23 September 2008

Another McCain Aid Lobbied for Freddie Mac--Until This Month

Yesterday, the New York Times published a story exposing top McCain aid Rick Davis as a former “advocate” for Fannie and Freddie, for which he received nearly $2,000,000 dollars. Today Bloomberg reveals that the head of Senator McCain’s transition team, William Timmons, Sr, is the “founder and chairman of Timmons & Co,” a lobbying firm that has “earned more than a quarter of a million dollars this year representing Freddie Mac, one of the companies McCain blames for the nation's financial crisis [. . . .] Timmins & Co was registered to lobby for Freddie Mac from 2000 through this month, when the federal government took over both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae."

The revelations about Davis and Timmons must be embarrassing for the McCain campaign considering the campaign has spent the past two weeks trying to link Senator Obama with two former Fannie and Freddie officials. Unfortunately for Senator McCain, said links have been proven to be tenuous at best. While it’s true that James Johnson raised a significant amount of money for Senator Obama and he worked on the Senator’s VP selection committee, it’s also true that Mr. Johnson, left the Obama VP search committee in early June. In contrast, Mr. Timmons’s relationship with Freddie Mac continued up until the moment the government took the institution over, and he’s a current member of Senator McCain’s team.

Isn’t it rather thought provoking that Senator McCain, who is running as a Washington reformer, has chosen Mr. Timmons to lead the White House transition team? Especially when it’s known that “Timmons is a longtime power in the Washington lobbying industry whose clients include the American Petroleum Institute and Chrysler LLC. Visitors to the company's Web site are told that ``Timmons and Company pioneered the concept and the industry standard for Washington representation' (Bloomberg).

No wonder Steve Schmidt threw a tantrum: this new information absolutely undermines, or even negates, the McCain campaign's message.

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