McCain Helped Donor Developer Win Contracts

Decades-old friendship built on fundraising, land deal assistance
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 11:55 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – John McCain has repeatedly done favors a wealthy Arizona real estate developer who is a major donor, sponsoring legislation that swapped public land for his land and stepping in to speed a lucrative land deal with the Pentagon that netted him $20 million in a quick flip. The relationship with Donald Diamond could “pose a test” for Mac, the New York Times posits in an expose, since the candidate’s reputation is staked on renouncing political favoritism.

Known as Arizona's answer to “The Donald,” Diamond doesn't think his friendship with the senator is untoward: “When you have a big, significant businessman like myself, why wouldn't you want to help move things along? What else would they do? They waste so much time with legislation." McCain's staff notes that the senator has rejected some requests from Diamond that he considered inappropriate, and says the others are things he would do "for any constituent."