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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 02:46 pm

The corporate McCain

The likely Republican nominee is a close friend of special interests

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Untitled Document Who is John McCain? His spinmeisters paint a picture of him as a straight talker, Washington outsider, maverick reformer, determined foe of the special interests, champion of the average Joe. Gosh, what a guy — only that guy is not the real John McCain. The real one is the corporate suit who has been a faithful servant to the corporate interests in his many years as head of the Senate Commerce Committee. To see the real John McCain behind his carefully crafted reformer image, take a peek at the crew running his presidential campaign. They are a who’s-who of the K Street lobbying crowd that he is supposedly going to reform.
Leading this pack is Charlie Black, known as the Republican Party’s quintessential company man. He has used his GOP connections to become one of Washington’s most aggressive and successful lobbyists, representing the likes of tobacco corporations, Blackwater, Lockheed Martin, the brutal dictator Jonas Savimbi of Angola, Iraqi flimflammer Ahmed Chalabi, and the government of Saudi Arabia. A multimillionaire influence peddler, Black is the anti-reformer — indeed, he’s the embodiment of what’s wrong with Washington.  With these corporate cronies raising campaign funds for him, it’s not surprising that McCain’s policy proposals would bring cheer to CEOs, not to average Joes. His economic plan, for example, is centered on more Bush economics, cutting corporate taxes and extending Bush’s tax giveaways to the rich. How to pay for these withdrawals from our public treasury? By cutting national programs that help regular folks.  Far from being the run of outsider who’ll change Washington’s special-interest rule, McCain’s entire campaign is being paid for and run by the same corporate insiders who brought us eight years of Bush-Cheney.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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