McCain Responsible for Influence Peddling?
Today’s New York Times has a very long and detailed article regarding John McCain’s relationship with real estate developer Donald Diamond, a relationship that at least raises questions about whether Sen. McCain improperly used his influence as United States Senator to benefit a major donor.
For Mr. McCain, the Arizona Republican who has staked two presidential campaigns on pledges to avoid even the appearance of dispensing an official favor for a donor, Mr. Diamond is the kind of friend who can pose a test.
A longtime political patron, Mr. Diamond is one of the elite fund-raisers Mr. McCain’s current presidential campaign calls Innovators, having raised more than $250,000 so far. At home, Mr. Diamond is sometimes referred to as “The Donald,” Arizona’s answer to Donald Trump — an outsized personality who invites public officials aboard his flotilla of yachts (the Ace, King, Jack and Queen of Diamonds), specializes in deals with the government, and unabashedly solicits support for his business interests from the recipients of his campaign contributions.
Mr. McCain has occasionally rebuffed Mr. Diamond’s entreaties as inappropriate, but he has also taken steps that benefited his friend’s real estate empire. Their 26-year relationship illuminates how Mr. McCain weighs requests from a benefactor against his vows, adopted after a brush with scandal two decades ago, not to intercede with government authorities on behalf of a donor or take other official action that serves no clear public interest.
Read the whole thing. I don’t know if all the facts are in a row to state that McCain has been acting unethically with respect to Diamond, but the article definitely raises questions that are worth pursuing of the candidate. Especially for a man like John McCain, who has a history of such unethical conduct.