrassment to attempt to raise expectations last month -- that McCain's haul would match or at least come close to matching that of Barack Obama -- only to have Obama bring in more than twice as much as McCain. But this news only compounds the perception that McCain is in desperate need of money -- even cash linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Here's The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on an upcoming McCain fundraiser to be held by one of Abramoff's best friends in politics.
If you read this space, you knew this was coming. But even now that the odd-couple alliance between Ralph Reed and John McCain is complete, you still can't believe that it's true.
On Thursday afternoon, Republicans around Georgia received an invitation from Reed, who will serve as a host of a "special event" for McCain at the downtown Marriot Marquis on Aug. 18.
"John McCain believes in a strong national defense, a smaller, more accountable government, steady economic growth and opportunity, the dignity of life and traditional values," wrote Reed, whose 2006 campaign for lieutenant governor sank under the weight of evidence detailing his relationship with Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- much of it uncovered by McCain's Indian Affairs Committee.
For those unfamiliar with Reed, here are a couple of the choice articles on his close ties with Abramoff. In short, Reed, who had maintained a close relationship for more than two decades with Abramoff by the time the now-disgraced lobbyist's improprieties became fully public, was a key beneficiary of Abramoff's largesse -- as well as a key to the success of Abramoff's efforts.
Interesting, then, that McCain would accept the fundraising help of Reed for his presidential campaign. Interesting, that is, until you remember that McCain's list of major supporters already includes names with Abramoff ties; interesting until you realize that McCain withheld a controversial Abramoff email while heading a Senate investigation into the lobbyist's activities. With all of this in mind, it becomes clear that this is not an aberration, this is not an accident -- it marks a pattern of behavior by McCain, one of demagoguing on the issue of reform while at the same time being willing to embrace some of the more tainted names in politics today.
Do I expect the establishment media to report on the fact that McCain is accepting Abramoff-linked dollars (outside of a blog post on a large, though regional, newspaper)? Given that this story doesn't really fit into the meme that many inside the Beltway have grabbed a hold of with regards to McCain, no, not really. But there is a story out there, and it's one that's well worth being told -- that McCain is no reformer, but instead is one of the worst practitioners of the type of special interest, lobbyist funded politics that the American people hates.