McCain Critics Say Denials Bend Truth

They cite rebuke from FCC chief over letter in 1999 telecom case
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2008 4:40 PM CST
Vicki Iseman   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – John McCain's camp insists he did not act inappropriately on behalf of lobbyist Vicki Iseman's clients, but Talking Points Memo bloggers beg to differ. They point to newspaper articles from 2000 that said McCain—then chair of the Senate Commerce Committee—wrote a letter to the FCC on behalf of Paxson Communications, and that the FCC chief rebuked him for it, saying he was "concerned" about its effect on the decision-making process.

McCain’s camp says the candidate wasn’t “personally asked” to urge the FCC to action, but Mac's aides told the Washington Post in 2000 that he wrote the letter at the request of Iseman’s firm. McCain says he gave Paxson opponents an appropriate hearing, but at the time those opponents said the letter was “improper, unethical … and appeared designed to assist a major contributor.”