Watchdog Group Files FEC Complaint Against McCain
A campaign finance watchdog group announced that it is filing a pair of complaints against the McCain campaign with the Federal Elections Commission for possible violations of federal law. According to The Baltimore Sun, Campaign Money Watch will ask the FEC to investigate ." The other complaint "
The TV ad from Campaign Money Watch, set to run on Washington, D.C., broadcast and cable outlets starting Monday, focuses on McCain’s role in the awarding of an Air Force contract that would eventually go to the French company Airbus instead of the American company Boeing.
"Seven of McCain’s staff and fundraisers lobbied for Airbus," the ad says. "And guess what? John McCain intervened, which helped Airbus get that Pentagon contract. Tell John McCain to kick those lobbyists off the Straight Talk Express."
According to ABC News, the campaign issued a swift rebuttal.
The McCain campaign dismissed the allegations, calling them "baseless" and expressing confidence that the FEC complaint would be dismissed.
On the Boeing-Airbus deal, McCain aides note that the senator did not directly intervene on Airbus’ behalf, but rather encouraged the Air Force to level the playing field during the bidding process.
"This is a joke," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. "John McCain’s investigation of the bogus tanker deal saved taxpayers over $6 billion and exposed one of the biggest scandals in Pentagon history, for which executives and government officials went to jail. And now he’s being attacked for fighting corruption and shaking up the status quo in Washington? It’s absurd."
The Arizona senator has carefully cultivated an image as a reformer not beholden to special interests. However, several recent news stories have raised concerns about McCain’s alleged ties to lobbyists. In February, The New York Times caused a firestorm when it suggested McCain may have had an impropers relationship with a female lobbyist, but failed to offer proof. The article discussed but did not fully explore the GOP candidate’s links to various other lobbyists. Last month, the McCain campaign instituted a new policy to combat allegations that the presumed GOP nominee is too close to lobbyists — requiring all campaign officials with ties to lobbyists to either sever them or resign. A handful of officials left the campaign. The issue will likely remain central to the Democrats’ attacks against McCain. Last week, the Democratic National Committee released a web ad titled, "McCain’s Lobbyist Friends."