Buying McCain/Davis on Layaway

September 24, 2008 9:21 a.m.

So the latest is that we find that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis’s firm was on the Freddie Mac payroll until last month when the government took over Freddie and forced it to stop paying money to lobbyists and insiders like Rick Davis. Now, Davis is part owner of Davis Manafort, the firm in question. But the McCain campaign is insisting that Davis hasn’t drawn any compensation from the firm since 2006. So, the question is, is that true?

McCain campaign house blogger Michael Goldfarb says this is demonstrably false. And it may well be false. But the only evidence seems to be Davis’s and the campaign’s claims. I suspect that what they’re saying may be true. But at this point with Davis and the campaign caught in so many different lies, do they really have any credibility to make such claims absent actual evidence? I mean, just yesterday Davis was saying he hadn’t had any contact with the mortgage giants since the front group he ran for them shut down in 2005. And now we learn that the following year he asked them to keep sending more checks, apparently in return for no services rendered — a point, you should note, that Goldfarb appears unable to deny.

Second, if I’m an owner of a company, I don’t have to draw compensation today to reap benefits from the company’s current success and profits.

The best statement I’ve read so far on this tangled web is just out from Public Action Campaign Fund …

“John McCain’s campaign manager and Freddie Mac essentially had what amounts to a secret half a million dollar lay-a-way plan. For almost three years and as late as last month, Freddie Mac made secret, monthly payments of $15,000 to Rick Davis’s firm, apparently in exchange for providing special access to a future McCain White House. If McCain knew about this, his presidential campaign should be in serious trouble. If he didn’t know about it, he ought to fire Rick Davis immediately,” said David Donnelly, Director of Campaign Money Watch.

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