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Sunday Late Nite: Joe & Lindsey Violate McCain’s “Ethics” “Rule”

Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham appear to be in violation of the incredibly lax McCain Campaign "ethics" "rule," which states:

"No person with a McCain Campaign title or position may participate in a 527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any presidential candidate."

Lieberman co-chairs, with the odious Chris Shays, the Connecticut McCain committee. Graham chairs Closeted GOPs for McCain — just kidding, no, he is a general co-chair of the McCain Campaign. Those certainly sound like "McCain Campaign titles or positions."

Nico Pitney and Sam Stein at Huffington Post have discovered, though, that both Lieberman and Graham are on the Board of Advisers of Vets for Freedom, which advocates "victory" in Iraq. As is Max Boot, who advises McCain on foreign policy. You might remember this group because their leader made the unusual allusion to "Tiger Woods" when talking up McCain at an April rally addressed by all three of the War Musketeers:

“You can have your Tiger Woods,” David Bellavia, a former Army staff sergeant, told the crowd of pro-Iraq veterans. “We’ve got Senator McCain.”

That alone sounds like "a public communications that supports… any presidential candidate." But Vets for Freedom went farther on Friday.

In a commercial released on its website, the organization directly took on Obama over his willingness to negotiate with Iranian leadership.

"Obama wasn’t available to meet with us [combat veterans]," Sgt. Garrett Anderson (Ret.) of Illinois’ Army National Guard says to the camera. "But we weren’t surprised. Because he hasn’t once, sat down one-on-one with our in Iraq, Gen. Petraeus. Worse, he hasn’t been to Iraq in two-and-a-half years. He’s unwilling to get the facts on Iraq, yet he is willing to travel to Iran to meet with their leader or anyone else who hates our country… The question for America is, if Barack Obama won’t listen to us, who will he listen to?"

That sounds like "public communications that … oppose any presidential candidate" but the organization says no.

Pete Hegseth, the executive director for Vets for Freedom, said that far from being campaign-motivated, the advertisement was an issue-based criticism of Obama’s stance on the war.

See that? They aren’t criticizing Senator Obama because he’s a presidential candidate, they are criticizing him because of his stance on the war. It just appears to benefit Senator McCain, since McCain’s stance is VICTORY. And more war.

But shouldn’t Senator McCain’s two BFF ballwashers Lieberman and Graham, who travel everywhere with him, correct his misstatements of fact about the Iraq War and Iran’s involvement in it, and join the VeepRoast at Cindy’s ranch in Sedona this weekend — shouldn’t these two be held to the highest ethical standards?

Officials with the McCain campaign did not immediately return request for comment as to whether or not Lieberman and Graham’s positions violated the campaign’s new policy or, at the very least, the spirit of it.

Shouldn’t Lieberman and Graham either leave the board of Vets for Freedom or leave the McCain campaign? McCain’s own "ethics" "rule" says YES.

Calls to the offices of Lieberman and Graham, which are on recess schedule, were not answered

Enjoy the barbecue and ballwashing, boys.  Sounds like your days on the Straight Talk Express might be coming to an end.  We wouldn’t expect either of you to desert our Veterans for Freedom, after all.

UPDATE: Steven R has this story at DKos as well

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