John McCain and Vicki Iseman: It's the Money, Stupid

There is no better illustration of everything that is WRONG with Washington than the John McCain-Vicki Iseman tryst. The Republican Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee carrying on with a comely female Republican lobbyist who represents the corporate interests of other Republicans with business before the committee and who donates to the chairman's campaigns. Wow! And today McCain is out sanctimoniously waving the flag and "supporting the troops" while the evidence mounts that he used his position as Commerce Committee chair to rake in cash hand over fist for his corporate campaign donors.

Throughout 1999 and 2000, the Republican lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, was close by McCain's side at fundraisers, parties, and on private jets. Their face time together caught the attention of members of McCain's own staff. They grew concerned about the impropriety of McCain flying around the country with the fetching female lobbyist, 30 years his junior, on a jet owned by the telecommunications tycoon and McCain campaign contributor, Lowell Paxson. Ms. Iseman "lobbied" McCain on behalf of Paxson's business interests.

According to The New York Times, McCain wrote letters to the Federal Communications Commission in behalf of Paxson Communications (now Ion Media Networks) and Glencairn Ltd. calling for regulatory changes that would dump a wad of cash into the pockets of two of Ms. Iseman's most important corporate clients. McCain's meddling even drew a rare rebuke from the FCC Chairman for its impropriety.

And Ms. Iseman is no ordinary lobbyist. She is a full partner in the powerhouse Washington lobbying firm of Alcalde and Fay. She's not an intern or a flunky reflecting the tawdry tastes of a Bill Clinton. Vicki is no Monica. McCain has class.

But with the Republicans, as we all know, it's not the sex that gets them off but the money and the power.

McCain's crusade against the influence of money in our politics is illustrated by the fact he put Washington lobbyists in charge of his Senate office, (Mark Buse), and his presidential campaign, (Rick Davis).

McCain might not have had sex with "that woman" -- Ms. Iseman -- but Ms. Iseman's corporate clients were balls deep inside McCain's Commerce Committee.