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Thread: For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk. NYT

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    WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.
    A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

    When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

    Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

    It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.

    But the concerns about Mr. McCain’s relationship with Ms. Iseman underscored an enduring paradox of his post-Keating career. Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.

    Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman’s client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)

    Mr. McCain helped found a nonprofit group to promote his personal battle for tighter campaign finance rules. But he later resigned as its chairman after news reports disclosed that the group was tapping the same kinds of unlimited corporate contributions he opposed, including those from companies seeking his favor. He has criticized the cozy ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, but is relying on corporate lobbyists to donate their time running his presidential race and recently hired a lobbyist to run his Senate office.

    “He is essentially an honorable person,” said William P. Cheshire, a friend of Mr. McCain who as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic defended him during the Keating Five scandal. “But he can be imprudent.”

    Mr. Cheshire added, “That imprudence or recklessness may be part of why he was not more astute about the risks he was running with this shady operator,” Charles Keating, whose ties to Mr. McCain and four other lawmakers tainted their reputations in the savings and loan debacle.

    During his current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. McCain has played down his attacks on the corrupting power of money in politics, aware that the stricter regulations he championed are unpopular in his party. When the Senate overhauled lobbying and ethics rules last year, Mr. McCain stayed in the background.
    With his nomination this year all but certain, though, he is reminding voters again of his record of reform. His campaign has already begun comparing his credentials with those of Senator Barack Obama, a Democratic contender who has made lobbying and ethics rules a centerpiece of his own pitch to voters.

    “I would very much like to think that I have never been a man whose favor can be bought,” Mr. McCain wrote about his Keating experience in his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For.” “From my earliest youth, I would have considered such a reputation to be the most shameful ignominy imaginable. Yet that is exactly how millions of Americans viewed me for a time, a time that I will forever consider one of the worst experiences of my life.”

    A drive to expunge the stain on his reputation in time turned into a zeal to cleanse Washington as well. The episode taught him that “questions of honor are raised as much by appearances as by reality in politics,” he wrote, “and because they incite public distrust they need to be addressed no less directly than we would address evidence of expressly illegal corruption.”

    A Formative Scandal

    Mr. McCain started his career like many other aspiring politicians, eagerly courting the wealthy and powerful. A Vietnam war hero and Senate liaison for the Navy, he arrived in Arizona in 1980 after his second marriage, to Cindy Hensley, the heiress to a beer fortune there. He quickly started looking for a Congressional district where he could run.

    Mr. Keating, a Phoenix financier and real estate developer, became an early sponsor and, soon, a friend. He was a man of great confidence and daring, Mr. McCain recalled in his memoir. “People like that appeal to me,” he continued. “I have sometimes forgotten that wisdom and a strong sense of public responsibility are much more admirable qualities.”

    During Mr. McCain’s four years in the House, Mr. Keating, his family and his business associates contributed heavily to his political campaigns. The banker gave Mr. McCain free rides on his private jet, a violation of Congressional ethics rules (he later said it was an oversight and paid for the trips). They vacationed together in the Bahamas. And in 1986, the year Mr. McCain was elected to the Senate, his wife joined Mr. Keating in investing in an Arizona shopping mall.

    Mr. Keating had taken over the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association and used its federally insured deposits to gamble on risky real estate and other investments. He pressed Mr. McCain and other lawmakers to help hold back federal banking regulators.

    For years, Mr. McCain complied. At Mr. Keating’s request, he wrote several letters to regulators, introduced legislation and helped secure the nomination of a Keating associate to a banking regulatory board.

    By early 1987, though, the thrift was careering toward disaster. Mr. McCain agreed to join several senators, eventually known as the Keating Five, for two private meetings with regulators to urge them to ease up. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” Mr. McCain later lamented in his memoir.

    When Lincoln went bankrupt in 1989 — one of the biggest collapses of the savings and loan crisis, costing taxpayers $3.4 billion — the Keating Five became infamous. The scandal sent Mr. Keating to prison and ended the careers of three senators, who were censured in 1991 for intervening. Mr. McCain, who had been a less aggressive advocate for Mr. Keating than the others, was reprimanded only for “poor judgment” and was re-elected the next year.

    Some people involved think Mr. McCain got off too lightly. William Black, one of the banking regulators the senator met with, argued that Mrs. McCain’s investment with Mr. Keating created an obvious conflict of interest for her husband. (Mr. McCain had said a prenuptial agreement divided the couple’s assets.) He should not be able to “put this behind him,” Mr. Black said. “It sullied his integrity.”

