List of McCain Fund-Raisers Includes Prominent Lobbyists
Senator John McCain has staked his campaign for the presidency in large part on his reputation as a reformer intent on curbing the influence of money in politics.
But an examination by The New York Times of a list of 106 elite fund-raisers who have brought in more than $100,000 each for Mr. McCain found that about a sixth of them were lobbyists. The list of “bundlers” was released on Friday by the McCain campaign.
Mr. McCain, of Arizona, has drawn scrutiny for the fact that many of his top advisers hail from K Street lobbying firms, including Rick Davis, his campaign manager, and Charles Black, a senior adviser who only recently stepped down as chairman of his lobbying firm to avoid accusations of conflict of interest.
Mr. McCain has steadfastly insisted that he does not give preferential treatment to those lobbying him, even if they happen to be close friends. Although Senator Barack Obama, who could become Mr. McCain’s general election opponent, has made a point of refusing to accept money from federally registered lobbyists, Mr. McCain has continued to collect cash from them and allow them to bundle campaign contributions.
[T]he McCain campaign, which struggled over much of the past year in raising money, is now seeking to emulate the record-setting money machine that powered George W. Bush to victories in 2000 and 2004, bestowing special titles upon bundlers who exceed certain financial targets.
And from The Washington Post:
With Sen. John McCain facing the prospect of being dramatically outspent in the race for the White House, a collection of major Republican donors and party leaders that includes former Bush strategist Karl Rove is scrambling to catch up with the efforts of liberal groups aiming to influence the outcome in November.