We have heard over and over again how after the Keating scandal John McCain got religion, asked for forgiveness for his corruption and promised he would never do anything like that again.
Unfortunately, it was all was bullshit designed for public consumption in an attempt to change the focus of anyone watching his career. Since then, and up to the present, John McCain has been the lobbyists' best friend in Congress. Remember Vickie Iseman? Remember Paxson Communications? That story is not "ancient" history, that's today's news.
Also in today's news is the fact that McCain's campaign is literally littered with lobbyists and his main man (the same one who ran his 2000 campaign) is Rick Davis, arguably the biggest corporate lobbyist in the country. McCain's foreign policy adviser is a lobbyist for foreign countries.
The McCain camp can claim that these people are not "active," but that's not true, either. Randy Scheunemann and/or his company continues to take money for lobbying activities from countries like Taiwan and Georgia. And the hypocrisy of John McCain boggles the mind when he accuses Obama of "knowing" the execs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when, in fact, Rick Davis just received about $150,000 from both firms.
Now there's a new story being reported by The Mercury News out of San Jose, California. It tells a tale typical of McCain that goes back less than 10 years; long after McCain swore he'd never, ever, do anything that would hint of favoritism toward any person or corporation again.
In 1999, John McCain got on the bandwagon for an Arizona businessman, Donald R. Diamond, helping him purchase a piece of land owned by the U.S. Army at Fort Ord, California. Diamond, according to The Mercury News, is "an 80-year old real estate developer, lobbyist and top fundraiser for McCain's presidential campaign."
The land in question was purchased for the paltry sum of $250,000. According to the Pentagon, it was appraised at $7.2 million!
In 1999, McCain served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. It was McCain who helped "smooth out problems [Diamond] encountered" relative to the sale.
Now, notice this: "The Fort Ord property in question is home to the SunBay apartments and condominiums -- an enterprise whose history dates to the 1980s savings and loan crisis."
The purchase negotiations "bogged down" over "price, future water allocations and whether more apartments could be added to the complex." Diamond revealed "under oath" that McCain came to his rescue. "I asked him if he could help expedite it," said Diamond.
And McCain did.
In 2001, just two years after he bought the land, Diamond sold SunBay to a developer in Northern California for $28 mil.
The McCain camp is not commenting, other than to say that Senator McCain "had done nothing for Mr. Diamond that he would not do for any other Arizona citizen.
Right! And if you believe that...
The fact that Diamond is a "leading developer in McCain's home state" and a leading lobbyist in Washington, D., C., and "is among the elite 'innovators' group whose members have individually raised $500,000 or more for McCain's presidential bid" is simply irrelevant.
McCain would have helped Diamond if he worked for a 7-11 in Phoenix.
You can read the entire article by Julia Reynolds here.