    Mr. McCain has since described the episode as a unique humiliation. “If I do not repress the memory, its recollection still provokes a vague but real feeling that I had lost something very important,” he wrote in his memoir. “I still wince thinking about it.”

    A New Chosen Cause

    After the Republican takeover of the Senate in 1994, Mr. McCain decided to try to put some of the lessons he had learned into law. He started by attacking earmarks, the pet projects that individual lawmakers could insert anonymously into the fine print of giant spending bills, a recipe for corruption. But he quickly moved on to other targets, most notably political fund-raising.

    Mr. McCain earned the lasting animosity of many conservatives, who argue that his push for fund-raising restrictions trampled free speech, and of many of his Senate colleagues, who bristled that he was preaching to them so soon after his own repentance. In debates, his party’s leaders challenged him to name a single senator he considered corrupt (he refused).

    “We used to joke that each of us was the only one eating alone in our caucus,” said Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, who became Mr. McCain’s partner on campaign finance efforts.

    Mr. McCain appeared motivated less by the usual ideas about good governance than by a more visceral disapproval of the gifts, meals and money that influence seekers shower on lawmakers, Mr. Feingold said. “It had to do with his sense of honor,” he said. “He saw this stuff as cheating.”

    Mr. McCain made loosening the grip of special interests the central cause of his 2000 presidential campaign, inviting scrutiny of his own ethics. His Republican rival, George W. Bush, accused him of “double talk” for soliciting campaign contributions from companies with interests that came before the powerful Senate commerce committee, of which Mr. McCain was chairman. Mr. Bush’s allies called Mr. McCain “sanctimonious.”
    At one point, his campaign invited scores of lobbyists to a fund-raiser at the Willard Hotel in Washington. While Bush supporters stood mocking outside, the McCain team tried to defend his integrity by handing the lobbyists buttons reading “McCain voted against my bill.” Mr. McCain himself skipped the event, an act he later called “cowardly.”

    By 2002, he had succeeded in passing the McCain-Feingold Act, which transformed American politics by banning “soft money,” the unlimited donations from corporations, unions and the rich that were funneled through the two political parties to get around previous laws.

    One of his efforts, though, seemed self-contradictory. In 2001, he helped found the nonprofit Reform Institute to promote his cause and, in the process, his career. It collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in unlimited donations from companies that lobbied the Senate commerce committee. Mr. McCain initially said he saw no problems with the financing, but he severed his ties to the institute in 2005, complaining of “bad publicity” after news reports of the arrangement.

    Like other presidential candidates, he has relied on lobbyists to run his campaigns. Since a cash crunch last summer, several of them — including his campaign manager, Rick Davis, who represented companies before Mr. McCain’s Senate panel — have been working without pay, a gift that could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.
    In recent weeks, Mr. McCain has hired another lobbyist, Mark Buse, to run his Senate office. In his case, it was a round trip through the revolving door: Mr. Buse had directed Mr. McCain’s committee staff for seven years before leaving in 2001 to lobby for telecommunications companies.

    Mr. McCain’s friends dismiss questions about his ties to lobbyists, arguing that he has too much integrity to let such personal connections influence him.

    “Unless he gives you special treatment or takes legislative action against his own views, I don’t think his personal and social relationships matter,” said Charles Black, a friend and campaign adviser who has previously lobbied the senator for aviation, broadcasting and tobacco concerns.

    Concerns in a Campaign

    Mr. McCain’s confidence in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections was at the center of questions advisers raised about Ms. Iseman.

    The lobbyist, a partner at the firm Alcalde & Fay, represented telecommunications companies for whom Mr. McCain’s commerce committee was pivotal. Her clients contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.

    Mr. Black said Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman were friends and nothing more. But in 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”

    That February, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.

    A former campaign adviser described being instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman’s access to his offices.

    In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

    Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

    “Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

    Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate.

    It is not clear what effect the warnings had; the associates said their concerns receded in the heat of the campaign.

    Ms. Iseman acknowledged meeting with Mr. Weaver, but disputed his account.
    “I never discussed with him alleged things I had ‘told people,’ that had made their way ‘back to’ him,” she wrote in an e-mail message. She said she never received special treatment from Mr. McCain’s office.

    Mr. McCain said that the relationship was not romantic and that he never showed favoritism to Ms. Iseman or her clients. “I have never betrayed the public trust by doing anything like that,” he said. He made the statements in a call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, to complain about the paper’s inquiries.
    The senator declined repeated interview requests, beginning in December. He also would not comment about the assertions that he had been confronted about Ms. Iseman, Mr. Black said Wednesday.

