Ohio Democrats take off the gloves

McCain gets nailed on his lobbyist ties.

McCain gets nailed, but good, on his lobbyist ties. What will it take to make the mainstream press pick up on this?

Question for Sen. McCain: Is it really true that you didn’t know that you had helped DHL get clearance for the deal, or that your campaign manager collected $185,000 for lobbying for it, and another $400,00 after the merger? If so, how out of touch are you? If not, why did you lie to the woman who asked you the question? Can we have some straight talk for once?

As a matter of policy, there doesn’t seem to have been anything wrong with the merger; even from the parochial perspective of Ohio, it started off “gaining” jobs (taking them from neighboring Kentucky), and only started “losing’ jobs (sending them back to Kentucky) more recently.

The idea that we’re threatened if “foreign firms” own pieces of our aircraft industry has little if any substance, and I’d love it if McCain’s resistance to the idea that the military should be forbidden from using foreign-owned carriers were extended to the civilian sector: people traveling overseas on government business are required to use US-flag airlines, even if that means much more time and expense.

But the fact that the guy who is now McCain’s campaign manager took a foreign firm’s money to lobby McCain is still a fact, and a troubling fact. And the fact that McCain either really doesn’t remember it or pretends not to remember it is even more troubling.

McCain’s attack ads succeeded in taking some of the shine off what should have been reported as Obama’s triumphant Middle East/Europe trip. But his decision to go hard negative early frees Obama to hit back hard when McCain leaves an opening. He left one this time, and Obama plans to clobber him.

With all the dirty, unpatriotic crap McCain’s lobbyist cronies have been up to, it would be ironic if this rather straightforward transaction was the one that turned out to hurt. Put it down to dramatic irony, or the Law of Karma. And pass the popcorn.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com