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Posted at 6:10 PM ET, 09/24/2008

McCain 'Works the Refs'

By Michael Dobbs

John McCain and Rick Davis.

"The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself. In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. "
--McCain campaign blog, September 24, 2008.

The New York Times "is an organization that is completely, totally, 150 percent, in the tank for the Democratic candidate."
--McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, conference call, Sept. 22, 2008.

The McCain camp is furious with the New York Times for its reporting on the relationship between McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and the mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that are at the center of the current financial crisis. McCain spokesmen have tried to discredit the newspaper's reporting with the argument that it is "in the tank" for Obama, a charge that it frequently uses against journalists who cross the campaign. The attacks fail to address the substantive points raised by the Times and other news organizations.

The Facts

The "guilt by association" war heated up last week when John McCain approved an ad accusing his rival, Barack Obama, of accepting advice on housing issues from the former chief executive of Fannie Mae, a claim denied by the Obama campaign. The McCain attacks backfired after the New York Times reported that Davis had received nearly $2 million over a period of five years (between 2000 and 2005) as president of an advocacy group established by the two mortgage giants as part of their campaign against stricter regulation.

The McCain campaign did not contest the central points in the Times article. Instead it pointed out that Davis had taken an unpaid leave of absence from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006, and had never served as "a registered lobbyist" for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The campaign says that Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

On Wednesday, the Times reported that Freddie Mac had paid Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, a monthly retainer free of $15,000 from the end of 2005 through August 2008. Similar reports appeared in The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Roll Call, and Newsweek.

The McCain campaign responded to the latest batch of reports with a classic non-denial denial: It furiously rebutted something that was never alleged. A McCain blog entry by spokesman Michael Goldfarb said that the New York Times had made a "demonstrably false" allegation, charging that "Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month."

In fact, the newspaper reports pointed out that the payments were to Davis's firm, rather than Davis himself, and that Davis is not receiving a salary from his company while working for McCain. The reports also noted that Davis remains a partner in Davis Manafort and stands to benefit over the long term from its success. Davis's close ties with McCain were cited as the primary reason for payment of the retainer by Freddie Mac to Davis Manafort.

Even as it attacks the New York Times as "an Obama advocacy organization," the McCain campaign frequently e-mails reporters with articles from the paper that critically examine the record of the Democratic presidential candidate.

The Pinocchio Test

Rather than discuss Davis's relationship with the failed mortgage giants, the McCain campaign is relying on the tried-and-tested campaign technique known as "working the refs." The McCain camp has accused the Times of a "willful disregard for the truth," but has been unable to demonstrate factual errors in the newspaper's reporting of the Davis-Freddie Mac relationship.

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By Michael Dobbs  | September 24, 2008; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Candidate Record, Candidate Watch  
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It's not just the Davis issue (nor is it limited to the NYT, Mr. "Fact" Checker, as I have pointed out on these threads repeatedly). Off the top of my head, the NYT printed the unsourced Vicki Isleman "affair" story and then RETRACTED its endorsement of McCain. You are REALLY going to claim at least those reporters / editors at the NYT are not "in the tank" for Obama? Are those at least enough examples for you to start checking the facts, Dobbs?

Posted by: JakeD | September 24, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Okay, "JakeD," but about that "Davis issue" nonetheless....?

Posted by: mobedda | September 24, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, the campaign issue a quick and point-by-point denial. You haven't seen that? Two prior errors on the NYT's part is not enough? You want to only concentrate on the straw that broke the camel's back? If I were McCain-Palin, I would ban all NYT and WaPo reporters from the buses / planes.

Posted by: JakeD | September 24, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

The truth-McCain's aids and supporters have ties to Freddie and Fannie, so do Obama's. Obama had Rezko, McCain had Keating. All this guilt by association is just a distraction. You can't be in politics without running into people who turn out to be dishonest at some point.

My complaint about the NYT and all the rest is the failure to focus on the issues and the candidate's positions on the issues. In the end, these other things will mean nothing.

Posted by: bgjd1979 | September 24, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The NYT is one of the best papers in this country. Occasionally, it has made mistakes, just like every other paper in the United States. It's human nature. But because the NYT is critical of the political landscape that includes the republican party, this is liberal bias according to many republicans. This ranting and raving and name calling continues to fuel the propaganda arm of the right wing. It works to create division and anger and all of the emotions that the right wing has been riding on for years. It's the same ole, vapid, henpecking that is no longer working.

Posted by: Bradley | September 24, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the McCain camp comes off as disingenuous and continue to display their contempt for intellectual capacity. They really think that the public is stupid. Personally, I don't care that Davis has ties to Freddie. But the fact that they tried to personally tie Obama to the financial meltdown makes them targets.

When you try to deflect attention and accuse others, you usually draw that attention to yourself. So McCain, maybe if you and your surrogates stopped lying you wouldn't have to deny and accuse and point fingers. Either way, I'm not voting for you.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: DinahS | September 24, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, the following is the first paragraph in the "point-by-point denial":

"Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself."

Is there another "denial" out there somewhere? Can you quote something in the NYT article that states Davis was paid by Freddie Mac? I'm sure I'm just missing something. Enlighten me please. (But first answer my two questions)

Posted by: santos | September 24, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the press is doing this. I can't wait for Palin's affair story to be comfirmed. Funny to see that when the Republicans are on the other side they are the victims. Damn white people always wining.

