McCain’s Cronies: More Hinky Questions About Rick Davis And John McCain

In February, I noted that McCain paid $30,000 to Davis Manafort while Davis was "on leave."

Davis is listed as an employee [of Davis Manafort] giving a campaign donation to the McCain campaign….And the McCain campaign is listed as paying Davis Manafort $30,000.00 in its last FEC filing as well….

In subsequent FEC filings, McCain lists "Richard Davis" individually as receiving disbursements (see, MayJuneAugust, and September).  Why the change in payee after the April quarterly report?  As NYTimes notes:

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf…

Further, what’s up with this:

Davis still owns a partial stake in the lobbying shop, but the McCain campaign has repeatedly said he no longer receives income from it….

[Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] were forced to dissolve their muscular lobbying teams earlier this month under the terms of their federal takeover. Davis Manafort appears to have hung on a little longer because the firm never directly lobbied for the company, instead providing public affairs help.

If Davis was "not receiving income" from Davis Manafort , why issue the earlier check to them? Plus, who gave the "public affairs help" quote to Roll Call when Newsweek reports that:

Davis "doesn’t do anything" for Freddie Mac. The firm "doesn’t even talk to him." In addition, Freddie Mac has had no contact with Davis Manafort other than receiving monthly invoices from the firm and paying them. But the money could be perceived as helping Freddie Mac ensure a good relationship with one of McCain’s top aides in the event that he became president.

"Public affairs" or "pay to play payola."  Sullivan calls it a "shakedown," while CMW tags McCain "rent-to-own."  Apt.  Seems like McCain and Davis have a lot of questions to answer.

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