John McCain, who contends that he wants to root out corruption in Washington, including the malign influence of lobbyists, has one problem: his campaign manager Rick Davis' firm, Davis Manafort, received $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac between 2006 and August 2008.
According to Newsweek in "A Freddie Mac Money Trail Catches Up With McCain" (9/27/08), Davis not only received the money from the mortgage giant currently under governmental stewardship, but he received it for doing almost nothing: "Aside from attending a few breakfasts and a political-action committee meeting with Democratic strategist Paul Begala (another Freddie consultant), Davis did 'zero' for the housing firm..."
$15,000 a month mostly for eating breakfast? Why did the Freddie, which "had no dealings with the lobbying firm beyond paying monthly invoices," agree to such an arrangement? According to the article, "...because of Davis's close relationship with McCain...which led top executives to conclude 'you couldn't say no.' "
So much for the McCain-Palin pledge to reform the way things are done in Washington, including influence peddling. As David Letterman said after McCain's cancelled appearance on his show supposedly due to the campaign suspension, "Ladies and gentlemen, that's starting to smell..."
In the video above, Rachel Maddow enlists Michael Isikoff of Newsweek and Rosa Brooks of the Los Angeles Times to examine the relationship between Rick Davis and Freddie Mac. The Young Turks radio show provides further commentary on Freddie Mac's "buying access to Senator McCain" through Davis: