Wednesday, September 24, 2008

40 Days Left

With just 40 days left until Election Day, today seems like a great day to resurrect the CCPS blog. Even though Senator McCain is suspending his campaign at the same time we're restarting our blog, we bet that there will be great campaign stories just about every day until November 4.

I can't promise that we'll have the same kind of original analysis of polls and trends that Brian Schaffner offered when he was the chief blogger here, but we here's what we will do:

- Keep you updated on CCPS events and activities.

- Post research and reports written by CCPS fellows and board members.

- Share with you some of the interesting political analysis that we're reading.


Today the CCPS phones were ringing with reporters calling to ask Professor Thurber about the McCain campaign's ties to lobbyists for Freddie Mac. Here's the story, which became more interesting this weekend when Senator McCain denied to reporter John Harwood in a CNBC interview that his campaign manager, Rick Davis, was involved as a lobbyist for Fannie or Freddie. Here is a transcript of the exchange:

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.

(The entire transcript of the interview is available here.)

So after examining Rick Davis' record, it looks like his lobbying firm was getting about $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until just before the bailout.

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