Democratic National Committee - McCain Watch: Will McCain Stand Up for Ohio Jobs?

Thu Aug 7, 2008 12:53pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Democratic National Committee - McCain Watch: Will McCain Stand Up for Ohio
Jobs?

Or Will McCain Only Stand Up for His Lobbyist/Campaign Manager Rick Davis?

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today
by the Democratic National Committee:

John McCain will visit Ohio today amid new revelations about his role in a
deal that will cost Ohio more than 8,000 jobs.   Yesterday, the Cleveland
Plain Dealer revealed that while Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee,
McCain, and former DHL lobbyist and current campaign manager Rick Davis,
played instrumental roles in helping DHL and its German parent company take
over operations in Wilmington, Ohio in 2003, despite concerns about the local
impact of the deal.  Both companies hired Davis' firm to push the deal through
Congress, with DHL-Airborne Express paying Davis and his business partner
$185,000 in 2003 and $405,000 from the German company Deutsche Post for other
work in 2004 and 2005. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/6/08]

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO )

Now, as a result of the foreign ownership McCain and his campaign manager
helped deliver, the company is moving their operations away from Wilmington,
costing the area more than 8,000 jobs. Adding insult to injury, during a visit
to Ohio last month McCain failed to mention his or Rick Davis's role in the
DHL deal, even though a teary-eyed town hall participant asked him directly
about DHL's plans to move its Wilmington hub.  Instead, McCain claimed to
offer up some of his so-called straight talk, saying "I don't know if I can
stop it.  That's some straight talk.  Some more straight talk? I doubt it."
[Time's Swampland Blog, 8/6/08]  It's not the first time McCain has been less
than straightforward about Rick Davis's lobbying ties.  

McCain Rhetoric vs. McCain Reality:
Rick Davis and Lobbying

MCCAIN CLAIM - Neither Rick Davis Nor Anyone At His Firm Has Been a Registered
Lobbyist in Five Years. In reference to McCain campaign manager Rick Davis - a
former lobbyist - McCain senior adviser Charlie Black, himself a former
lobbyist as well, asserted that neither Davis nor anyone at his firm, Davis
Manafort, had lobbied in five years. Black said: "By the way Rick Davis and
nobody else at his firm either has been a registered lobbyist in five
years-five years." [Wall Street Journal, "Washington Wire," 5/19/08] 

-- REALITY - Davis and his Firm "Represented Numerous" Lobbying Clients "as
Recently as 2005." Though Black "contended that nobody at Davis Manafort had
been a registered lobbyist for five years," reported the New York Times, "a
check of lobbyist records shows associates at the firm have represented
clients numerous times as recently as 2005." In 2005, "Davis was registered as
a lobbyist for corporate clients like the telecommunications company Verizon."
[New York Times, 5/20/08]

MCCAIN CLAIM - Campaign Later Changed its Tune, Said No One at Davis's Firm
Had Been Registered to Lobby in Three Years. "Mr. Black told reporters that
neither Mr. Davis nor anyone else at his firm 'has been a registered lobbyist
in five years.' The campaign later said it was three years." [Wall Street
Journal, 5/20/08]

-- REALITY - Davis Manafort Has Specialized in Representing Foreign
Politicians and Businessmen Abroad, "a Type of Lobbying for Which Firms Do Not
Have to Register." Representing Foreign Politicians   Though Davis Manafort
last registered to lobby in 2005, the firm "has developed a specialty in
recent years in a type of lobbying for which firms do not have to register --
namely, representing the interests abroad of foreign politicians and
businessmen." Since 2005, reported the New York Times, Davis Manafort's
"clients have included the richest man in Ukraine and a former premier of that
country whose opponents were supported by Mr. McCain;" additionally, Davis
organized the secession referendum for the government of Montenegro and set up
a 2006 introduction between McCain and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska,
with whom Davis was seeking to do business. [New York Times, 5/20/08;
Washington Post, 1/25/08]
 