Posted by: JakeE | September 24, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

New York Time is a credible source.. so McCain trying to paint it as the National Enquirer doesn't wash. Grampy McSame is a weasle.
Pop Goes the Weasel, again!

Posted by: ohminihaha | September 24, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, are you stupid or something? The fact is that Rick Davis has been in the tank for the cash, even as he denied having any connections. Davis is busted, McCain got played like a toy, and you continue your silly little rants. Don't worry, you'll get used to saying "President Obama." It's not that hard.

Posted by: McCain's Pain | September 24, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Santos, I think that's the denial (see below for full text):

Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.

In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.

Further, and missing from the Times' reporting, Mr. Davis has never -- never -- been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. The paper did manage to report one interesting but irrelevant fact: Mr. Davis did participate in a roundtable discussion on the political scene with...Paul Begala.

Again, let us be clear: The New York Times -- in the absence of any supporting evidence -- has insinuated some kind of impropriety on the part of Senator McCain and Rick Davis. But entirely missing from the story is any significant mention of Senator McCain's long advocacy for, and co-sponsorship of legislation to enact, stricter oversight and regulation of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- dating back to 2006. Please see the attached floor statement on this issue by Senator McCain from 2006.

To the central point our campaign has made in the last 48 hours: The New York Times has never published a single investigative piece, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod, his consulting and lobbying clients, and Senator Obama. Likewise, the New York Times never published an investigative report, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and Senator Obama, who appointed Johnson head of his VP search committee, until the writing was on the wall and Johnson was under fire following reports from actual news organizations that he had received preferential loans from predatory mortgage lender Countrywide.

Therefore this "report" from the New York Times must be evaluated in the context of its intent and purpose. It is a partisan attack falsely labeled as objective news. And its most serious allegations are based entirely on the claims of anonymous sources, a familiar yet regretful tactic for the paper.

We all understand that partisan attacks are part of the political process in this country. The debate that stems from these grand and sometimes unruly conversations is what makes this country so exceptional. Indeed, our nation has a long and proud tradition of news organizations that are ideological and partisan in nature, the Huffington Post and the New York Times being two such publications. We celebrate their contribution to the political fabric of America. But while the Huffington Post is utterly transparent, the New York Times obscures its true intentions -- to undermine the candidacy of John McCain and boost the candidacy of Barack Obama -- under the cloak of objective journalism.

The New York Times is trying to fill an ideological niche. It is a business decision, and one made under economic duress, as the New York Times is a failing business. But the paper's reporting on Senator McCain, his campaign, and his staff should be clearly understood by the American people for what it is: a partisan assault aimed at promoting that paper’s preferred candidate, Barack Obama.

Statement by Senator John McCain, May 25, 2006:

Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's former chief executive officer, OFHEO's report shows that over half of Mr. Raines' compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator's examination of the company's accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs--and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

Posted by: JakeD | September 24, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Are you splitting hairs between Davis and Davis's firm now?

Posted by: JakeD | September 24, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Holy Cow, people are stupid. Obama himself is in the tank for being #2 receipient of F/F campaign funds; why didn't the "fact" checker mention that? Or the fact that Obama and the rest of the socialist dems blocked legislation that would have reigned in F/F risky behavior I'm guessing massive retardation, or simply dedication to the big lie.

Posted by: hsl | September 24, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, thanks for the confirmation that that was in fact the denial of which you were speaking. Now you didn't answer my second question. I'll restate it. Can you quote something in the NYT article that states Davis was paid by Freddie Mac? If I'm reading the denial correctly, that is what is false, yes? That "Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month". Yes, that is false. But that is not what the article states. So what exactly is false in the NYT article? I'm confused here. Help me out.

Posted by: santos | September 24, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I can understand McCains problems with the NYT after the "affair" article that was false.

I read both articles Dobbs cited, and it looks like they were written as a response to McCains ad about Obama/Raines connection. Basically doing the Obama's campaign work for them. And you have to read the article really close to notice they're talking about Davis's firm. The implication is that Davis was still getting paid.

Posted by: jfg | September 24, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

jfg, with all due respect, the following is at about a quarter of the way through the article:

"Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, did not dispute the payments to Mr. Davis’s firm. But she said that Mr. Davis had stopped taking a salary from his firm by the end of 2006 and that his work did not affect Mr. McCain."

Does that need to be read carefully? Don't forget, here's the headline: "McCain Aide’s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac". "Firm" is mentioned 7 times in the article.

Now if you are worried about the reading habits of most individuals and they may come away thinking Davis was paid, I can understand that. Perhaps you should do your best to clarify the whole thing then. Seems clear to me, but perhaps you just need to keep repeating it. RICK DAVIS DID NOT GET PAID. DAVIS & MANAFORT WAS PAID AND THE DAVIS PART OF IT IS ON LEAVE FROM SAID FIRM UNTIL AFTER THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER.
I got all that from the article. Is that correct?

Posted by: santos | September 24, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain's camp opened the door on this one in their Obama/FannieMae bruhaha. Typical Rovian lie, twist, distract, lie, twist, distract - which should be expected since McCain's people are all from the Bush camp of the last 8 years.