    Mr. Davis and Mark Salter, Mr. McCain’s top strategists in both of his presidential campaigns, disputed accounts from the former associates and aides and said they did not discuss Ms. Iseman with the senator or colleagues.

    “I never had any good reason to think that the relationship was anything other than professional, a friendly professional relationship,” Mr. Salter said in an interview.

    He and Mr. Davis also said Mr. McCain had frequently denied requests from Ms. Iseman and the companies she represented. In 2006, Mr. McCain sought to break up cable subscription packages, which some of her clients opposed. And his proposals for satellite distribution of local television programs fell short of her clients’ hopes.
    The McCain aides said the senator sided with Ms. Iseman’s clients only when their positions hewed to his principles.

    A champion of deregulation, Mr. McCain wrote letters in 1998 and 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to uphold marketing agreements allowing a television company to control two stations in the same city, a crucial issue for Glencairn Ltd., one of Ms. Iseman’s clients. He introduced a bill to create tax incentives for minority ownership of stations; Ms. Iseman represented several businesses seeking such a program. And he twice tried to advance legislation that would permit a company to control television stations in overlapping markets, an important issue for Paxson.

    In late 1999, Ms. Iseman asked Mr. McCain’s staff to send a letter to the commission to help Paxson, now Ion Media Networks, on another matter. Mr. Paxson was impatient for F.C.C. approval of a television deal, and Ms. Iseman acknowledged in an e-mail message to The Times that she had sent to Mr. McCain’s staff information for drafting a letter urging a swift decision.

    Mr. McCain complied. He sent two letters to the commission, drawing a rare rebuke for interference from its chairman. In an embarrassing turn for the campaign, news reports invoked the Keating scandal, once again raising questions about intervening for a patron.

    Mr. McCain’s aides released all of his letters to the F.C.C. to dispel accusations of favoritism, and aides said the campaign had properly accounted for four trips on the Paxson plane. But the campaign did not report the flight with Ms. Iseman. Mr. McCain’s advisers say he was not required to disclose the flight, but ethics lawyers dispute that.

    Recalling the Paxson episode in his memoir, Mr. McCain said he was merely trying to push along a slow-moving bureaucracy, but added that he was not surprised by the criticism given his history.

    “Any hint that I might have acted to reward a supporter,” he wrote, “would be taken as an egregious act of hypocrisy.”

    Statement by McCain

    Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign issued the following statement Wednesday night:
    “It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

    “Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.”

  2. #2
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    Imagine that, incest between the WaPo and NYT

