Cutting Lobby Ties Is 'Messy Business'

McCain plays reform card with new policy, but conflicts abound
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 10:44 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, speaks with his director of Foriegn Policy and National Security Randy Scheunemann.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – John McCain is at war with his own staff to save his image as a crusader against special interests, the New York Times reports. Five aides have been sent packing, and new rules promulgated to rout out any further conflicts. But with many staffers who made their living as lobbyists, from McCain's campaign manager on down, there could be more.

Not only that, but senior adviser Charlie Black (who has called ink spilled on the issue “complete inside-the-Beltway nonsense”) helped pioneer the revolving door between campaigns and lobbying firms. The Times details some of the other lobbyist-staffers, and notes that as McCain turns the spotlight on his staff, he's drawing more scrutiny from both the media and Barack Obama, who yesterday called his rival “a creature of Washington.”