Daily Archives: February 21, 2008

In Contempt: And Still Resting

A new cartoon will appear next week Tuesday. Honest. The hand and arm no longer tingle, feel numb nor sore. Monday’s Wanderlost (aka Sheldon) will likely appear in B&W.

And now: McCain. I don’t feel the salient issue of the NY Times piece is his alleged affair with telecomm lobbyist Vicki Iseman. For one thing, I don’t think it coheres with McCain’s persona – i.e., it doesn’t “sound” or “feel” right. For another, it seems pretty sexist to assume that an attractive young blond woman has only ONE purpose for meeting with the Senator behind closed doors. After all, isn’t bribery sufficient enough to lock the door?

No, I’d say the problem is the less sensationalist, yet more important appearance of a conflict of interest. The Washington Post summarizes the problem nicely:

In the years that McCain chaired the commerce committee, Iseman lobbied for Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson, the head of what used to be Paxson Communications, now Ion Media Networks, and was involved in a successful lobbying campaign to persuade McCain and other members of Congress to send letters to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Paxson.In late 1999, McCain wrote two letters to the FCC urging a vote on the sale to Paxson of a Pittsburgh television station. The sale had been highly contentious in Pittsburgh and involved a multipronged lobbying effort among the parties to the deal.

At the time he sent the first letter, McCain had flown on Paxson’s corporate jet four times to appear at campaign events and had received $20,000 in campaign donations from Paxson and its law firm. The second letter came on Dec. 10, a day after the company’s jet ferried him to a Florida fundraiser that was held aboard a yacht in West Palm Beach.