    Hints that Washington Post also had elements of story
    The New York Times faces a gathering storm after a panoply of new reports suggest the paper sat on a story detailing an alleged romantic involvement between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and 40-year-old Washington lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
    Last night, two Times staffers told Politico the second lead reporter on the Times story, Marilyn Thompson, announced she was leaving her job at the Times Feb. 12 after concerns the piece had not yet run. Thompson said she was returning to the Washington Post.
    "Rumors had circulated internally that Thompson had been working on the McCain piece and was dissatisfied it had not yet run, according to two Times staffers," the site's Jonathan Martin and Michael Calderone wrote.
    Martin asked Times Washington Bureau chief Dean Baquet if sitting on the piece had anything to do with her departure.
    "I'm not going to go into stories that may or may not run in the paper," Baquet said. "I had long conversations with Marilyn, and it's about her regarding the Post as home."
    Thompson's byline is the only one of the four authors not linked on the Times piece.
    What's more, McCain aide Charlie Black said late last night that the Times had only moved their piece because another piece was to come out in The New Republic.
    After The New Republic's reporter began making phone calls to the Times, they decided to publish, he said.
    The magazine posted its piece detailing behind the scenes efforts at the Times Thursday afternoon.
    "It pitted the reporters investigating the story, who believed they had nailed it, against executive editor Bill Keller, who believed they hadn't," writes TNR's Gabriel Sherman. "It likely cost the paper one investigative reporter, who decided to leave in frustration. And the Times ended up publishing a piece in which the institutional tensions about just what the story should be are palpable."
    Sherman says the four reporters assigned to the McCain story came from both its Washington and New York bureaus, which have feuded in recent years.
    The Drudge Reports first post on the developing Times' story came two days after the reporters met with McCain's attorney Bob Bennett, who previously represented Bill Clinton. The source of that Dec. 20 Drudge post remains unknown.
    In a blog post, The New Republic's senior editor Noam Scheiber wrote: "The McCain campaign is apparently blaming TNR for forcing the Times' hand on this story. We can't yet confirm that. But we can say this: TNR correspondent Gabe Sherman is working on a piece about the Times' foot-dragging on the McCain story, and the back-and-forth within the paper about whether to publish it. Gabe's story will be online tomorrow."
    Drudge fingered story in December
    Last December, the conservative news and gossip site The Drudge Report floated a story averring that McCain was in a "ferocious behind the scenes battle" not to publish a report saying McCain had given special treatment to a female lobbyist. During the 2004 election campaign, Drudge published an apocryphal story alleging Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had an affair, so Drudge's McCain story seemed to be of dubious authenticity.
    But Drudge's claim may warrant a fresh look following the story's release.
    "Just weeks away from a possible surprise victory in the primaries, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz has been waging a ferocious behind the scenes battle with the NEW YORK TIMES, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned," the site remarked, "and has hired DC power lawyer Bob Bennett to mount a bold defense against charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist!"
    McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller [at left] not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee, newsroom insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT," Drudge continued. "The paper's Jim Rutenberg has been leading the investigation and is described as beyond frustrated with McCain's aggressive and angry efforts to stop any and all publication."
    "The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation," he added. "The woman in question has retained counsel and strongly denies receiving any special treatment from McCain."
    The lead author on the Times piece: Jim Rutenberg.
    Within hours, Post had several anonymous sources
    A 1,000 word piece in Thursday's Washington Post -- which quotes four anonymous sources dealing with an alleged "inappropriate" liaison between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) could suggest the paper already had a story ready to roll, raising new questions about why media outlets held a story that was apparently in the works as early as December.
    The Post piece, "McCain's Ties To Lobbyist Worried Aides," by Michael Shear and Jeffrey Birnbaum, did not draw from the rich panoply of sources the Times piece did, and did not as strongly suggest McCain had had an affair.
    The Washington Post receives early copies of the Times under an agreement whereby the Post is able to rewrite short form versions of Times pieces. The Times story, "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk" was posted early Wednesday evening.
    But its emergence on the same day as the Times piece -- with four sources of its own -- adds new kindling to claims that major media outlets sat on the story last year.
    Author floated rumor LA Times held story
    Journalist and author Ron Rosenbaum wrote in a blog post from October of last year that he'd heard the Los Angeles Times was sitting on a sex story about a presidential candidate.
    Rosenbaum said he'd "run into a well-connected media person, who told me flatly, unequivocally that 'everyone knows' The LA Times was sitting on a story, all wrapped up and ready to go about what is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate." The LA Times apparently never did publish the piece, if it is indeed the same story as reported by the New York Times.
    The LA Times, however, did not publish an exclusive piece on the topic Thursday. Their article, "McCain's ties to female lobbyist questioned," relied on compiled wire reports from the Post and the Times, to which the Los Angeles paper is a subscriber.
    The Post piece cited a senior McCain aide as the main source for their story. The Times cited the same aide, though with less emphasis.
    "John Weaver, who was McCain's closest confidant until leaving his current campaign last year, said he met with Vicki Iseman at the Center Cafe at Union Station and urged her to stay away from McCain," the authors wrote. "Association with a lobbyist would undermine his image as an opponent of special interests, aides had concluded."
    "We were running a campaign about reforming Washington, and her showing up at events and saying she had close ties to McCain was harmful," another anonymous aide said. "'The aide said the message to Iseman that day at Union Station in 1999 was clear: 'She should get lost.' The aide said Iseman stood up and left angrily."
    Three "telecom lobbyists" and a former McCain aide spoke on condition of anonymity to the Post. It's unclear whether Weaver was a fifth source.
    "I never discussed with him alleged things I had 'told people,' that had made their way "back to him," she wrote in an e-mail message. She said she never received special treatment from Mr. McCain's office.
    Perhaps most damning in the Times piece is its second paragraph: "A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client's corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself -- instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity."
    According to the Post, the lobbyist's firm is "heavy with municipalities and local government entities, which suggests that its major emphasis is on the controversial business of winning narrowly targeted, or 'earmarked,' appropriations."
    Both the Times and the Post shied away from making direct sexual allegations, focusing instead on a tamer line: that McCain's close association with a lobbyist undermined his issue as a vociferous supporter of campaign finance reform.
    Times no stranger to 'holding story' claims
    The New York Times is no stranger to criticism over holding explosive content.
    In late 2005, the Times published their now famous piece revealing a secret National Security Agency wiretapping program. Though its lead author, James Risen (at right), has refused to comment about events leading up to its publication under an agreement with the paper, a soon-to-be released book project seems to have pushed the Times to publish the piece, the details of which they'd had for some time.
    "According to multiple newsroom sources close to Mr. Risen, the reporter was vocal in his desire to get the wiretapping piece into print, and he informed Times Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman that the material would be appearing in his book," the New York Observer wrote in early 2006. "Mr. Risen left the paper on book leave in January 2005 and resumed his campaign to get The Times to publish the wiretapping piece when he returned to the bureau last June. That set off a renewed push by The Times to get the story into print. Mr. Taubman resumed discussions with senior Bush administration officials over the paper's interest in publishing the scoop, according to sources with knowledge of the events, culminating in the Dec. 6 Oval Office face-off pitting President George W. Bush against Mr. Keller, Mr. Taubman and Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr."
    In the final story, the authors admitted they had held the piece for a year because of concern from Bush Administration officials.
    "The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny," the authors wrote. "After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting."

