The New York Times reported yesterday that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis' lobbying firm was still receiving payments of $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac, this despite McCain's claim that Davis hasn't done any work for the doomed financial giant in years. If that's the case, then one has to wonder what they were paying for?
According to the Times:
[Freddie Mac] paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain's campaign manager , according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. [...]
They said they did not recall Mr. Davis doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee composed of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the coming midterm congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis's firm, Davis & Manafort, was kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis's close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who was widely expected by 2006 to run again for the White House.
Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the duration of the campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to share in its profits.
When asked about Davis's lobbying activities, McCain claimed, "My campaign manager has stopped that, has had nothing to do with it since and I'll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it," but after the Times' report broke the McCain camp lashed out, saying the Grey Lady "is 150 percent in the tank for Obama" (underscoring it's severe lack of mathematic skills).
"Whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization," senior campaign advisor Steve Schmidt said.
But a statement from Public Action Campaign Fund on TPM sums it up:
"John McCain's campaign manager and Freddie Mac essentially had what amounts to a secret half a million dollar lay-a-way plan. For almost three years and as late as last month, Freddie Mac made secret, monthly payments of $15,000 to Rick Davis's firm, apparently in exchange for providing special access to a future McCain White House. If McCain knew about this, his presidential campaign should be in serious trouble. If he didn't know about it, he ought to fire Rick Davis immediately," said David Donnelly, Director of Campaign Money Watch.
So, is Davis one of the scummy lobbyists McCain wants out of DC?