Deeper ties between Team McCain, Freddie Mac
A day after aides to Republican presidential candidate John McCain lashed out at the press for reporting on connections between prominent campaign advisers and embattled mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Bloomberg News provides a new wrinkle to the story.
The lobbying firm of the man Republicans say John McCain has chosen to begin planning a presidential transition earned more than a quarter of a million dollars this year representing Freddie Mac, one of the companies McCain blames for the nation's financial crisis.The McCain campaign wouldn't talk to the financial news wire, but other Republicans told reporters Jonathan D. Salant and Timothy J. Burger that Timmons would be leading McCain's transition team if he were elected in November.
Timmons & Co., whose founder and chairman emeritus is William Timmons Sr., was registered to lobby for Freddie Mac from 2000 through this month, when the federal government took over both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
The disclosure seems to further undercut McCain's efforts to demonize the two lending giants and his attempts to tie their failure to Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
The Illinois senator is not without his own unfortunate connections to the firms, though. Jim Johnson, Fannie Mae's former CEO, ran Obama's vice presidential search committee earlier this year until news of his involvement in scandal forced him from the position; Johnson also has raised at least $200,000 for the campaign.
Timmons is not the only member of McCain's inner circle to have benefited from the lobbying largess of the mortgage lenders. On Monday, the New York Times reported that McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, earned more than $30,000 a month when his Washington consulting firm ran an advocacy group established to stave of congressional attempts to regulate Fannie and Freddie.
That disclosure unleashed a bout of manufactured scorn from McCain's top strategist -- and Karl Rove protege -- Steve Schmidt, who pronounced the Times "not by any standard a journalistic organization."
No word yet on the McCain camp's verdict regarding Bloomberg's journalism.