-- REALITY - Subcontractor Registered to Lobby For Davis Manafort on Behalf of
Ukraine Party.  "The lobbying firm of Davis Manafort Inc. arranged through an
affiliate for the public-relations firm's work last spring, at the same time
Davis Manafort was being paid by the Republican presidential candidate's
campaign....Details of Davis Manafort's Ukraine work were contained in a late
January filing with the Justice Department. According to those documents, a
public-relations firm called Daniel J. Edelman Inc. was paid $35,000 a month
last year to promote the Party of Regions by Davis Manafort International LLC,
a Delaware corporation set up in March 2007." [Wall Street Journal, 5/14/08]

-- REALITY - Firm's Work Would Have Required Them to Register Lobbying
Activities; Questions Have Been Raised About Davis Manafort's Failure to Do
So.  "Questions have been raised since some of Davis Manafort's work included
public-relations efforts in the U.S. for the [Ukrainian] party. Efforts to
sway U.S. public opinion on behalf of a foreign entity generally require a
firm to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department. Davis
Manafort isn't registered with the department. Neither Mr. Davis nor his
partner, Paul Manafort, responded to phone calls and emails seeking comment.
Rick Gates, a partner at Davis Manafort, said, 'We did not register because we
do not work as a foreign agent.' He declined to elaborate." [Wall Street
Journal, 5/20/08]

MCCAIN CLAIM - Campaign Manager Rick Davis is Working for Campaign on Unpaid
Basis. According to Black, both he and McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis
are, "working on an unpaid basis for the campaign." [New York Times, 5/20/08]

-- REALITY - Campaign Also Paid Nearly $1 Million to Internet Service Company
Co-Founded and Co-Owned By Davis and Lobbying Partner Manafort. The McCain
campaign paid a total of $972,000 to 3EDC, an "an Internet-services company"
that Davis "and lobbying partner Paul Manafort had started and co-owned" which
handled the campaign's "website and online fundraising." "Davis's dealings and
potential conflicts of interest" were seen by campaign staffers "as
particularly troubling" because 3EDC and another company he directed money
toward "were start-ups with one customer -- the campaign." Though the McCain
campaign originally owed 3eDC $1,079,000, during its "cash starved" phase, the
campaign's 3eDC debt was reduced by $107,000 "without explanation." According
to a McCain spokesman, "3eDC determined, in reconciling invoices, that the
campaign actually owed the company less money."    [WSJ, 7/26/07; WSJ,
7/23/07; WSJ, 7/17/07; National Journal's Hotline On-Call, 5/23/08] 

-- REALITY - Davis Reportedly Paid $20,000 a Month. A May 2007 U.S. News &
World Reports article asserted that, "Davis, the campaign CEO, is paid $20,000
a month." Davis's $20,000 monthly salary was also reported by the National
Journal and the Politico. [National Journal, 7/7/07; U.S. News & Word Report,
5/28/07; The Politico, 7/11/07] 

-- REALITY - After McCain Stopped Paying 3eDC in March 2008, RNC Paid 3eDC
$20,000 in April. The McCain campaign finally paid off its remaining debt to
3eDC in March 2008; a month later, in April 2008, 3eDC began receiving
payments from the Republican National Committee. According to RNC disclosures,
in April 2008 3eDC was paid $20,000 for "list development." As mentioned
above, Davis's reported salary was $20,000. [Republican National Committee FEC
Disclosures; National Journal, 7/7/07; U.S. News & Word Report, 5/28/07]

MCCAIN CLAIM - Rick Davis Has Not Taken Money From His Lobbying Firm Since
2006. Speaking to the New York Times, Black "defended Mr. Davis, saying the
campaign manager had not taken any money from his lobbying firm since 2006."
According to the McCain campaign, Davis has been on leave from his firm since
2006, and despite owning "a shire of the firm," said McCain spokesman Brian
Rogers, "receives no income from Davis Manafort."  Davis, Rogers told the Wall
Street Journal, "earns no money from their activities while he is on leave." 
[New York Times, 5/20/08; Wall Street Journal, 5/14/08]

-- REALITY - Campaign Paid Davis's Lobbying Firm $90,000 in 2007. Despite
Black's claim that Davis "had not taken any money from his lobbying firm since
2006," according to filings with the Federal Elections Commission, the McCain
campaign paid Davis's firm Davis Manafort $90,000 in 2007 for "communications
consulting." The payments to Davis Manafort began in January 2007 and
continued until May, after Davis was ousted from the campaign. The campaign
paid Davis Manafort an additional $10,000 in July, when Davis re-joined the
campaign. [McCain 2008 FEC Data; Wall Street Journal, 7/23/07, 7/26/07] 

