Washington Babylon — July 13, 2007, 1:53 pm

John McCain Makes His Own Laws

I just received an interesting email from a reader of this blog, who prefers to remain anonymous, and who writes:

Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article about John McCain having placed a call to major donors/fundraisers from the Senate cloakroom and reviewed the possibility that he broke the law in so doing. “Senate ethics rules expressly forbid lawmakers to engage in campaign activities inside Senate facilities,” the story said. “If Mr. McCain solicited campaign contributions on a call from government property, that would be a violation of federal criminal law as well.”

But the Times missed an equally problematic situation in its own reporting on July 11, when a front-page story began, “After months of mounting problems in his presidential campaign, Senator John McCain sat down with his two top political aides on Monday for what turned out to be a loud and acrimonious discussion in his Senate office. On Tuesday morning, as Mr. McCain stood on the Senate floor opposing a withdrawal from Iraq, his campaign announced that the two men were departing.”

The problem here is that it’s absolutely illegal to do any type of electioneering on government property, especially in a House or Senate office. Clearly, there’s a pattern here. McCain is Mr. Clean but plays by different rules. He’s using Senate resources for campaign purposes, while the rules clearly stipulate that congressmen and employees cannot do so.

This is not the sort of thing for which McCain should be shackled and led away to prison, but it does expose a certain hypocrisy on his part. It also suggests that his campaign really is in a state of chaos: providing information that acknowledges lawbreaking in the very first sentence of a New York Times story really isn’t smart politics.

ethicsrules

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“Evidence of a chill was plain. People in Hailey spoke to me about Bergdahl in low voices, as if about a death.”
Fox & Friends, July 6, 2014
Article
The Seductive Catastrophe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The world’s leaders were moved by a populace fused into a forward phalanx, were shaken by a tidal wave of militancy jubilantly united.”
Photograph courtesy Mary Evans Picture Library
Post
The Glitch in the Video-Game Graveyard·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“From the nerd squabbles of Internet discussion threads rose an urban legend that culminated in a film that hinges on digging through my town’s trash.”
Illustration (detail) by Timothy Taranto
Article
What the Camera Saw·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“They shot him behind the left ear, and he fell.”
Article
Bounty·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If I’d been one of the unprepared, I’d be desperate, too.”
Illustration (detail) by Simon Pemberton

Rolls of toilet paper Chicago’s city government has produced this year from recycled City Hall wastepaper:

19,000

Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.

Russia lost, then regained, contact with a satellite carrying five geckos sent to copulate in zero gravity.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today