Watchdog Group Links McCain's Ties To Freddie And Fannie With Keating Scandal

11/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

On Wednesday, a non-partisan watchdog group unveiled a new ad that compares John McCain's role in the current financial mess to the Keating Five scandal that ensnared him in the late 1980's.

McCain's own ads have hit Barack Obama for receiving donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Campaign Money Watch uses the same territory against the Arizona Republican.

"During the Savings and Loan crisis, John McCain was caught red-handed pressuring regulators to go easy on his friend Charles Keating," the ad begins, later adding: "Twenty years later, the lobbying firm owned by John McCain's campaign manager took hidden payments from Freddie Mac."


The revelation that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis's firm received payments from the housing giants -- even after the company stopped rendering any discernible services -- has blunted the GOP's attacks against Obama's fundraising haul. But this ad takes the next step, tying McCain's reliance on lobbyists-as-advisers back to the 21-year-old Savings and Loan scandal.

Campaign Money Watch director David Donnelly says that while the ad is only online at the moment, the group hopes to put money into a TV buy in the near future. "It was designed for a media buy," he said, noting that the extensive disclaimer was prepared to fall within all laws regulating 527 ads.