Washington, D.C. – Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, today called on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to answer crucial questions about the relationship between his campaign manager Rick Davis and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant recently taken over by the government, and to demand that the campaign release a comprehensive list of Davis’ consulting firm’s contracts.
As reported today by The New York Times, Newsweek, and numerous other media organizations, the scandal-plagued mortgage giant Freddie Mac paid Davis’ firm, Davis Manafort, $15,000 a month from 2005 until as recently as last month in exchange for the access Davis provided to the Republican presidential nominee.
“John McCain's campaign manager and Freddie Mac had what amounts to a secret half a million dollar lay-a-way plan,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “For almost three years and as late as last month, Freddie Mac made secret, monthly payments of $15,000 to Rick Davis’s firm for a no-show job, apparently in exchange for providing special access to a future McCain White House.
“Today's question is, what other secret deals are Rick Davis and the McCain campaign hiding? The McCain campaign appears to be nothing more than a ‘Rent-to-Own’ operation, staffed and aided by lobbyists who are ready to cash in for themselves and their powerful clients. It’s the worst of the pay-to-play Washington game,” Donnelly continued. “The McCain campaign ought to immediately release all of Davis Manafort’s clients, how much they paid, and what the firm did for the money. Does Davis have other no-show jobs in exchange for future White House access? If so, or if they refuse to release the information, Davis ought to be fired.”
Campaign Money Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. Earlier this year, it launched a Web site, McCainsLobbyists.com, highlighting the connections between McCain and the lobbyists who advise, staff and raise money for his campaign. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.