-- REALITY - Payments to Lobbying Firm Match Davis's Reported Salary. A May
2007 U.S. News & World Reports article asserted that, "Davis, the campaign
CEO, is paid $20,000 a month." Davis's $20,000 monthly salary was also
reported by the National Journal and the Politico. The McCain campaign's FEC
filings show no direct payments to Davis except for travel reimbursements.
However, in a four-month span from the January until mid-May 2007, the
campaign paid Davis Manafort $80,000, an amount that correlates exactly to
Davis's reported salary. [National Journal, 7/7/07; U.S. News & Word Report,
5/28/07; The Politico, 7/11/07; McCain 2008 FEC Data]

MCCAIN CLAIM - McCain Campaign "Strongly Denying" NY Times Claim That NSC
Staffer Called McCain's Office to Complain About Davis's Ukraine Lobbying.
"John McCain's presidential campaign is blasting a New York Times report
suggesting that the candidate may have known since 2005 that his campaign
manager's firm worked for a Kremlin-backed politician. The McCain campaign is
strongly denying the paper's reporting that in 2005, a White House National
Security Council staffer called John McCain's Senate office to complain that
Rick Davis' lobbying firm was 'undercutting American policy on Ukraine' by
representing a Kremlin-backed politician." [ABC News, 6/13/08]

-- REALITY - But to Wall Street Journal in August 2007, McCain Campaign
Admitted That NSC Official Contacted McCain's Office About Davis's Ukraine
Work. "The Davis-Manafort firm's lobbying work was a source of tension before
the campaign, insiders say, given that the senator's image as a crusader
against special interests made him vulnerable to critics looking for
hypocrisy. A sore point was the work the firm did for a pro-Kremlin politician
opposed by Mr. McCain and the U.S. government: current Ukrainian Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovich. A National Security Council official brought it to
McCain aides' attention last year, they say." [Wall Street Journal, 7/23/07]

MCCAIN CLAIM - Discrepancy is in WHEN Phone Call Occurred; McCain Campaign
Told WSJ It Was December 2006. According to McCain campaign officials who
spoke to the Wall Street Journal in August 2007 about Davis Manafort's Ukraine
work, "a National Security Council official brought it to McCain aides'
attention last year, they say." "In December, soon after Mr. [Terry] Nelson
was hired as campaign manager," reported the Wall Street Journal, "he raised
questions" about Rick Davis's ties to two companies - 3EDC and Management
Alliance -- on the campaign payroll. Continued the Journal: "It was at this
time, last December, that Mr. McCain first learned about Management Alliance,
3eDC and a third issue involving Mr. Davis: his and his firm's work for the
Ukrainian party headed by Mr. Yanukovich. Mr. Weaver confirmed that he raised
them, backed by Mr. Nelson and Mark Salter, Mr. McCain's closest aide. Mr.
Weaver said he recommended Mr. Davis be removed. Mr. McCain agreed, then later
changed his mind." [Wall Street Journal, 7/23/07]

-- REALITY - New York Times Said It Occurred in 2005. "In a related
development, Mr. McCain may have first become aware of Davis Manafort's
activities in Ukraine as far back as 2005. At that time, a staff member at the
National Security Council called Mr. McCain's Senate office to complain that
Mr. Davis's lobbying firm was undercutting American foreign policy in Ukraine,
said a person with direct knowledge of the phone call who spoke on condition
of anonymity. A campaign spokesman, when asked whether such a call had
occurred, referred a reporter to Mr. McCain's office. The spokesman there,
Robert Fischer, did not respond to repeated inquiries. Such a call might mean
that Mr. McCain has been long aware of Mr. Davis's foreign clients. Mr. Davis
took a leave from his firm at the end of 2006." [New York Times, 6/12/08]


Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,
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SOURCE  Democratic National Committee

Damien LaVera or Caroline Ciccone of the DNC, +1-202-863-8148
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