After getting zinged for having a number of domestic and foreign lobbyists advising the candidate, the McCain campaign recently introduced
new campaign rules barring anyone currently employed as a lobbyist from serving on the campaign.
But they seem to have another new policy too: not telling anyone who the candidate's advisers are.
Until a couple weeks ago, JohnMcCain.com included a page with a long list of its advisers.
But they took it down right after TPM asked about an economic adviser who was linked to Jack Abramoff's lobbying scheme.
A McCain aide explained at the time that the list was outdated and did not reflect the new no-lobbyist rules that took effect in May. (Yes, the adviser we asked about, Carlos Bonilla, is both a lobbyist and a former White House official accused of taking favors from Abramoff's shop. He's no longer with the campaign, the aide said.)
We were curious about a handful of people with lobbying backgrounds who had been working for or advising the campaign. So we drew up a list and asked a McCain spokesman to tell us which ones remained with the campaign and which ones, like Bonilla, had been removed.
The spokesman refused to comment on the people individually and only reiterated the policy announced a few weeks ago, that no registered lobbyists work for the campaign and policy advisers can't be registered to lobby on issues they advise the campaign on.
It's been about a month since the campaign's new rules took effect, and the Web page we asked about is still blank.
When we asked today about the Web page that used to list advisers, the McCain aide told us they are "updating the page."
So how can anyone know who's on the McCain campaign, then?
The McCain spokesperson suggested that we go to the Federal Election Commission for information about staff and advisers.
Of course, that won't really tell us much. The FEC filings include expense records with outdated payroll payments for hundreds of campaign workers -- but without any indication of what the individuals actually do.
The McCain aide also responded: "Please show me a list of Obama campaign staff and advisers."
We asked the Obama campaign about that this morning and we haven't hear back from them. We'll let you know when we do.