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McCain's Convention Pick Quits Over Burma Ties

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Juliet Eilperin
The veteran political operative chosen by Sen. John McCain to run the Republican National Convention this summer abruptly resigned yesterday after Newsweek revealed that the lobbying and public relations firm he heads once represented the Burmese government.

Doug Goodyear, the chief executive and co-founder of DCI Group, said in a statement that he resigned the post "so as not to become a distraction in this campaign."

DCI, a well-known Republican firm that provides lobbying services mostly for corporate interests, was paid $348,000 in 2002 and 2003 to represent Burma's junta, Newsweek reported on its Web site yesterday.

"It was our only foreign representation, it was for a short tenure, and it was six years ago," Newsweek quoted Goodyear as saying.

News outlets including The Washington Post have previously reported on the firm's links to Burma's military leaders, including that it arranged meetings with White House officials to press the generals' agenda, but the ties gained new relevance in the wake of two recent developments.

The first was the McCain campaign's choice earlier this month of Goodyear as convention coordinator, citing his management skill. The second was the junta's response to Tropical Cyclone Nargis' ravaging of Burma, where more than 60,000 people are dead or missing from the storm.

The Burmese government has drawn international condemnation for blocking international relief organizations from distributing much-needed food and supplies to the more than 1 million residents left homeless by the storm.

Goodyear told Newsweek that the junta's handling of the cyclone crisis has been "reprehensible."

Goodyear, a resident of McCain's home state of Arizona, co-founded DCI Group in 1996 after being active in politics, according to the firm's Web site. He was political director for the Colorado GOP in the 1980s and managed Pete Dawkins's unsuccessful 1988 U.S. Senate campaign in New Jersey.

As national convention coordinator, Goodyear served as a liaison between the McCain campaign and the national party.

Matt Burns, a convention spokesman, said the convention staff will proceed with mapping out details of the event, to run Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn.

"We're going to have a successful convention in September," Burns said. "We look forward to it, and planning is moving forward, as it has been for more than a year.".

Maria Cino, who served as deputy secretary of transportation to President Bush, is the president and chief executive of the convention.

McCain has been attacked by rivals for allowing his campaign to be run by lobbyists and former lobbyists, despite his own rhetoric against special interests. His inner circle of staffers include senior adviser Charles Black, who recently left his lobbying firm to join the campaign full time, and campaign manager Rick Davis, who also had once been a registered lobbyist.

DCI's many clients over the years have included General Motors, Exxon Mobil, Verizon and Morgan Stanley, according to federal disclosure forms. The firm is expert in targeting voters and persuading them to contact their elected officials, a mechanism called grass-roots lobbying. But it has also lobbied lawmakers directly and has registered to lobby for a long list of clients at the federal level.

By Post Editor  |  May 10, 2008; 8:25 PM ET
 
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Comments

iT iS aLways sOmething.

Posted by: jerry dale | May 12, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama getting rid of the guy who HAD to speak to Hamas as a part of his job in solving crises, was too kneejerk of a reaction.

But representing the Burmese junta just looks really bad. It's not like the Burmese government JUST started to be dictatorial last week. He said it was six years ago as if that's ancient history.

Posted by: GregB | May 11, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Now this is a more understandable reason to kick someone off the campaign staff. Obama getting rid of the guy who HAD to speak to Hamas as a part of his job in solving crises, was too kneejerk of a reaction.

But representing the Burmese junta just looks really bad. It's not like the Burmese government JUST started to be dictatorial last week. He said it was six years ago as if that's ancient history.

Posted by: GregB | May 11, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

And where is the story on hypocrite McBush flying all over the country on his wife's corporate jet and exploiting the very loophole that he supported in his vaunted campaign finance law to pay less than market value for using the jet? He took away my free speech rights to support candidates with money so he can use his wife's fortune with no accountability to the spirit of his own law.

Posted by: flarrfan | May 11, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

WaPo-Try IBM Servers!

Posted by: RAT-The | May 11, 2008 1:19 AM | Report abuse

Ahem;

"The firm is expert in targeting voters and persuading them to contact their elected officials, a mechanism called grass-roots lobbying."

LOL! :-D

Leave it to the Bone-Headed Express to try to put that GARBAGE out.

I am afraid, Juan McAmnesty is willing to listen to anyone else about as much as Bushie did!

Namely, only AFTER his own Idiocy Blows up in his Face, and legal actions are FORCING his hands!

Case in Point;

What part of the Conservative Base has SCREAMED "No AMNESTY Mac", Doesn't Juan McAmnesty understand?

We want them GONE! And all their Spawn as well! WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING THEY WANT TO SUCK UP! Food, Medical(SCHIPs), BI-LINGUAL EDUCATION, Jail, and all the rest of the annoying aspects of Mexican Barrios overrunning American Communities! :-(

MOSTLY, we want a STOP to UNWANTED and DESTRUCTIVE Wage Competition by Foreign Nationals in OUR COUNTRY! It has gone TOO FAR, for TOO long! 70's Wages does NOT float 2000's Bills!

IDIOTS-THAT IS WHY WE CAN'T COVER OUR MORTGAGES AND CARD DEBTS! THAT IS WHAT IS DESTROYING OUR ECONOMY!

Too low of WAGES, because of ILLEGAL COMPETITION!

If Juan McAmnesty is not going to stop the Invasion, and crack down on Employers breaking Labor Laws only enforceable by FEDERAL OFFICIALS, Then;

SHOW HIM THE EXIT NOW! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | May 11, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Ahem;

"The firm is expert in targeting voters and persuading them to contact their elected officials, a mechanism called grass-roots lobbying."

LOL! :-D

Leave it to the Bone-Headed Express to try to put that GARBAGE out.

I am afraid, Juan McAmnesty is willing to listen to anyone else about as much as Bushie did!

Namely, only AFTER his own Idiocy Blows up in his Face, and legal actions are FORCING his hands!

Case in Point;

What part of the Conservative Base has SCREAMED "No AMNESTY Mac", Doesn't Juan McAmnesty understand?

We want them GONE! And all their Spawn as well! WE DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO PAY FOR EVERYTHING THEY WANT TO SUCK UP! Food, Medical(SCHIPs), BI-LINGUAL EDUCATION, Jail, and all the rest of the annoying aspects of Mexican Barrios overrunning American Communities! :-(

MOSTLY, we want a STOP to UNWANTED and DESTRUCTIVE Wage Competition by Foreign Nationals in OUR COUNTRY! It has gone TOO FAR, for TOO long! 70's Wages does NOT float 2000's Bills!

IDIOTS-THAT IS WHY WE CAN'T COVER OUR MORTGAGES AND CARD DEBTS! THAT IS WHAT IS DESTROYING OUR ECONOMY!

Too low of WAGES, because of ILLEGAL COMPETITION!

If Juan McAmnesty is not going to stop the Invasion, and crack down on Employers breaking Labor Laws only enforceable by FEDERAL OFFICIALS, Then;

SHOW HIM THE EXIT NOW! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | May 11, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Can you believe The Republican Disaster?

McSame is an ongoing calamity.

Calamity Same.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 10, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Yet another embarrassing lobbyist tie for McCain. It's not the first, it won't be the last. They own him, just like Cindy the Stepford wife owns him.

Posted by: Chris | May 10, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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