Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who made his name in US politics by attacking special interests, has more lobbyists working on his campaign staff or as advisers than any of his competitors in the 2008 presidential race.
Despite his vocal stance denouncing special interest groups’ impact on US politics, Sen. McCain seems to have compunctions about filling his campaign staff with exactly the sort of people he makes a show of fighting against.
Too often the special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access carry the day when issues of public policy are being decided
McCain claims that he has “has fought the ‘revolving door’ by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided.” Yet McCain has at least two top advisers who exactly fit this description:
- Campaign Co-Chair ex-Texas Representative Tom Loeffler
- Honorary Chairman ex-Washington Sen. Slade Gorton
Both Loffler and Gordon are now very influential lobbyists, representing: PhRMA, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, Martin Marietta, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., Weyerhaeuser, and Fidelity National Financial among others. There are a total of 11 current or former lobbyists working for or advising McCain. This is at least double the number the number of lobbyists on the campaign payroll of any other candidate; even Hillary Clinton, who among Democrats has made the most use of special interest groups, doesn’t come close to McCain’s total.