Davis's firm receiving compensation is the same as Davis receiving compensation in the big picture. The McCain/Palin camp needs to quit the whining and focus on the issues. That way we can be confident we're not voting for them because of their horrible decision making (Mr. Deregulator and Ms. 'If I say it often enough will it become true'). 8 is enough!!! Obama is the change we need!

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: psnlf | September 24, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Well santos, here's the first 2 paragraphs from the same article you quoted:

"One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years."

So the firm received $15000/month from 2005 until last month, and that undercuts a McCain remark that Davis had no involvement. I think people could easily read that as Davis got money until last month (which would be false). Hence the implication.

Yes, if you read further, as you pointed out, you get Davis's actual role. But the NYT is fully aware that the first few sentences of an article are the most important and set the tone.

Posted by: jfg | September 24, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Now, let me see. What is the message here? People who don't read well, miss important points? People who don't like what they read find a way to misinterpret the message? People who find themselves looking bad try to make themselves look good? People whose IQ seems close to their age support McCain(can't seem to find his message)/Palin(needs to study in order to have a message) ticket? Coo-ol! I think I get the message.

Posted by: Baked Alaska | September 24, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Here is why McCain wants out:

In a world exclusive The NATIONAL ENQUIRER names GOP VP Candidate Sarah Palin's secret lover!

No less than three members of the man’s family including one by sworn affidavit have claimed that Sarah Palin engaged in an extramarital affair with hus¬band Todd’s former business partner, Brad Hanson.

These sources have named Hanson as Palin’s secret love, and say their affair nearly wrecked both their marriages.

Posted by: JN | September 24, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The idea that the NYT or WaPo are "Refs" is so laughable that I can't believe you would make the claim with a straight face.

Your "Fact Check" is a classic example. It's entirely circular because it's dictated by the news YOU or your peers chose to report in the first place!

You never fact check the stories you never pursue. You never "fact check" the relative importance of stories, placements, headlines and overall presentation. Don't tell me about details buried half way through the article when the headlines are screaming "scandal" and "lies" to passers-by.

Posted by: Vern | September 24, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

hey JakeD--

Nice job getting to the front of the comment pack on this one. You are indeed earning your operative's paycheck today.

Today's unfolding drama reads like a rehashed "West Wing" script. My guess is that McCain's handlers simply do not feel he is well prepared for Friday's debate and absent a doctor's note...

To make matters worse...McCain and Palin have pissed off the "in-the-tank" MSM so much that I can't help but wonder how that same "liberal" press is now going to spin the story on how he is trying to duck the debate. Good luck.


Posted by: thorn | September 24, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I was just watching Countdown, and Olbermann just did exactly what I was talking about. Olbermann says, "The NYT revealed today that McCains campaign manager did not stop receiving payments of $15000/month from the failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac years ago as McCain had claimed but only last month." That's incorrect. About a minute later he says Davis was on leave.

Check out this on youtube. Its about 20 seconds in.

Posted by: jfg | September 24, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Better get those pinnochio factories humming. With all the pinnochios that McCain-Palin is burning up we'll need trainloads soon.

Posted by: majorteddy | September 24, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

That McSame bunch really has nowhere to go, so they're inventing pretexts to portray themselves as victims. I don't think these people can handle, can even see the truth anymore. It's all so very empty and sad...

Do you have any idea how scary that makes them?

Imagine if they win?


Posted by: Spitfire | September 24, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so you believe the second paragraph is the implication. The "The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years" part.

Here's the relevant part of the transcript from the CNBC and NYT interview McCain gave ( for the full text):


HARWOOD: You mentioned cronyism and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington, and you've criticized Obama for self dealing here. How do you square that with the fact that your campaign manager, Rick Davis, was involved in some lobbying activities on behalf of Fannie Mae? And secondly, what specifically would you prevent, would you outlaw--what activity would you outlaw in Wall Street to make sure this doesn't happen again?

Sen. McCAIN: Now, on Wall Street, I'd--obviously we need to stop--we need to more--have more transparency. We need to take the regulatory agencies and merge them together in one effective agency. These regulatory agencies, this alphabet soup, was really designed for a different era. We're now in global transactions. We need more transparency. We need to combine the regulatory agencies, and we need to give them some more authority, if necessary, to do so. You know, Secretary Paulson had a package of recommendations sometime ago that basically did not really go anywhere. Maybe we can look at those and other recommendations in the future. In Washington, I still think that it was the special interest money that went--and Fannie and Freddie money that went, and everybody was involved in this--not everybody, but certainly Senator Obama got next amount of money, except for the two Democratic chairman. His vice presidential search team was headed by Mr. Johnson, and...

HARWOOD: And your campaign manager?

Sen. McCAIN: And my campaign manager has stopped that, has had nothing to do with it since, and I'll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it.


So gjf, you would argue that "One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager" doesn't undercut the above statement from McCain? That passes for "has had nothing to do with it since"? So, I believe it could be argued that NYT was correcting the record on Rick Davis "ha[ving] had nothing to do with it since"? Thanks for prodding me into looking at that interview!

