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McCain Aide Resigns Over Saudi Arabia Lobbying Ties

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About a week ago I wrote about Thomas G. Loeffler, a lobbyist who was being promoted to a top position in the McCain campaign. However, he’d done some serious lobbying for Saudi Arabia, and I raised the question of whether or not this was a smart move by McCain.

Apparently Loeffler has stepped down, a signal that McCain is purging his campaign of any signs of “pay for play” politics.

From Politico:

Loeffler’s departure followed a report this weekend by Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff that Loeffler’s “lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts.” […]

The McCain campaign last week announced a restrictive “McCain Campaign Conflict Policy” that included a questionnaire to be returned to the campaign’s legal department as part of a re-vetting of all staff.

“No person working for the Campaign may be a registered lobbyist or foreign agent, or receive compensation for any such activity,” the policy says.

Officials say Loeffler’s resignation shows that McCain and his campaign is going to be serious about enforcing the policy, which was implemented following revelations about the lobbying ties of several campaign officials.

Well, Isikoff may have reported on it last week, but the Washington Times reported on it last month.

In any event, very encouraging signs coming from the McCain camp. The sooner the lobbyists go, the better.