Friday, August 8, 2008

Effects of McCain's lobbyist ties

The New York Times reported on July 27 on the lobbyist contributions to John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. McCain clearly led the three in contributions from lobbyists. His campaign has received $181,000 from lobbyists. Obama has received slightly more than $6,000 from lobbyists; and Clinton received more than $87,000 in contributions from lobbyists.

Document shipper DHL was bought by the German, Deutsche Post World Net in 2002. Then, in less than a year, the firm was bought by Airborne Express. The company is now about to leave a Wilmington, Ohio airport. The human cost of this is a job loss of 8,000 jobs, Stephen Koff reported in The Cleveland Plain Dealer on August 6.
Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, was a lobbyist that pushed for this merger

Public Campaign Action Fund has issued a fact sheet Wednesday, August 6, on the very dirty details:
But while McCain has expressed concern about anti-trust issues, and the entire Ohio congressional delegation has called for an investigation (1), a report today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer shows that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in fact played an important role in the merger deal that permitted a foreign-owned company to own DHL in the first place.

“Those jobs are on the chopping block because Sen. McCain and his campaign were involved in a deal that resulted in control of those positions being shifted to a foreign corporation, and there's no getting around that," Joe Rugola, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, told the Plain Dealer.”

Moreover, three lobbyists in significant positions on the McCain camp lobbied for the companies in question, and one of them has lobbied not just for DHL, but much more recently for UPS. This prompts additional questions: Why isn’t McCain joining the Ohio delegation in calling for an investigation into a possible anti-trust violation? How can McCain impartially investigate anti-trust issues when his top advisors recently earned more than $1 million from the companies involved to help them make the type of deal that is under scrutiny today?

Three McCain staffers have lobbied on behalf of the companies involved, and one of them, John Green, has lobbied for both of the companies involved in the anti-trust issue

* Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, and Christian Ferry, McCain’s e-campaign director, both lobbied for Deutsche Post, the company that bought DHL and Airborne in 2002 and 2003, between October 2003 and December 2005. During this time their firm, Davis-Manafort, billed $465,000 in fees.

* Davis and Ferry both also lobbied on behalf of Airborne in 2003, earning an additional $125,000 in fees. Their work involved lobbying the Senate to approve the DHL-Airborne merger, which it did.

* John Green, McCain’s liaison to Congress, lobbied for Deutsche Post from June 2003 to April 2006, earning $600,000 in fees.

* Then, Green recently lobbied on behalf of UPS, earning $40,000 for lobbying work between August 2007 and March 2008.

What does McCain have to say about mergers? What does McCain have to say about job losses (job-killing, to use the right's latest buzz phrase) that result from mergers? Do McCain's financial and professional ties color McCain's economic policy proposals?

Where's the straight talk express on this issue?

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