Itâ€™s only human nature that we instantly understand being in the wrong bed, but our eyes glaze over when itâ€™s a question of breach of ethics. The opportunities for politicians to siphon money from rich patrons and corporations to fund themselves and their campaigns are always there. There are so many ways to cover up the naked sell-out that you have to be a tax accountant to follow the money. Makes me miss the good old days of Governor Ed DiPrete and his bag of cash at Walts Roast Beef.
I am disgusted with the religious right, their zeal to persecute individuals for what they do in their private lives, combined with their endless stream of scandals when their ministers are outed. Letting personal matters stay personal is fine with me. If Sen. McCain was just cheating on his wife, I would let that be a matter for Mrs. McCain. I donâ€™t sleep with him, so why should I care?
I care about the boring stuff. The political infidelities. The politicians who cheat on â€˜we the peopleâ€™. McCainâ€™s sweetheart relationship should concern us, because it affects our media. Should we allow a few huge corporations to monopolize our sources of information? This is vital to our Democracy, and decisions shouldnâ€™t be made on the basis of who donated to or slept with which senator. But it will unless we have a vigilant press. Expect the slime to come flying at the New York Times for this…
Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.
A champion of deregulation, Mr. McCain wrote letters in 1998 and 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to uphold marketing agreements allowing a television company to control two stations in the same city, a crucial issue for Glencairn Ltd., one of Ms. Isemanâ€™s clients. He introduced a bill to create tax incentives for minority ownership of stations; Ms. Iseman represented several businesses seeking such a program. And he twice tried to advance legislation that would permit a company to control television stations in overlapping markets, an important issue for Paxson.
In late 1999, Ms. Iseman asked Mr. McCainâ€™s staff to send a letter to the commission to help Paxson, now Ion Media Networks, on another matter. Mr. Paxson was impatient for F.C.C. approval of a television deal, and Ms. Iseman acknowledged in an e-mail message to The Times that she had sent to Mr. McCainâ€™s staff information for drafting a letter urging a swift decision.
Mr. McCain complied. He sent two letters to the commission, drawing a rare rebuke for interference from its chairman. In an embarrassing turn for the campaign, news reports invoked the Keating scandal, once again raising questions about intervening for a patron.
If you are reading this blog, you care about freedom of the press. So go to the New York Times and read the whole story, because it was a brave move for the Times to print it, and there will be hell to pay.