Monday, September 22, 2008

Conflict of interest

The New York Times reports today that Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, was paid $30,000 a month for five years (that's a total of $1.8 million) to lobby for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Undoubtedly you recall that just last week the Republican sleaze machine defamed Obama by trying to tie him--falsely--to Franklin Raines, the former head of Fannie Mae. (Am I the only one to wonder if it was a mere coincidence that Raines is black?)

Meanwhile, over the weekend foreign banks appear to have lobbied successfully to be included in the bailout. To be frank, there is logic in this: if we want American securities to be purchased by overseas investors--and at this point we have little choice--we can't very well leave them out on a limb while we rescue Americans. It's worth noting, however, that the foreign bank that apparently has the biggest stake in being included in the bailout is UBS, and that former senator Phil Gramm--Mr. "Americans are whiners," architect of the worst of the deregulation that got us into this mess, friend of the Republican candidate and a likely Secretary of the Treasury in the unlikely event that there's a McCain administration--is vice-chairman of UBS' US operations and a lobbyist for the bank.

As a sage reader of asked, given that intense lobbying that will certainly surround the bailout bill and its aftermath, who's going to be left to manage McCain's campaign?

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