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[Washington Babylon]

McCain and the “Reform” Institute

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The Huffington Post has reported that Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has sent out a fundraising letter attacking Democratic mega-donor George Soros even though the Reform Institute, a non-profit group founded by McCain, has taken money from Soros in the past. (See also this story from TPM.)The bigger story here–upon which I report in the May issue of the magazine–is that the supposedly independent Reform Institute, the stated goal of which is to promote accountability and transparency in government, is effectively an extension of McCain’s political machine.

The Reform Institute gets much of its money from major donors to McCain’s political campaigns. There has also been a steady revolving door between the Institute and the senator’s campaign staff, through which have passed, notably, lobbyist Rick Davis, who now runs McCain’s campaign and who over the years received $395,000 in salary and consulting fees from the Reform Institute, as well as Donald Murphy, a Senior Advisor to the Institute and a long-time political ally of McCain’s who serves as the senator’s Maryland campaign coordinator. Murphy also heads a lobbying and political consulting firm with clients including Diebold and the American Association of Nude Recreation. (Further details, of course, can be found in the article.)

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