The DNC released this ad on McCain’s tie to the gambling lobby — and the fact that he has lobbyists for those interests on his payroll. Does Daddy D approve of McCain shooting craps with the deep pocket boyz in the casino at 2:30AM?

From the NYT:

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.

The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.

…Mr. McCain portrays himself as a Washington maverick unswayed by special interests, referring recently to lobbyists as “birds of prey.” Yet in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests – including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors…In May 2007, as Mr. McCain’s presidential bid was floundering, he spent a weekend at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas strip. A fund-raiser hosted by J. Terrence Lanni, the casino’s top executive and a longtime friend of the senator, raised $400,000 for his campaign. Afterward, Mr. McCain attended a boxing match and hit the craps tables.

David Brody at CBN News thinks evangelicals will not take McCain’s gambling ways lightly:

The DNC knows that McCain’s so called penchant for gambling can hurt him among some social conservatives. It may not play well with other strongly religious voters as well. Indeed, the last thing McCain needs is another problem with the Evangelical base. In this case, the gambling issue could most likely trump the lobbyist issue. I mean it’s not like he’s playing the lottery or bingo or a quick 25 cents slot machine. This is high stakes gambling we’re talking about. Then you throw in the lobbyist angle and you have a dangerous credibility issue. Will voters buy it and will it stick? Does this bother you?

There aren’t any comments there yet, but it will be interesting to see what materializes.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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