Watchdog Releases New Television Ad Exposing McCain’s Ties To Gambling Interests

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Washington, D.C. – Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog, today released a new television ad that highlights Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) personal and political ties to the gambling industry and urges viewers to tell Sen. McCain to back comprehensive campaign finance reform.


The spot is the organization’s third this cycle highlighting McCain’s connections to Washington lobbyists. It can be viewed at The ad begins with shots of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears like McCain’s earlier advertising over last summer.


“John McCain has 33 lobbyists from the gambling industry helping his campaign, and he’s received $1 million from the industry over his career,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “We think it’s important for conservative voters to know about his connections to this industry, and for John McCain to hear from them about the need for getting gambling money out of politics by passing comprehensive public financing of all federal elections.”


The ad, titled “Gambling,” is part of a six-figure media buy and begins airing today on national cable, as well in the Tallahassee, Fla., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va., markets for a week. Aimed at conservatives, the spot notes that McCain has been “gambling’s go-to guy,” supporting the industry’s efforts. McCain, no stranger to casinos, has often played at the craps table with lobbyists representing the gambling industry – an industry that has given more than $1 million in campaign contributions to McCain’s campaigns since 1989, according to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.


On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal headlined an investigative piece on McCain and the gambling industry “All in for McCain.”


Campaign Money Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund. The organization works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.