  3. #3
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    So now that the RNC and their lickspittle crowd have fostered upon us a true Fraud are you going to bend over and take one more for the "Team"?

    Myself, I made a promise. I will not vote for Senator McCain regardless of how many ranting broken glass lemmings scream at me. I have for the last time cast a ballot for the RINO the Party elites foist upon us.

    Rush Limbaugh stated last week a couple of years ago he was at a gathering and was told this is exactly what was going to happen. McCrazy would be pushed on us and we were going to be told "calm down". Well I am not going to accept it OR calm down. I'll explain why. To begin with no RINO N.E. establishment will ever again get a free pass as GW Arbusto was given for fear the worst of two evils. We still ended up with the largest Entitlement program since LBJ, Pork Barrel spending that Arbusto signed with gusto. We also were treated to the attempt to appoint harriet Meyers to the USSC. Jorge also signed CFR. He clearly stated he would sign the Assault Weapons legislation only if his Buddy Ted (whom he worked with for expansion of the department of Education) et al could have mustered the support from the rest of the traitors in the Congress to write another version.

    John McCain gave his speech yesterday at CPAC stating that he needed the Conservative base to get into the Whitehouse. He admitted he had strayed from the ranch on several issues-however and this is the important point. He NEVER suggested he was wrong. Oh sure Colburn did, but John McCain didn't. It isn't in his DNA. Juan McNasty never is going to change. Didn't we learn anything after listening to Bush campaign on his Compassionate Conservative platform? Well we got it alright. The only thing compassionate was his use of KY Jelly. I guarantee the minute he takes the oath the Conservative issues will tossed aside like an Intern in the Clinton Oval office.

    At CPAC He also staged the crowd. Bussing in his supporters to quall the stench that his two faced political past has created- keeping Conservatives out of the room. Are you seeing a pattern here? If not, wake up!

    What he also let slip was his new and improved version of Amnesty. Yeah he's really going to change. Juan McNasty said he would not go forward with any amnesty until he had a consensus that the enforcement was working... Okay now let’s look at just who Juan McAmnesty would look to for that consensus. I am sure Ted Kennedy would be one he would look to, and then there is his best bud Lindsey Grahamnasty, hell he'll probably even ask by then GW Bush to serve of this group.

    Now let's peek under the covers at his record as he suggested in his speech yesterday. Keating 5-John McCain accepted over 100 grand from Charles Keating and also accepted free air travel and weekend vacations on Keating's Personal Island. All Juan had to do was put a bit of pressure on the Security Commission to ease up on Keating’s banking practices. Again Juan McCain was working with Democrats even to take bribes. 4 Democrats and Juan McCain.

    Campaign Finance Reform- old Johnny on the spot sat down with one of his favorite buds Senator Feingold and crafted the Incumbent Protection Bill to shut down those that wish to challenge the flagrant lies the Politicians like to spread with regularity.

    Amnesty-Juan McCain wanted to grant amnesty to an estimated 15 Million Illegal Aliens. He didn't even have the decency to quietly accept an Amendment to that bill that would have called for the immediate removal of Convicted Felons or gang Members. He sat in the back rooms with Teddy Kennedy (Who by the way has been involved in past amnesty legislation-he actually said that the last one would stop it)Juan then along with GW Bush attacked those that challenged it as Vigilantes, Racist, Ignorant etc.

    At no time has Juan McCain pronounced those actions been a mistake. NONE. In essence he is telling you he ISN'T going to change. In his self absorbed mind, you are the one that needs to change! Now the last and most telling action that solidifies my point is the fact that right at a time when the Conservatives needed him the most he committed an act of treachery in politics. With the US Senate evenly split McCain's people began talks with the Leadership of the Senate Democrats to switch parties. If Jumping Jim Jeffords hadn't beaten him to it, Juan Mcinsane wouldn't even be a Republican now.

    Unfortunately some, a very large group-has forgotten that. I haven't and won't forgive the treachery.

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