John McCain and the Dictator Money Trail

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mccain_closeup_250x200.jpg John McCain will fire you for lobbying for Burma, but he’ll still take your money.

Republican operatives Doug Davenport and Doug Goodyear were both quietly released from their duties with the McCain campaign this week when it was revealed that their Washington lobbying firm, DCI Group, had been paid $348,000 to represent Burma’s repressive military junta in 2002. McCain’s critics noted that top McCain aide Charlie Black has lobbied for authoritarian regimes as nasty or worse than Burma’s, raising the question of whether McCain will cut ties with tainted figures only when it is politically expedient for him to do so.

There are other facts in the situation that may prove controversial. The two lobbyists for Burma were also donors to McCain. Doug Goodyear, DCI Group’s chief executive and the man McCain had selected to run the GOP national convention, and his wife Carla donated $4,600 to McCain’s presidential campaign and $2,500 to McCain’s Straight Talk America PAC. Carla Goodyear also donated $1,000 to McCain’s 2004 Senate reelection bid. Doug Davenport, the head of DCI Group’s lobbying arm and a former regional campaign manager for McCain, and his wife Kelley contributed $6,900 to McCain’s presidential campaign and $3,500 to his PAC.

Other DCI Group employees have donated $2,000 to McCain. All told, DCI Group employees and their spouses have sent $20,500 to McCain. McCain fired the two DCI Group executives from his campaign, but will he return their contributions? We called McCain’s press office to ask and have not yet received a response. Can it be that McCain is willing to separate himself from lobbyists working for Burma but will cling to their cash?

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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