Posted by: santos | September 24, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

jfg, regarding the Olbermann thing, looks like he's taken a page from the ole Fox playbook, eh? But, yeah, you are right. I don't like it when Fox does it and I don't like it when Olbermann/M Moore does it, etc. But if that's your only example, then it seems fairly minor. To me, that's like pointing to US Weekly as print news media. That one cracks me up every time.

Posted by: santos | September 24, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a liar.

Posted by: lpg | September 24, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a liar.

He makes Nixon and Bush look like saints.

Posted by: mnjam | September 24, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

mccain is a LIAR.

Posted by: mnjam | September 24, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Why hasn't the New York Times done any stories on how Obama's taken the second most money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in the Senate, despite only being there a few years?

This alone proves bias on their part regarding this issue.

Posted by: info | September 25, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be an echo in here :)

It seems all the socialists here have a broken agitprop record.

Posted by: info | September 25, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

info, care to supply a source for this: "second most money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in the Senate"

I'd like to read that.

Posted by: santos | September 25, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

This article is preposterious. Would any sane person deny that the NY Time is not ADVOCATING for Obama?!

Even the most ardent partisan has to concede this obvious fact.

Come on Washington Post, you are better than this (aren't you?).

Posted by: NYTimesSucks | September 25, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

info, I'm going to assume you picked this up from here:

Here's what the site runner has to say about the methodology:


There's more than one methodology one could employ in trying to calculate contributions associated with a particular company. Some analysts take the most conservative route, including only contributions from political action committees, since that's the money a corporation can direct. By that measure, as our chart shows, Obama would have received $6,000 from PACs of Fannie and Freddie (since we're looking at his Senate career, too), and McCain would have received $0. We feel that limiting such studies to PAC money makes them too narrow; PACs account for just 1 percent of the money in a presidential race. The New York Times chose to include contributions from employees AND from members of the boards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is not the Center's standard methodology when examining contributions associated with companies. We feel that universe is too broad. As I've stated in previous responses to comments here, directors usually work at their own companies and they often sit on the boards of multiple corporations. How should we categorize them? To count their contribution as being from both the company where they are employed and the companies on whose boards they sit would entail double-counting (or triple or quadruple...).

The wider you cast your net, the more tenuous the connections become. If we include contributions from a company's board of directors, should we not also include the contributions of those who work for the company where the director is actually employed? After all, if a director of Company 1 is the CEO of Company 2, it's very possible he would lean on his employees at Company 2 to make contributions to the candidate of his choice. This, too, seems overly broad.

So, again, there's no single "right way" to do this kind of research, but we believe the Center's methodology is a responsible one - meaningful while sufficiently conservative. We sense in this debate that detractors of our research are searching, in a partisan way, for any methodology that will produce a different result. Having put out nonpartisan campaign finance research for more than two decades, using the methodology I have explained, we at CRP are used to this kind of discussion. Feel free to calculate the numbers differently than we have, but please be upfront about your methodology and your reasons for it.

Finally, to address your assertion that the FEC has different tallies: The Federal Election Commission does not aggregate contributions by company or industry, as CRP does, so I would question any numbers of this sort that you've seen attributed to the Commission.

So only employees and PACs. No directors, lobbyists, etc. I see where the site-runner is coming from.

Now, here's the totals for what seem to be the decision makers:
Name McCain Obama
----------------- ------ -------
Geoffrey Boisi $70,100 $0
Alfonse D'Amato $30,800 $0
William Lewis, Jr $0 $4,600
Herbert Allison, Jr $0 $2,300
Brenda Gaines $0 $2,300
Jerome P. Kenney $2,300 $0
Patrick Swygert $1,000 $1,000
Robert Glauber $0 $1,000
Daniel Mudd $1,000 $0
John Sites $1,000 $0
Louis Freeh $200 $0
Others (29 lobbyists) $63,500 $4,800
-------------------- ---------- -------
Total $169,900 $16,000

Here's the url for the graphic I grabbed this from:

I don't think "second most money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in the Senate" is the whole truth. But that said, Obama has received a lot of $$ from the employees. info, shall we both go to and find out who they are together? Something tells me it's going to be quite a few small contributions from a variety of folks...

Posted by: santos | September 25, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Why did McCain suspend his campaign?

If he becomes pres., will he suspend being president until a crisis is over?

Shameful !

Posted by: Rex | September 25, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

they didn't even discuss how sarah palin was taken to see at least two clients of randy schuenemann, mccain's foreign policy advisor. randy lobbied for georgia and ukraine in the hopes of getting them into NATO through Orion Services, his lobbying company.

at least they didn't print them on the same day if they DO know that.

Posted by: kravitz | September 25, 2008 2:29 AM | Report abuse

With our economy falling behind, the war on terror, pork barreling legislation, corruption, and criminal activity on the rise, payday loans should be the last thing on politicians’ minds. Yet, for some reason, high profile politicians like Obama are focusing on this issue. Some states have banned them, such as Georgia and North Carolina, and more are in the process. Instead of fixing the important issues, they are trying to take out the payday loan industry for personal and political gain. Payday loans are simply for short term financial assistance for the all-American family to cover some cost that wasn’t budgeted or an emergency that they couldn’t pay for at that moment. They provide help to citizens during these financially troubling times with loans that the government otherwise couldn’t provide themselves. Stop the potential loss of thousands of jobs and the loss of a viable financial option by voicing your opinion to the legislature, before a nationwide ban becomes in effect.

