Senator John McCain and the media have manufactured a squeaky clean image for the Arizona Republican. They pretend that he is above reproach while, at the same time, his actions belie much of the rhetoric. Although there are other examples in his long legislative past, several recent developments also go to the heart of the issue.
John McCain has practically built an industry of criticizing our campaign finance system and the influence of lobbyists in Washington. While repeatedly taking that stand publicly, it turns out that he is not so discriminating when it comes to raising campaign cash. He has at least 59 lobbyists bundling money for his presidential bid. He has also brought on staff that were lobbyists for things like the big drug companies and shady lenders. Recently McCain’s choice to run the GOP Convention had to resign amid reports that his firm represented the military regime in Burma.
Questions have also been raised about John McCain’s use of a corporate jet to make campaign trips, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The corporation that owns the jet is conveniently headed by McCain’s wife Cindy McCain. While John McCain may praise the idea of full disclosure, he is saying nothing about the fact that his wife is refusing to ever release her personal tax filings. She says this even though it seems that she is using the vast wealth that she inherited to help his campaign.
If there was ever any argument that John McCain does not live up to the Mr. Clean hype, his recent decisions end the debate. It seems that there are at least two John McCains, one is an advocate for campaign finance reform and clean campaigns and the other is the guy running for president right now. One is merely a persona while the other is the stone cold reality.