A Tempest in a Pee-Pot

By now you’ve probably heard about the New York Times article from yesterday, that accused presidential hopeful John McCain of having an improper relationship with a telecommunications lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, several years ago. The timing of the article’s release is suspicious, to say the least, coming right when it looks like McCain has the Republican nomination in the bag. Remember that in my January 31 entry, I predicted that while the Times may have endorsed McCain as its favorite Republican, they would turn on him later. My only surprise is that it has happened already, when we don’t know who his Democratic opponent will be. As Rush Limbaugh put it, in a recent e-mail to the website Politico:

“The story is not the story. The story is the drive-by media turning on its favorite maverick and trying to take him out. The media picked the GOP’s candidate, the NYT endorsed him while they sat on this story and is now, with utter predictability, trying to destroy him.”

What confuses me is that I’m not sure what sort of scandal this one is supposed to be. Did McCain give too many earmarks and other favors for the groups Iseman represents, or was there some kind of romantic involvement between them? If there is any truth to the alegations of “improper relations,” I’m inclined to believe the former. First of all, it’s because Republican scandals have traditionally been about money, and Democratic scandals have been about sex. There are some exceptions, like Larry Craig, but by and large that’s the case, so I’m more likely to believe in a financial connection than a romantic one. Second, Iseman’s company, Alcalde & Fay, lobbied for much more than just the telecom industry:

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute
Alger County, MI
Alion Science and Technology
Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy
Alonzo Mourning Charities
American Coastal Coalition
American Pacific
Ansul Incorporated
Arcata Associates
Arison Family Trust
ART of Leadership
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
Atlantic City School Board, NJ
Barr Financial Group
Bay County, Florida
BearingPoint, Inc.
C4SI, Incorporated
CACI, Inc.
Carnival Foundation
Carnival Long Beach
Cernium, Incorporated
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
Chippewa County, MI
Christian Network, Inc.
City of Atlantic City, NJ
City of Aztec, NM
City of Boca Raton, FL
City of Clearwater, FL
City of Cocoa, FL
City of Dallas,TX
City of Deerfield Beach, FL
City of Delray Beach, FL
City of Hampton, VA
City of Hialeah, FL
City of Hobbs, NM
City of Homestead, FL
City of Key West, FL
City of Lake Mary, FL
City of Lauderdale Lakes, FL
City of Lauderhill, FL
City of Maitland, FL
City of Melbourne, FL
City of Miami, FL
City of North Miami Beach, FL
City of Oldsmar, FL
City of Oviedo, FL
City of Pembroke Pines, FL
City of Petaluma, CA
City of Plantation, FL
City of Rio Rancho, NM
City of Riviera Beach, FL
City of San Rafael, CA
City of Sanford, FL
City of St. Cloud, FL
City of Treasure Island, FL
City of Virginia Beach, VA
City of Winter Park, FL
Clark Construction
Coalition for Natural Health
Columbia Union College
Community Rehabilitation Center
Computer Sciences Corporation
Contra Costa County, CA
Cruise Lines International Association
Dow AgroSciences LLC
Dr. David Wu on behalf of Master Wan Ko Yee
Duval County Public Schools, FL
Dynamic Animations Systems, Inc.
Earth Technologies Forum
Earthshell Corporation
Edward Waters College
Fairfax County Water Authority, VA
Fairfax County, VA
Falcon Safety Products
Fire Fighting Foam Coalition
Florida Inland Navigation District
Foundation for Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Fred Olson Caribbean, Ltd.
Fresno County, CA
Friends of the NC State Museum of Natural Sciences
Glendale Community College
Global Technical Systems
Golden Gate Bridge Hwy & Transportation District
Grand Valley State University
Halon Alternatives Research Corporation
Halon Recycling Corporation
Hawkeye Community College, IA
Hendry County, FL
HFF, Inc.
Hillsborough Community College, FL
Hillsborough County, FL
Hispanic Broadcasting
Homer Center School District, PA
Houston Independent School District
Hudson Technologies, Inc.
International Climate Change Partnership
ION Media Networks
Jacksonville Aviation Authority, FL
Jacksonville Port Authority, FL
Jovon Broadcasting
Kansas Gaming Limited
Lake County, FL
Las Vegas Convention Authority, NV
Lea County, NM
Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc.
M&M Energy
M.R. Beal and Company
Manatee County Port Authority
Marin County, CA
Marion County, FL
Melbourne Airport Authority, FL
Mendocino County, CA
Mercy Ships
Miami HEAT Academy
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Miami-Dade County, FL
Michigan Capital Fund for Housing
Monroe County School District, FL
Mosaic Fertilizer Company
National Motor Freight Traffic Association
Navajo Agricultural Products Industry
New Energy and Development
New Mexico Tech, NM
Okaloosa County, FL
Operation Warm
Orange County, FL
Orion Refining Corporation
Orlando-Sanford International Airport, FL
Osceola County School Board, FL
Osceola County, FL
Owens-Illinois, Inc.
Palm Beach Community College
Palm Beach County School Board, FL
Payment Programs Management Corporation
Point Coupee Parish School Board, LA
Port of Miami, FL
Potomac Partners DC on behalf of Grologo
Prince George County, VA
Referentia Systems, Inc.
Religious Broadcasters
Rio Rancho Public Schools, NM
Riverside Hospital, Washington, DC
Ross Baruzzini
S.Seminole & N.Orange County Wastewater Authority
Saga Communications, Inc.
San Bernardino City Unified School District, CA
San Juan County, NM
Sandoval County, NM
School District of Philadelphia, PA
Select Remedy
Seminole County, FL
Silver Companies, VA
SMI, Inc.
Sonoma County Parks and Recreation, CA
Sonoma County Water Agency, CA
Sonoma County, CA
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District, CA
Stevens Institute of Technology
SYKES Enterprises
Tampa Port Authority, FL
TerreStar Networks
Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates
Total Living Network
Town of Jupiter, FL
Town of Windemere, FL
Transportation Agency of Monterey County, CA
Trex Enterprises
Tulare County Association of Governments
Tulare County, CA
U.S. Awami League
University of Nevada – Las Vegas
University of Texas Pan American
VFIM, Corp.
VSE Corporation
Washington Policy Analysis
Washington Workshops
Waste Control Specialists
West Coast Inland Navigation District, FL
Westbury Union Free School Dist., NY
WILL Interactive, Inc.

