Washington Babylon — May 12, 2008, 9:16 am

McCain’s Burma Connection

Doug Goodyear, who had been picked by John McCain’s campaign to run the G.O.P. convention this summer, resigned over the weekend after Newsweek reported that a lobbying firm he heads once represented Burma. The DCI Group–Goodyear is its CEO–“was paid $348,000 in 2002 to represent Burma’s military junta, which had been strongly condemned by the State Department for its human-rights record and remains in power today,” said Newsweek.

Some of McCain’s allies, the magazine added, worried that Goodyear’s selection to run the convention “could fuel perceptions that McCain—who has portrayed himself as a crusader against special interests—is surrounded by lobbyists.” (Since McCain is, in fact, surrounded by lobbyists, it’s easy to see the source of that “perception.”)

I’d reported last September on DCI’s ties to Burma and to the G.O.P. One oddity that I noted back then: One of DCI’s lead lobbyists for the Burmese junta was Charles Francis, chairman of the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC), which describes itself on its website as “a relatively new name in gay political circles.” One triumph, the site says, was when Francis “managed to bring Mary Cheney, the Second Family’s daughter and a former gay and lesbian outreach operative for the Coors brewery, out of the shadows of Colorado and on to the RUC advisory board.” As you’ll see, DCI’s ties to the G.O.P. extend well beyond McCain.

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