Post Courtesy of Personal Money Store
Professional Blogging Team
Feed Back: 1-866-641-3406

Posted by: Payday Loan Advocate | September 25, 2008 5:55 AM | Report abuse

Frankly, I don't care what the NY Times has been or was. Money talks.
If the Saudis invest over 500 billions in my hometown. My hometown newspaper would be shamelessly pulling for the homeboy.

Posted by: pete | September 25, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

C'mon fellow are getting hooked. This is yet another example of diversion tactics by Obama.

Michael Dobbs and his fellow liberals at the Post and in the mainstream press are doing all they can accomodate publishing the daily press releases from Obama's campaign as "news.

So Dobbs and the Post will continue to try to keep the focus on whether or not a McCain advisor benefitted financially from Fannie/Freddie....all the while turning a blind eye to the money Obama HIMSELF has received from Fannie/Freddie.

We all know how glorious Obama is, so no way HE has a potential conflict of interest with all the money from Fannie/Freddie that has filled his coffers. Not that the Post would report on that, or anything.

Noooooooo, there's no bias here......

Posted by: dbw | September 25, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

By the way, if you want to know just how non-partisan Michael Dobbs is, I just scrolled back through the archives.

Since the end of June, there have been 21 "Fact-Checks". By my count:
14 = against McCain/Palin
4 = against Obama/Biden
3 = neutral to both

This is what passes for "balance" to our liberal journalists.

Oh, and interestingly enough, June was when Hillary dropped out of the race, and Obama became the defacto nominee of the mainstream medi....errrrrr, I mean the Democrat Party.

Posted by: dbw | September 25, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't believe McCain, this man is the most cynical and craven politician i have seem in my 40 yrs. This latest move, like picking gump Palin, is so calculated, its insulting. Clearly, McCain is trying desperately to save his campaign!! Are you serious that everyone doesn't see this as a bald faced attempt to slow Obama's big Mo! You gotta be kidding me right.
Can anyone tell me why this election is so close again. You and I both know why McCain(the weakest link) is still in this. Grow up America, you have been virtually beat up for the past 8 years from the Bush incompentence and yet you are oblivious and want the same for 4 more years!!
This is incredible on so many levels. We all know why this race is still close. Admit it.

Obama is clearly the best thing since JFK, RFK and WJC. Why, America can't we see that. What a shame!!! I honestly grieve for my country if you elect McCain and Palin.

Posted by: Ron DC | September 25, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

McCain is 150 percent right about the New York Times. The columinsts like Maureeen Dowd,Gail Collins and Thomas Friedman constantly criticized Hillary and then McCain and gave out half of the truth about those candidates. they loved to trash them and prsie their hero Obambi!!! Their circulation is down and Rupert Murdoch was rumored to be thinking about buying the Times. He should and then get rid of all of their columnists!!! I stopped buying and reading the Times - they were putting me into "sugar shock " with their syruppy columns on Obama !!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

OK. WHO starting slinging the mud? I believe it was McCain. If he had kept his mouth shut and not pointed his finger at Obama, no one would be talking about this. Who does he think he is? He can say what he wants and not expect a rebuttal?

And please stop whining about the liberal press. There are plenty of right-wing media -uh, Fox News? Rupert Murdoch's media empire? How about the WSJ editorial page? You right-wingers just can't stand it if everyone isn't on your bandwagon. Go ahead, dismiss them as liberal. I guess that is what passes for "fair and balanced".

Posted by: AMM | September 25, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Also the NY Times ran a story with dubious claims that McCain was having an affair with a staffer - which turned out to be totally false, yet the NEW YORK TIMES sat on the John Edwards story for months !!!! Anything to protect the radical left- yep thats what the Times has become -it is now known as the OBAMA RAG !!!

Posted by: jimbo | September 25, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Can we get a running total of Pinocchio's along side the fact check logo?

Posted by: IL Dem | September 25, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

That Davis may not have been directly involved with with his company on behalf of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for some time is really besides the point. At one time he was actively involved in trying to lobby against these government regulation of these firms. It's kinda like saying, "the priest did mollest children, but it was a long time ago".

Posted by: DW | September 25, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Folks, whatever else you think,you have to face the fact that McCain is a liar. Yesterday, members of both houses of Congress got their ears full with record number of people weighing in and the overwhelming majority, in voicing opposition to bailing out of Wall Street, were in effect saying, 'we've had enough of these liars.' McCain is one of them. He can say he's a "maverick" all he wants, he isn't.
He is a liar. And he's WAY too old to be the President in the best of times.

Posted by: lpg | September 25, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought!
One of the Rovian tactics is to have pro reps post numerous and over the top internet posts and letters to the editors.

This give the appearance that there is some sort of public support for their cause.

One final questions for JAKED:
(I know I won't get an answer)

All of this past history is all fine and good. My question is


Posted by: Skeptical of Pro McCain | September 25, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Methinks a rat smell is in the air with all of these anti NYT comments.

Could it be the Rovian tactic of having pro Reps post numerous and over the top internet posts and letters to the editors.

Also, we're seeing the typical Republican response: Shoot the messenger!

To the one or two people posting these remarks:

Make sure you get cash from McCain because a check may not be good next week.

Posted by: Skeptical of Pro McCain | | September 25, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Even the "fact" finder "Ref" is all one sided in favor of Obama.
If you are not fair it just makes YOU, the FACT FINDER, the Pinocchio!

Posted by: What the heck are facts? | September 25, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Who tried to restrain FM/FM 3 years ago and who resisted?
Who raided the FM/FM piggy back most egregiously?
Where are those stories?

Posted by: Jeff | September 25, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering why it is not 4 pinnochios. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE!!!!

Posted by: Guy from LA | September 25, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Can you say KEATING 5 ?
Can you say "no reporters allowed"?
Can you say $15k /month invoice paid by Fannie/Freddie to Rick Davis?
Can you say anything that reveals the hypocrisy of the Mcain campaign?
Mcain wouldnt go on Larry King; etc etc; well maybe it's because his handlers don't want either he or Palin on the air anymore; it's just TOO RISKY!
do you blame them?

Posted by: ukeman | September 25, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

What the Times does, and the Post knows it because they do it as well, is to "report news" in a fashion loaded with opinion-like words and statements.

Just like this POS article.

If you have any sense of honesty, you would:

Label news as news (no opinion inserted, no selective reporting)

Label opinion as opinion (write whatever you want, slanted anyway that you want).

Just be honest.

Posted by: Tell the Truth! | September 25, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Everybody except the low-info's know Keating 5, set the mode for Johnny Maverick and the republicans to carry out their DEREGULATION schemes which have caused the mess we're in.
Have you checked the polls?
Even bigotry shouldn't stop one from voting for a real change.
And don't expect any of the PT Barnum-like campaign gimmicks Mcain's masterminds are putting out to clarify anything. Because the more the truth is highlighted, the worse they look.
Seriously, none of them can show their faces without some gaffe.
Palin is unintelligible on air. (except for her practiced quotes- yuck)

Posted by: ukeman | September 25, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Why hasn't the New York Times done any stories on how Obama's taken the second most money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in the Senate, despite only being there a few years?"

They have.

BTW, only three pinnochios? This one was clarly a whopper.

Posted by: Phxflyer | September 25, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain's irrationality is just plain scary.

If you are determined to send this country down the toilet... vote Republican.

Posted by: wolf | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The relationships between Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and the two candidates appears to me to balance each other out. Both candidates have benefited from associations at both companies. However, if guilt by association is the subject, then Obama has more explaining to do -

Posted by: eurosnow | September 25, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Both candidates say they will make changes. Obama has voted with both Democratic controlled houses of Congress almost 100% of the time since 2006. In these past two years McCain has voted against his party and Bush almost 25% of the time (look it up !) With Obama picking Joe Biden (a real company man) and McCain picking Sarah Palin who HAS made changes, who I ask has shown change in the past ????.

Posted by: ubinhad | September 25, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks so much guys! Despite the supposed media bias the McCain's have come to believe, I think it is pretty damn excellent at setting the record straight! McCain seems to think he can pull the wool over our eyes----there's way too much information and access to do that these days. Thank you WPost!

Posted by: FACT CHECKER ROCKS | September 25, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Check this out for a laugh. Here's Sarah Palin's real foreign policy experience... with a Kenyan witch doctor:

Posted by: Did I mention I'm a LIAR??? | September 25, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

A good article by the Washington Post. The McCain campaign wants to point the finger at Obama, and also wants to dismiss the N.Y. Times as being biased in favor of Obama.

But the facts of the NY Times article are spot on. They are reporting the truth. Apparently McCain doesn't like it when the media reports things accurately.

Posted by: Robert | September 25, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

By all means keep bringing up what happened with Keating ...

As the Senate Ethics Committee found back in 1991, three Senators - Alan Cranston (D), Dennis DeConcini (D), and Donald Riegle (D) - had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings.

John Glen (D) and John McCain (D) were cleared.

In 2005, attempts to bring about greater oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were blocked by Democrats in Congress ...

It would see to be time for a restrospective of events and actions leading to the current financial crisis ...

Posted by: Alasdair | September 25, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

"People Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones"

Posted by: tommyd60 | September 25, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe McCain chose Palin as his running mate because next to her he looks like Einstein. Politics makes strange bedfellows and I can't think of anyone stranger than those two.

Posted by: Ben | September 25, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm career Navy, and while I greatly respect McCain's time in Hanoi, I think he has lost his way and become more political than any "politician." A really big disappointment.

I like Obama's stoicism (highly valued on the ground!), but still wanted to vote McCain. However, between the most unready VEEP choice since Quayle and this CLEARLY political "suspending the campaign" nonsense -- McCain's finally lost me for good. A good-looking VEEP and a suspended campaign isn't enough in a time of crisis. I just mailed my absentee ballot... for Obama.

Posted by: VWM | September 25, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's my feeling about this race for the presidency. Beware! It's so damned preposterous that, from experience, I honestly believe it's the truth :

The repugnicans are NOT counting on winning this election and they NEVER WERE! They're keeping their best and brightest, their up-and-coming stars, for the next turn around in four or eight years. The Game will have changed by then; it always does...

