Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain taps lobbyist to fill his transition team

This is just amazing. Republican presidential candidate John McCain has selected a lobbyist to "to conduct a study in preparation for the presidential transition," should McCain win the 2008 presidential election. From

A prominent Washington lobbyist who has worked for every Republican President since Richard Nixon has been tapped by the McCain campaign to conduct a study in preparation for the presidential transition should John McCain win the election, according to sources familiar with the process.

William E. Timmons Sr. is a Washington institution, having worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations as an aide for congressional relations and having assisted the transition teams of both Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George W. Bush in 2000. He was also a senior adviser to both Vice President George Bush in 1988 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996.

Timmons is the chairman emeritus of Timmons and Company, a small but influential lobbying firm he founded in 1975 shortly after leaving the White House. According to Senate records, he registered to lobby in 2008 for a wide range of companies and trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Medical Association, Chrysler, Freddie Mac, Visa USA and Anheuser-Busch.

His registrations include work on a number of issues that have become flashpoints in the presidential campaign. He has registered to work on bills that deal with the regulations of troubled mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, a bill to provide farm subsidies and bills that regulate domestic oil-drilling.

By tapping Timmons, McCain has turned to one of Washington's steadiest and most senior inside players to guide him in the event of a victory — but also to someone who represents the antithesis of the kind of outside-of-Washington change he has recently been promising. One Republican familiar with the process said the decision to involve Timmons could become a political liability for the campaign's reformist image, especially in the wake of the controversies over the lobbying backgrounds of other McCain staffers, including campaign manager Rick Davis. "It's one more blind spot for Rick Davis and John McCain," the person said.

The irony here is just incredible. McCain has selected a lobbyist to begin preparations to fill his transition team, in a campaign that is controlled by lobbyists, running on a campaign theme claiming that McCain is the anti-lobbyist candidate.

You just can't make this stuff up.

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