Wednesday, September 24, 2008

$15,000 A Month? Because It Was Felt You Couldn't Say No?

This just in from the New York Times:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis...
The full story is here.

Michael Isikoff tells us more details in this article from Newsweek:
The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources.
Andrew Sullivan and the Daily Dish give us another perspective on the matter in a post called Rick Davis Busted.

Here's an AP story on the arrangement.

Here's a statement from the McCain camp:
...The New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand.
McCain's full rebuttal is here.

Oh yeah.

And finally, this from MSNBC's Chuck Todd's "First Read":
*** Don't Throw Stones If You Live In A Glass House: Are the McCain folks now re-thinking their hit last week tying Fannie Mae's Frank Raines and Jim Johnson to Obama? The New York Times reports that Freddie Mac paid the firm that carries the name of McCain campaign manager Rick Davis $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month. The McCain camp tells First Read that Davis left his firm and stopped taking salary from it in 2006, and that Davis was never a lobbyist for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. But here are the facts: Davis' name remains attached to the firm; he continues to have an equity stake in it (though equity stakes on consulting firms are sometimes worthless; then again, the firm could market Rick's name); and it now appears that McCain misspoke when he told John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times that Davis had no involvement with either Fannie or Freddie in the past several years. The good news for the McCain campaign is that Davis didn't seem to influence McCain, given that the Arizona senator co-sponsored legislation to regulate Fannie and Freddie. The bad news: They no longer can legitimately tie those institutions to Obama without being called out for hypocrisy. This has always been the risk for McCain when he chose to have two of Washington's more well-known power players -- Davis and Charlie Black -- at the top of his campaign pyramid. Their status in DC can undermine McCain's anti-Washington message, on which he's now betting the house. Lucky for the campaign, McCain's brand is better established than Davis or Black. And neither campaign is clean on the Washington insider stuff.

No comments: