[DEBATE] : (Fwd) McCain aides and Burma, tobacco, Big Oil
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed May 14 08:03:23 BST 2008
A lobbying firm and its McCain ties
Posted: Monday, May 12, 2008 2:20 PM by Domenico Montanaro
Filed Under: 2008, McCain
From NBC/NJ’s Carrie Dann
If there's one lesson that this cycle has taught aspiring politicians,
it might be to keep an eye on your staff members' day jobs. Each of the
remaining candidates have taken heat for murky intersections between
their advisors' political work and consulting day jobs; Obama had
advisor Robert Malley's Hamas meetings (part of his international
conflict resolution duties); Clinton had Mark Penn's off-message
handiwork with Columbian trade officials; and John McCain has now lost
two aides in as many days as a result of an objectionable lobbying resume.
Doug Goodyear and Doug Davenport, the two McCain aides who resigned from
positions within the GOP contender's campaign, stepped down this weekend
after Newsweek reported that their lobbying firm, Washington power
player DCI Group, represented Myanmar's military junta in 2002 to the
tune of $348,000.
Goodyear, who resigned Saturday from his recent appointment as McCain's
convention head, is a chief executive and co-founder of the DCI Group,
whose resume has earned him ties in Denver, where he helped to usher in
a new Major League Baseball team and an international airport, and in
North Carolina, where he previously worked at a public relations firm
linked to tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds.
Before the 2004 political season, Goodyear was recruited to help mediate
between political ad gurus and cable companies who wanted a piece of the
political advertising pie. (Source: Roll Call, 6 Nov 2003)
Many have pointed out that it's ironic that Goodyear got the convention
chair gig. The favorite for the post was originally Paul Manafort, the
lobbying partner of McCain campaign manager Rick Davis. Manafort's
lobbying ties to some not-so-savory foreign characters, including a
Philippine dictator, prompted the veto.
On Sunday, a second DCI-linked aide joined Goodyear in taking a knee.
Doug Davenport, who just stepped down as the Mid-Atlantic Regional
Director for McCain, founded the lobbying shop for the DCI Group in 2000.
It's not the first time the ties between McCain and DCI have been under
the microscope. Among DCI's other clients? Per a Wall Street Journal
analysis shortly after Davenport jumped on the regional team, DCI
represents Exxon-Mobil as well as "several towns and universities who
are seeking the type of spending earmarks that Sen. McCain wants to
Speaking of Exxon-Mobil, DCI's work for the oil giant, in particular,
caused a stir in 2006 when an anti-Gore Web parody of "An Inconvenient
Truth," was traced to a computer registered to the company. The
cartoonish video, called, "Al Gore's Penguin Army," quickly went viral,
scoring more than half a million hits on YouTube.
The film makes fun of Gore for claiming that global warming can be
blamed for travesties such as the Middle East Crisis and the coupling of
Heather Locklear and David Spade.
In any case, it raised eyebrows that someone within an oil company's PR
firm appeared to be linked to the effort to make Gore look alarmist,
boring and silly.
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