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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Buh...buh...but doesn't the IOKIYAR rule apply?
Posted by Jill | 6:04 AM
Today's New York Times has an article that pauses, at least for one day, the embargo on negative information about John McCain on the part of the press.

Apparently Sen. Clean is not above using his influences to do favors for well-connected "friends":

Donald R. Diamond, a wealthy Arizona real estate developer, was racing to snap up a stretch of virgin California coast freed by the closing of an Army base a decade ago when he turned to an old friend, Senator John McCain.

When Mr. Diamond wanted to buy land at the base, Fort Ord, Mr. McCain assigned an aide who set up a meeting at the Pentagon and later stepped in again to help speed up the sale, according to people involved and a deposition Mr. Diamond gave for a related lawsuit. When he appealed to a nearby city for the right to develop other property at the former base, Mr. Diamond submitted Mr. McCain’s endorsement as “a close personal friend.”

Writing to officials in the city, Seaside, Calif., the senator said, “You will find him as honorable and committed as I have.”

Courting local officials and potential partners, Mr. Diamond’s team promised that he could “help get through some of the red tape in dealing with the Department of the Army” because Mr. Diamond “has been very active with Senator McCain,” a partner said in a deposition.

For Mr. McCain, the Arizona Republican who has staked two presidential campaigns on pledges to avoid even the appearance of dispensing an official favor for a donor, Mr. Diamond is the kind of friend who can pose a test.

A longtime political patron, Mr. Diamond is one of the elite fund-raisers Mr. McCain’s current presidential campaign calls Innovators, having raised more than $250,000 so far. At home, Mr. Diamond is sometimes referred to as “The Donald,” Arizona’s answer to Donald Trump — an outsized personality who invites public officials aboard his flotilla of yachts (the Ace, King, Jack and Queen of Diamonds), specializes in deals with the government, and unabashedly solicits support for his business interests from the recipients of his campaign contributions.

Mr. McCain has occasionally rebuffed Mr. Diamond’s entreaties as inappropriate, but he has also taken steps that benefited his friend’s real estate empire. Their 26-year relationship illuminates how Mr. McCain weighs requests from a benefactor against his vows, adopted after a brush with scandal two decades ago, not to intercede with government authorities on behalf of a donor or take other official action that serves no clear public interest.

In California, the McCain aide’s assistance with the Army helped Mr. Diamond complete a purchase in 1999 that he soon turned over for a $20 million profit. And Mr. McCain’s letter of recommendation reinforced Mr. Diamond’s selling point about his McCain connections as he pursued — and won in 2005 — a potentially much more lucrative deal to develop a resort hotel and luxury housing.

And apparently there's a nice long history of McCain doing favors for this guy. Of course he says that he'd do the same for any other citizen, but I can't imagine that the ability to raise six-figure sums of campaign money hurts any.

In the larger picture, none of this matters, other than being yet another example of the hypocrisy of Senator Straight Talk. I'm far more concerned about his anger management problem, his preposterous economic "plan" that shovels even MORE cash into the pockets of the wealthy, his following Bush's path of resolving issues from his youth via perpetual war in the Middle East. Add to that questions about his health and his reluctance to release his health records, his "If you can't afford insurance, then go off and die" health care "plan", his contention that our economic problems are all in our heads, his sucking up to the Christofascist Zombie Brigade (which interestingly, allows him to distance himself from Hagee's more inflammatory remarks while still accepting his endorsement, while he decries another candidate for doing the same), and the general sense I get that his faculties are no longer all there.

His attempt on Suckupagus on Sunday to wipe this particular slate clean are especially hilarious: "I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything."

Which means he's really Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff:

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