05/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain's Lobbyist Problem: Fifth Person To Leave Campaign Over Lobbying Ties

The Washington Post reports that yet another top aide to Sen. John McCain has resigned in an attempt to clean up the "perception problem" that McCain's campaign is largely run by lobbyists:

Tom Loeffler, the national finance co-chairman for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, resigned yesterday because of his lobbying ties, a campaign adviser said.

He is the fifth person to sever ties with the campaign amid a growing concern over whether lobbyists have too great an influence over the Republican nominee. Last week, campaign manager Rick Davis issued a new policy that requires all campaign personnel to either resign or sever ties with lobbying firms or outside political groups.

"The campaign over the last week or so obviously had a perception problem with regards with this whole business of lobbyists and their work," spokesman Brian Rogers said. "This is really all about setting a policy so that we can just get through that perception problem and the issues that come up with regards to lobbyists affiliated with the campaign and move on."

Despite the McCain's efforts to clean up his campaign's image, the senator's chief strategist, Charlie Black, sees little problem with his firm's involvement with some of the worst dictators.

"I'm not ashamed of anything the firm did," McCain adviser Charlie Black says of his days as the principle in one of Washington's most influential lobbying firms. "If they want to use it to fire up the left wing, well, that's fine."

Black is referring to a campaign by liberal watchdog and political groups to pressure McCain into dumping Black, now a top McCain campaign strategist. Today, MoveOn's political action fund released a video accusing Black of lobbying "for some of the world's worst tyrants."

***Read more on the McCain campaign's "perception problem"
involving its many staffers/lobbyists on the payroll.***