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Another McCain Adviser Lobbied for Mortgage Industry

While Sen. John McCain was busy heaving boulders at Sen. Barack Obama last week for his campaign’s ties to Fannie Mae, he apparently neglected the fact that at least one of his homes is constructed of a fragile, silica-based material.

In addition to yesterday’s maligned report from The New York Times that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis earned $2 million as the president of an organization that lobbied on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to resist increased federal regulation, Bloomberg reports today that the reported head of McCain’s transition team lobbied on behalf of Freddie Mac as well.

The lobbying firm of the man Republicans say John McCain has chosen to begin planning a presidential transition earned more than a quarter of a million dollars this year representing Freddie Mac, one of the companies McCain blames for the nation’s financial crisis.

Timmons & Co., whose founder and chairman emeritus is William Timmons Sr., was registered to lobby for Freddie Mac from 2000 through this month, when the federal government took over both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Newly available congressional records show Timmons’s firm received $260,000 this year before its lobbying activities were barred under terms of the government rescue of the failed mortgage giant. Timmons, 77, is listed as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac on the company’s midyear financial-disclosure form.

Time’s Michael Scherer reported earlier this month that Timmons would helm McCain’s team charged with preparing for a transition to the White House in the event of a victory in November. According to Bloomberg, the McCain campaign would not confirm that Timmons was working for the GOP presidential nominee. McCain has repeatedly blasted the mortgage companies’ lobbyists for their role in creating the current crisis. From Bloomberg:

“At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” he said last week in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“Using money and influence, they prevented reforms that would have curbed their power and limited their ability to damage our economy,” he said. “And now, as ever, the American taxpayers are left to pay the price for Washington’s failure.”

Perhaps the McCain campaign should hire an adviser — preferably not a lobbyist — just to keep all of the other advisers’ past lobbying activities straight, so as to avoid embarrassing news reports such as this.

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