Who’s the Real Lobbyist? John McCain or JD Hayworth?

Monday night I accompanied JD Hayworth to a US Senate forum held in Prescott and sponsored by the Yavapai County Republican Party. Also attending was the protest candidate who shall remain nameless.

Conveniently absent was Arizona’s senior Senator, John McCain. McCain was asked to attend but instead, had a surrogate speak while he remained in Washington, D.C. – a place he likes to refer to as, “The City of Satan.”

Why was John McCain absent? Despite no recorded votes occurring on Monday, McCain instead chose to attend a fundraiser in McLean, Virginia, one of D.C.’s wealthiest suburbs. This elite fundraising event which was spent with Washinton insiders and lobbyists whom he asked to donate to his campaign in order to buy more campaigns attacking JD Hayworth for being a Washinton insider and lobbyist. The event was was an exercise dripping in pure irony and hypocrisy.

In the last day, Republicans have been barraged with campaign mailers attacking JD Hayworth for being a lobbyist. If your a breathing Republican or Independent I’m sure you’ve received two or three individual mailers.

If you glance at the flyer, you are mislead to believe that JD Hayworth “was paid thousands by a Florida corporation to lobby the very committee he used to serve on.”

Here’s the truth.

After returning to the role of a citizen, JD Hayworth was asked by a former college classmate if he would help him protect a patent on an intellectual property issue. His friend owned a Florida company called Wealth Transfer Group which held a patent on a a strategy to reduce taxation. That issue fell under the jurisdiction of the House Ways & Means Committee, a committee JD had served on during his prior service. Hayworth was asked if would help fend off heavy-handed action being threatened by the Treasury Department on the patent. Hayworth consulted with attorneys and was advised that for what the former college classmate requested, it was unnecessary to register as a lobbyist. However, out of an abundance of caution and in the spirit of transparency, JD Hayworth chose to file a Lobbying Registration form with Clerk of the House. He then assisted his former college classmate in protecting the patent.

Just 71 days later, Hayworth filed another report with the Clerk of the House disclosing the fact that he received $10,000 for compensation on the matter. That was the end of the matter and that was the end of JD’s brief “lobbying career.”

I’ll now turn to John McCain’s extensive history with lobbyists. This time, I’ll let Mark Halperin with Time Magazine explain the details which were revealed in an Obama Campaign Memo:

John McCain Has Deep Ties to Fannie, Freddie

McCain Has Deepest Ties To Fannie, Freddie. According to the New York Times, “More than Mr. Obama, Mr. McCain’s circle of advisers and contributors includes current and former lobbyists or directors for the companies, although since July he has called for a ban on any lobbying by the two firms. Among the companies’ past advocates are Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, a longtime lobbyist; Mr. McCain’s confidant and adviser Charlie Black, whose firm worked for Freddie Mac for several years ending in 2005, and the deputy campaign finance chairman, Wayne L. Berman, a vice president for Ogilvy Worldwide and a former Fannie Mae lobbyist.” [New York Times, 9/10/08]

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis Led Efforts To Fight Off Regulations For Fannie And Freddie. “Davis previously was head of the Homeownership Alliance, a coalition of banks and housing industry interests led by Fannie and Freddie to stave off regulations. The group was formed to counter another organization, FM Watch, an alliance of financial institutions and lobbying associations that wanted to even the playing field against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,   by challenging the implicit government guarantee that allowed the two firms to borrow funds at lower interest rates.” [New York Times, 9/10/08]

*       Davis and Homeownership Alliance Fought Against Effort to Impose “Burdensome Regulatory Process” on Fannie & Freddie. “It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone when the Homeownership Alliance announced its opposition last week to legislation by Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, to strengthen regulatory oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giant agencies that buy home mortgages to expand homeownership opportunities. Rick Davis, president of the Homeownership Alliance, said that ‘we are concerned that Rep. Baker’s bill would break the first rule of any legislation related to housing — that is, to do no harm to the greatest housing system in the world.’ He said the bill ‘presents the potential for a burdensome regulatory process that could lead to less consumer choice, reduced availability of financing and higher prices for home purchases and multi-family construction.’ What Davis didn’t say is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae are both members of his alliance, which also includes the National Association of Home Builders and National Association of Real Estate Brokers. Baker, chairman of the House Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee, has said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have gotten so big, and have piled up so much debt, that more oversight is needed. If either of them failed, it could do major damage to the U.S. economy, he said.” [Times Picayune, 4/15/01]

19 McCain Fundraisers & Advisers Lobbied For Fannie Mae Or Freddie Mac. Nineteen McCain advisers and fundraisers lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Six of his advisers and fundraisers lobbied for Freddie Mac including:

·         McCain’s Current Chief of Staff Mark Buse,

·         top McCain adviser Charles Black,

·         Carlos Bonilla,

·         Al D’Amato,

·         Juleanna Glover Weiss

·         Susan Molinari.

