Q. How many lobbyists does it take to get to the center of John McCain's campaign?
A. Too many.
Just last night Keith Olbermann criticized John McCain for letting lobbyist and former Senator Phil Gramm (also known as the Senator from Enron) advise him on his mortgage foreclosure proposal -- even though Gramm is a VP at UBS, a mortgage lender. No surprise for those of us paying attention: McCain has raised $1.65 million in campaign contributions from the mortgage and big banking interests, and 28 lobbyists helping his campaign have received nearly $30 million in lobbying fees from the industries over the last ten years, according to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of date provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
As Tom DeLay's former aide Stuart Roy told the LA Times over the weekend, "If not for lobbyists, McCain's campaign would be only half-staffed." Interesting it takes a former DeLay staffer to point that out to the so-called maverick reformer, huh?
Last week Campaign Money Watch released a web video called "Lobbyist, lobbyist" about the 115 lobbyists raising money for, staffing, and advising John McCain's campaign. Rewritten to the tune of "Lollipop, lollipop," the video highlights four such creatures of Washington, DC-influence peddling. One is uber-lobbyist Charlie Black, who represented terrorist guerilla Jonas Savimbi of Angola, brutal Ferdinard Marcos of the Philippines, and lots of other unsavory characters.
If McCain won't change his tune on lobbyists on his campaign, it's time we sent him a message to let him know voters are paying attention.
What better way to do that than to send one "Lobby"-pop for every lobbyist raising money for, staffing, or advising his campaign, complete with John McCain's mug on it?
Update with video: