MoveOn Targets McCain Aides
Updated 6:44 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
The liberal online advocacy group MoveOn.Org Political Action has sent out a new e-mail that seizes on the weekend purging by Sen. John McCain of two advisers who had registered as lobbyists for the repressive regime of Burma.
The e-mail notes that Doug Goodyear, the public relations executive McCain had tapped to run the Republican National Convention, and Doug Davenport, the regional campaign manager for the mid-Atlantic states, both resigned after reports that the firm where they work had been paid $348,000 in 2002 to represent the junta that rules Burma.
MoveOn takes the next step, piggy-backing on a press release by the group Campaign Money Watch, which identified three other top McCain supporters as having worked for "brutal foreign interests and big oil companies." Chief among the targeted McCain advisers was Charlie Black, a longtime Washington insider who left his lobbying firm to take a central role in counseling McCain.
"Charlie Black, McCain's campaign chairman, ran a lobbying firm that represented brutal dictators like Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire -- along with terrorist rebel Jonas Savimbi in Angola. Together, these men have been responsible for massive human suffering," the MoveOn e-mail says. It goes on to offer readers the chance to petition McCain to "Fire Charlie Black if he doesn't resign first."
Black said in an interview this afternoon that criticism of his lobbying past is not even among the top 20 worst political attacks he's endured over the years, and joked that he's "been trying to figure out some way to get fired so I can take up golf again."
Getting serious, Black said he never took on work for foreign figures "without first talking to the State Department and the White House and clearing with them that the work would be in the interest of U.S. foreign policy."
For instance, he said, the U.S. considered Marcos an ally when his firm took on work for his government, and "when the White House pulled the plug on Marcos, we resigned the account the same day," Black said. He said his firm was hired to help show Mobutu how to form political parties and conduct elections, and when Mobutu canceled the results of the parliamentary election, "we quit."
The thrust of the MoveOn attack though, could become a familiar one. McCain's campaign has the support of scores of lobbyists whose client lists are a matter of public record.
The Republican National Committee greeted the attack with disdain. "MoveOn.org is a discredited, radical organization that has a track record of launching shameless attacks," said Danny Diaz, a spokesperson for the RNC. "It should not be surprising that an organization that has smeared our military leaders and instructed Barack Obama to vote against funding for our men and women in uniform would continue to pursue their reckless behavior."
Web Politics Editor
May 13, 2008; 5:51 PM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , John McCain , The Hidden Campaign
Save & Share: Previous: Clinton, Obama Get Cordial Senate Welcomes
Next: The Pre-Spin from West Virginia
Posted by: Her Lao | May 13, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RAT-The | May 13, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: B. Kaufmann | May 13, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RAT-The | May 13, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Kevin Morgan | May 13, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RAT-The | May 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RAT-The | May 13, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.