Thirteen of them lobbied for Fannie Mae including:

·         McCain’s Congressional Liaison John Green,

·         Head of VP Search Team AB Culvahouse,

·         Wayne Berman,

·         Kirk Blalock,

·         Alberto Cardenas,

·         Kirsten Chadwick,

·         Richard Holht,

·         Kate Hull,

·         Aleix Jarvis,

·         Tom Loeffler,

·         Peter Madigan,

·         Allison McSlarrow

·         Aquiles Suarez. [John McCain.com, Senate Lobbying Disclosures]

McCain Senior Adviser Wayne Berman Continues to Lobby for Fannie Mae. Wayne Berman has lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2004 through the 2nd quarter of 2008. Their firm earned over $100,000 from Freddie Mac in 2004 and over $1 million from Fannie Mae. [Senate Lobbying Disclosures]

Head of McCain’s VP Search Team Lobbied for Fannie Mae. McCain tapped Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., the former Reagan administration official, to head his search for a running mate. Currently a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, Culvahouse lobbied on behalf of Fannie Mae in 1999, 2003 and 2004, according to Senate records. [Politico.com, 7/16/08; Senate Lobbying Disclosures]

Top Adviser Charlie Black Lobbied for 10 Years for Freddie Mac. Black is “one of McCain’s top advisors,” and “at the helm of McCain’s campaign.” Black joined McCain’s campaign of March 2007, but did not stop lobbying until March of 2008.  He is described as, “schooled at the knee of Jesse Helms and so entrenched in the ways of Washington that he has enjoyed access to Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan.” Black lobbied for Freddie Mac from 1999-2004, earning the firm he co-owns $820,000. [The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 8/31/08; Senate Lobbying Disclosures]

Former McCain Co-Chair and Current Bundler, Loeffler Lobbied for Fannie Mae.  Loeffler lobbied for Fannie Mae in 1999. His firm earned $40,000 from Fannie Mae that year. [Senate Lobbying Disclosures, 1999; New York Times, 7/16/08; Newsweek, 5/26/08]

Super-Lobbyists Wayne Berman & John Green Serve in High-Level McCain Campaign Positions. In March 2008, the McCain campaign announced that John Green “a founding partner of what is now Ogilvy Government Relations” would take a leave from lobbying to join the campaign full-time as its Capitol Hill liaison. John Green’s colleague Wayne Berman, a Bush “Super Ranger” serves co-chairman of McCain’s national finance committee, as well as the campaign’s vice chairman and as a senior adviser.  Additionally, Berman also handles congressional outreach and “talks to lawmakers on McCain’s behalf.” Berman and Green both lobbied for Fannie Mae from 2004-2007, earning over $1 million from Fannie Mae. They also lobbied for Freddie Mac earning over $100,000 for their firm in 2004. [New York Times, 2/7/08; Financial Times, 11/27/07; Washington Post, 11/20/07; The Hill, 7/19/07; The Politico, 3/4/08; John McCain Supporters, http://www.johnmccain.com/Supporters/ <http://www.johnmccain.com/Supporters/> ; Senate Lobbying Disclosures ]

McCain’s Current Chief of Staff Lobbied for Freddie Mac. McCain’s current Senate Chief of Staff Mark Buse lobbied for Freddie Mac from 2003-2004, earning $460,000. [Senate Lobbying Disclosures]

McCain Getting Economic Advice from Former Fannie & Freddie Directors. McCain’s economic adviser Aquiles Suarez worked as Fannie’s director of government and industry relations. His finance co-chairman Frederic V. Malek is a former Freddie Mac board member. [Politico.com, 7/16/08]

MCCAIN HAS EXTENSIVE TIES TO AIG AS WELL:

McCain Fundraisers, Advisors Include Eight AIG Lobbyists & Executives

*       Edmund Lee, AIG Executive is a bundler
*       Susan Nelson, finance director, was an AIG lobbyist from 2004-2005
*       Wayne Berman, vice-chair, was an AIG lobbyist from 2004-2007
*       John Green, Capitol Hill liaison, was an AIG lobbyist from 2004-2007
*       Bundler James Pitts was an AIG lobbyist from 2006-2007
*       Bundler Tim Powers was an AIG lobbyist in 2001
*       Fundraiser Kate Hull was an AIG lobbyist from 2002-2007
*       Bundler Phil Anderson was an AIG lobbyist from 2006-2007

MCCAIN HAS TAKEN MORE MONEY FROM CORPORATE EXECUTIVES

Wall Street Journal: Corporate Executives “Have Been Key” To McCain’s Rebound On The Fund-Raising Circuit. “Corporate executives, who once discounted John McCain’s campaign, have been key to the Republican presidential nominee’s rebound on the fund-raising circuit, a new analysis of campaign donations shows. Since the 2008 presidential campaign began, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has raised more than double Sen. McCain’s haul and beaten the Arizona Republican in just about every fund-raising category. But in the months after the two started to square off as their parties’ likely nominees, Sen. Obama maintained only a slight financial edge overall, while Sen. McCain claimed the advantage among top industry donors. Sen. McCain’s fund-raising advantage among corporate America is a stark reversal from earlier this year, when he struggled to secure donations from executives. In the Republican primary, many executives backed Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, partly because he is a former businessman and partly because Sen. McCain has long battled with industry as a member of the Senate.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/8/08 <http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB122083596543108777.html> ]

The Top Executives Of American’s Biggest Companies Have Given McCain 10 Times More Than Obama. “The top executives of America’s biggest companies are more willing to open their wallets for John McCain than his Democratic rival, donating 10 times as much to the Arizona senator’s campaign as to Barack Obama’s. Obama’s campaign seized on the findings of The Hill’s review of campaign finance records to suggest that the gap was due to “special favors” McCain has given corporations. The presumptive GOP nominee has received $208,200 from the chief executive officers of the 100 biggest Fortune 500 corporations, according to a review of campaign finance reports. Obama has taken in $20,400 from the same group of people.” [The Hill, 8/15/08 <http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/top-ceos-give-10-times-more-to-mccain-than-to-obama-2008-08-15.html> ]

MCCAIN’S TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER HELPED CREATE THE ECONOMIC SITUATION, LOBBIED AGAINST EFFORTS TO HELP HOMEOWNERS

Gramm Was “Principal Author” Of The 1999 Gramm-Leach-BlileyAct, Breaking Down Walls Between Banking, Insurance, And Securities Firms Erected By Depression-Era Glass-Steagall Act. “Mr. Gramm, a principal author of the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the walls between banking, insurance, and securities, left Congress in late 2002 to become vice chairman of UBS Warburg.” [American Banker, 3/11/08]

Critics of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Say The Bill Made It Easier For Banks To Push Risky Subprime Mortgages On Lower-Income Customers. “The bank deregulation law, known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, was the most important update in banking laws since the New Deal. Its most important feature: breaking down walls between commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies. Gramm’s critics say the deregulation of commercial banks contained in the law made it easier for banks to push risky subprime mortgages on lower-income customers.” [Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX), 6/22/08]

Politico: Gramm Played Large Role in 1990s Housing Deregulation, Influence Seen In McCain’s Housing Policy. According to Politico, McCain advisor Phil Gramm “led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law” and played a role in the “swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation’s investment houses and practices didn’t stop there.” Now, Politico reports, “some housing experts and economists see Gramm’s thinking in the recent housing proposal from McCain, the Republican Party’s presumed presidential nominee” [Politico.com, 3/28/08]

While Shaping McCain’s Economic Policy, Phil Gramm Simultaneously Lobbying Congress on Mortgage Crisis for Swiss Bank UBS. Phil Gramm, vice chairman of Swiss-based UBS and McCain campaign general co-chair and advisor “was being paid by a Swiss bank to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis at the same time he was advising McCain about his economic policy, federal records show.” Gramm, who was reported to have been advising McCain on economic policy back in October 2006, “had input on McCain’s March 26 policy speech about the mortgage crisis” which “recommended further deregulation of the banking industry as his response” to the ensuing mortgage meltdown. [MSNBC, 5/27/08]

In 2007, Gramm Lobbied Against (Failed) Measure That Would Have Helped Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure. Federal lobbying disclosure forms “filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, list McCain’s campaign co-chair, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, as a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as Dec. 31, 2007.” According to UBS’s 2007 year-end report, Gramm “was lobbying the Senate in the second half of 2007 regarding the Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act.” The legislation which would have allowed “bankruptcy judges rewrite mortgage terms for Americans facing foreclosure so they could repay their loans and keep their homes” was vehemently opposed by the banking industry and eventually failed. [MSNBC, 5/27/08]


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  1. […] and Fannie Mae. She sent me these quotes from an article from Time Magazine that was re-posted on http://sonoranalliance.com/2010/06/17/whos-the-real-lobbyist-john-mccain-or-jd-hayworth/ (may I add the comments were turned off on this particular blog post … why may I ask?). Now […]

  2. […] as a lobbyist after he left Congress to represent one client on one issue. Contrast that with McCain’s troubling ties to lobbyists. McCain brought out his predictable attack on Hayworth for appearing in an infomercial advertising […]