Source: http://www.alcalde-fay.com/client_list/

By the way, I was amused to see that Winter Park, the suburb of Orlando where I used to live, is on the list. All four counties in the metro Orlando area (Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake) are there, too.

Personally I think this is just another made-up issue, like so many others that have caused a fuss in recent years (e.g., Scooter Libby, and the case of the Attorney General firing eight lawyers). It is more likely to backfire on the Times than it will hurt McCain, and the number of NYT readers will plummet even faster. Are you reminded of how Dan Rather tried to influence the 2004 election with faked memos of George W. Bush’s National Guard service? To use a term describing TV shows when they get too dumb to watch, CBS News “jumped the shark” with that story, and hasn’t recovered since. I haven’t watched CBS News in years, and only know that Katie Couric replaced Dan Rather because I occasionally hear that she has utterly failed to stop the declining ratings. And I can’t name whoever replaced Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings on the other two “dinosaur networks.”


Now the New York Times has jumped the shark, too. This won’t make me vote for McCain in November, but maybe it will finish off the Times, and then our troops will be able to win the War on Terror without the Times doing its best to reveal military secrets.


Alas, NY Times. You have been America’s great source of news since 1851, and America’s greatest source of fiction since 2001.


2 responses to “A Tempest in a Pee-Pot

  1. Pingback: Senator John McCain’s Alleged Lobbyist-Romance Represents Atlantic City School Board « The Atlantic City Scoop

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