Why? Not only did the repugnicans create such an ungodly mess as to make the prospect of immediately imposing another repugnican in the white house unreal; they'd rather have the Democrats clean up their vomit for them while they stay in the sidelines, criticizing every move and laughing their asses off.

McSame is a throwaway gun, a Saturday Night Special, an old dawg, a washed up Professional Politician with an inglorious political past and absolutely no future of any sort. Unless a very dangerous fluke puts his scrawny old ass in the white house (I say again : God help us all).

They just stuck their old scarecrow up there with its stuffing hanging out and even gave it some free reign of sorts, for credibility, mind you.

The old scarecrow came up with Palin. It just so happens that she's dubya's female equivalent in opportunistic mediocrity.

Surprise, surprise! It was not a very intelligent move, but believably McSamish all the same. Mission accomplished.

McSame was thrice buggered by dubya on different occasions and yet he still came around for more when his Moronic Majesty called. What kind of man is THAT?

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, might be the next president.



Posted by: Spitfire | September 26, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how the McCain camp feels about David Brooks' recent op-ed praising him -- will they cite it or call it more Democratic fodder?

Posted by: VoxPopuli | September 26, 2008 4:31 AM | Report abuse

An old saying asks the question, "if something isn’t broke, than why fix it?" Speaking of the short term financial assistance that payday lenders offer, things surely aren’t broken. In fact, customers sing the praises of payday lenders largely because, when used properly, they’re one of the fastest and safest ways out of a sticky financial situation. Unfortunately, some people in high places don’t see it this way and are trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Several bipartisan efforts have outlawed the entire industry in certain states, even inspiring presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, to take aim at them as well. On November 4, don’t vote by party; vote for the peoples’ right to financial freedom.

Post Courtesy of Personal Money Store
Professional Blogging Team
Feed Back: 1-866-641-3406

Posted by: Payday Loan Advocate | September 26, 2008 4:46 AM | Report abuse

The New York Times is a pathetic liberal rag, even worse than the Washington Post. AP, Newsweek, and the Post ran similar reports -- because they always do! It's one big, incestuous family. Who's gonna believe the NYT? Speaking of which, who's going to believe the establishment media over the NRA -- not sportsmen and NRA members, who were the target audience. I rejoined the NRA yesterday, after not being a member for 20 years.

Posted by: tresangelas | September 26, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

John McCaint has suddenly gotten quite concerned about the crisis on Wall Street.

Just more lies....

So much so that he has announced he’s suspending his campaign and rushing back to Washington so he can work with Congress on solving the problem and he wants Obama to do the same which will mean putting off that pesky debate they were supposed to have on Friday.

The situation was so urgent in fact that McCaint called up David Letterman personally to cancel his appearance on his show so he wouldn’t waste any time tackling the problem.

Except that he apparently had time to stick around long enough to film an interview with Katie Couric, to "expalin" the pathetic interview with peeeuuu Palin whereas she fumbles and get confused on such a simple subject....and literally self destructs on CBS.....

So while McCaint was at the West 57th street CBS News same point in time he would have been on Letterman.

Needless to say, Dave wasn’t impressed. In fact Dave had some pretty good points to make during the course of the show.

David Letterman was absolutely furious at Senator John McCain for snubbing him and instead making an appearance on a CBS News interview with Katie Couric.

According to Letterman, McCaint personally called him and apologized for bailing out at the last minute.

He said he was suspending his campaign to rush to Washington and help fight America’s biggest economic crisis since the great depression.

Letterman understood the urgency of this issue and said it was ok.

Boy, Was he mad when he knew that McCaint did not actually go to Washington to solve the ‘Crisis’ and fix the ‘Crater’ in the economy?

Letterman stopped his interview with Keith Olbermann midway to show a live TV feed of McCaint getting makeup for his interview with Katie Couric.

Letterman said something is terribly wrong with McCain’s campaign ..and it smells....(peeeuuu Palin anyone)and that he was just playing a political game by saying that he was suspending his campaign.

And when Dave saw McCaint with Couric having makeup applied to his cancer ridden head he yelled out and said: "Hey John, do you need a ride to the airport??????.

He felt this a political gimmick to stop his sliding poll numbers from sliding further. He repeatedly asked the same question - ‘Where is your running mate, Sarah Palin?’.

You do not suspend a campaign a month before elections, you get your second in command to run the show instead.

A total of 10 minutes was used up by Dave Letterman to shred McCain and his publicity stunt into pieces.

View David's Anger @

After the Walter Cronkite moment of 1968 now 40 years later for McCaint on David Letterman......I don’t think McCain will be scheduling a follow-up appearance anytime soon.

Thanks Again Dave.... for showing us the truth..yet again......McCaint can't multi-task.....

Its the end of the peeeuuu Palin bubble and McCaints lies.......

"Thanks but no thanks for more of the lies that bridge America to nowhere......"

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 26, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Am I just stupid and am I missing the subtlety of what is being said, or is the use of the word "twisted" entirely inappropriate when characterizing what Obama said about McCain's original statement?

10:29 p.m.
On Afghanistan, Obama once again twisted McCain's words when he said, "at one point, while you were focused on Iraq, you said, well, we can muddle through Afghanistan."

That was a reference to comments McCain made in 2003 in which the Arizona senator expressed concern, but cautious optimism, about the long-term prospects of Afghanistan. "I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that - in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan," McCain said.
--Michael Abramowitz

Posted by: steve clark | September 27, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The liar is Barack Obama. He is laughing all the way to the bank. As is Chris Dodd and his 600,000 PLUS that he received from the agencies he was suppose to be overseeing! And Obama is right there with him! And NOW these Democrat Senators have included ACORN in the bailout bill. Yes, ACORN, the low income housing group ran by community organizers and yes, is in an ongoing CRIMINAL investigation for VOTER FRAUD. And their attorney is WHO ELSE but community organizer Barack Obama. At the EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS TAX PAYERS, the Dems have snuck in MILLIONS of dollars for this lobbyist liberal group. Obama, it is YOU that is out of touch with Middle Class America! ANd this is why you failed to tell Americans about this at the debate. DECEIT and FRAUD! NOBAMA!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 27, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Although Davis has an equity interest in the firm, I would argue that his interest in policies related to Fannie and Freddie is now remote (and has been since 2005). It is analagous to a shareholder relationship (although a substantial one). If he is on an unpaid leave of absence from the firm, then he is not involved in day to day decisions relating to lobbying strategy. Is he being lobbied by his old firm? That would be the story, but the NYTimes doesn't go there. I agree with the poster that this is irrelevant "guilt by association". People have all kinds of investments and business relationships. Is the point of this story that anybody involved in any campaign must shed themselves of all of those entanglements in order to pass a purity test?

Posted by: Jack | September 29, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

To Bradley and others who think Repubs are crybabies, that NYT is being fair and just covering the political landscape. The problem is they do not give a full picture (i.e., McCain was fully investigated in the S & L debacle and was cleared) and do not focus as much attention on the other party. If you have read anything before this election, McCain was sorry for that incident and I think that is what made him become the reformer he is. Why focus on something that happend 20 years ago? And as for the issue of Davis - is there any evidence he took any money and more importantly, any evidence that Fannie Mae money had any impact on John McCain? No, because John McCain wanted to do something and tried to pass a bill but was stopped by Dems. The only person who seems to have been affected by receipt of Fannie Mae money is Obama and his Dem cronies. Why doesn't the NYT focus on all the Fannie Mae money Obama got until the general election and the fact there are many "individual" donors to the general election who work for Fannie Mae? (Or all the money he got from, who I suspect own a large piece of him and will expect him to push their ultra liberal agenda?) Why doesn't the NYT focus on how the Dems ramped up the mortgage crisis with the typical policy of trying to solve social problems by throwing money at them, in this case, forcing banks to loan money to poor people who could not afford the houses and without requiring confirmation of income, etc.? You see the significance of the connection to Obama is this: it is a picture of things to come because when he is in office, it will be business as usual and Nancy Pelosi and Barney Franks and the other shrill liberals who helped Obama get where he is will expect their payback. He has never done much of anything and never disagreed with his party on anything - or anything of importance; that will not change as President. Pelosi is salivating at the thought of getting her puppet in office to push her personal agenda. I would like one Dem to tell me why Obama is qualified without resorting to the words "change" or "not Bush" or point to an opponent's qualifications (or what they deem to be lack thereof). Tell me what Obama has done in the two years in the U.S. Senate before he began his run? If this guy had applied for a job as a CEO of a company with this little experience, he would have been laughed out of the building. That's like making the McD's manager the new CFO after two years. So he was a community organizer - hum, years with ACORN are really what I want to see. Hillary did get screwed (although I never thought I would say that) because she did have more experience. If Obama gets elected, the only thing I can say is that we have another Jimmy Carter (maybe most of you aren't old enough to remember him), and maybe that will ensure the mid-term elections will revert to Republicans and we can boot shrill Nancy and her crew out on their butts and then vote out Obama out two years after that.

Posted by: BD | September 29, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

To Santos and comments about contributions: look closely at Mr. Obama's contributions from individuals. I question whether Obama has not hearkened back to his days with ACORN and the campaign or his supporters are involved in creative giving. I noticed some contributors were social workers and students. Now, not that these people do not contribute, but where do they get the extra cash to donate over $2,000 or more? I think the important factor is that there is no evidence $ given to McCain has affected his decisions as a senator but the Fannie Mae $ surely kept Obama from doing anything about the "concern" he allegedly had about the mortgage crisis brewing. Guess he wanted to keep it in place so he could retire there after office and get rich, just like all the Clinton cronies: Gorelick, Raines, and Johnson. (Oh, and for those who talk about Palin's qualifications. Can you tell me how Jamie Gorelick was put in place as #2 at Fannie Mae when it does not appear she has ANY experience in the financial industry? Talking about putting someone in a position for which they appear not to be qualified....)

Posted by: BD | September 29, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 76747wnn0s | October 1, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 76747wnn0s | October 1, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Is Glenn Kessler retarded? Yes, McCain probably did misunderstand the reporter's question about Spain, but later he DENIED misunderstanding it. He claimed that he KNEW the question was about the Spanish prime minister and he stuck by his answer that he wouldn't meet with him. If you can't get such a basic fact right, get another job.

Posted by: dukeStir | October 2, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

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