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A Well-Connected Campaign Firm Resurfaces

By Matthew Mosk
When Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign hit the financial skids last summer, he reported that he owed one of his largest vendors $1,079,000.

The debt was owed to a computer company, called 3eDC. The firm has close ties to McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and his lobbying partner Paul Manafort.

Now, some are asking question about why 3eDC ultimately accepted $972,000 in payment, instead of the original amount owed. That price reduction troubled campaign finance experts, according to a report by Ed Pound in the National Journal magazine. Pound quotes former FEC official Kent Cooper calling into question the accounting, saying that it if "actual services were provided and the bill was reduced" that would be "an illegal corporate contribution." A campaign official responded by saying that 3eDC determined the campaign actually owed the company less money than shown in earlier FEC reports.

McCain's campaign stopped using 3eDC after the candidate's mid-summer stumble. But the firm has not left the scene. Last month, days after McCain cleared a path to his party's presidential nomination and his trusted advisers took over key slots at the Republican National Committee, the company emerged as a new RNC vendor. The RNC paid 3eDC $20,000 in late April, public records show.

And this month, the RNC and 3eDC have apparently been negotiating a larger contract for the firm to oversee microtargeting, a deal that could be worth $2 million or $3 million, a source familiar with the discussions said.

Brian Rogers, a campaign spokesman, said Davis had no role in recommending the company for the new contract, nor did he ever discuss the firm with RNC officials.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 6, 2008; 4:31 PM ET
Categories:  The Hidden Campaign  
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Comments

df40gB Blogs rating, add your blog to be rated for free:
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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

df40gB Blogs rating, add your blog to be rated for free:
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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

df40gB Blogs rating, add your blog to be rated for free:
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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 23, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Isn't there other heinous crap for you to write about other than the discounting of a bill?

I am no fan of Weathervane McCain or the RNC, but with the weak-ass campaign laws we have in place, this little faux pas didn't get my blood to boiling. Nope.

Posted by: Dusty | June 8, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

If the Democratics foolishly nominate an unqualified and unelectable Barack Obama, put your country first, party second and vote for John McCain.

The Democratic party MUST be held accountable for their failure to denounce the rampant, incessant sexism, racism, classism and voter disenfranchisment practiced by Obama, his campaign, his NASTY supporters and ALL media. IN fact, the Dem party is complicit in disenfanchising voters in Michigan and Florida. Since when is a 1/2 vote ok? 1/2 a person ok? It's NOT. It calls to mind the ole Jim Crow laws when blacks were considered 3/5 a person. This is worse. To vote for Obama is to condone what they have done.

Women are the majority voting block of the Dem party and swing ALL elections. Women want Hillary. Women say NO to Obama. Women are mad as hell and we are NOT going to take it anymore. Not this year, not this time. Paybacks are hell, but necessary. The Democratic party understands two things, money and votes. WE have the power to withhold both! Do so!

UNITY? NOT THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*You must do the thing which you think you cannnot do* Eleanor Roosevelt

Rise, Women, Rise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: JK | June 7, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

While I don't know the campaign finance law aspect, it's common for consultants to reduce bills. After all, most is better than none, and they of course want to keep getting work in the future.

Last summer it wasn't clear McCain would be in a position to give more work to the firm. Now that he is the nominee he will have additional resources, and the need to hire firms like 3eDC with the expertise required for the general election.

There may be nothing sinister here at all.

Posted by: David Kent | June 7, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

This belongs on the front page -- not the blog. No disrespect to the blog, but this is a clear case of an illegal contributions and a tit-for-tat arrangement. To borrow a phrase, "that's not change we can believe in."

I hope The Post is looking into this a bit further.

Posted by: davidconnell | June 7, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised? McCain's campaign is invested with Special Interests, Lobbyists, and other shady dealings. He has no scruples and will lie to our face. I am 100% certain they promised the larger contract for forgiveness of part of their debt.

Posted by: Shannon | June 7, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

The Republican slimers are at it again, pulling their manipulation of teh rules and outright violation of them, some "Reformer" that John McCain!

Posted by: majorteddy | June 6, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

It is never good when a candidate is short on money. McCain became short on money because of campaign financial mismanagement. Those who proclaim to be fiscally conservative and advocate McCain are looking to promote government waste through mismanagement for four more years.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 6, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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