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McCain’s finance co-chair resigns after conflict-of-interest allegations.

By Satyam Khanna on May 18, 2008 at 12:45 pm

"McCain’s finance co-chair resigns after conflict-of-interest allegations."

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Recently, two aides to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were forced to resign because of ties to a firm that once represented the Burmese Junta. As a result, McCain introduced a “conflict-of-interest policy” for his campaign, requiring staffers to disclose clients that “could be embarrassing for the senator.” Newsweek reports that national finance co-chair Tom Loeffler has been lobbying on behalf of foreign interests:

[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. Loeffler last month told a reporter “at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain.” But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to “discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.”

Loeffler’s firm also hired Susan Nelson, McCain’s finance director, as a consultant to “help him with his clients” while she continued working for the campaign. But election law prohibits “any outside entity from subsidizing the income of campaign workers.” After Newsweek raised questions about the matter, the campaign “confirmed Loeffler’s resignation and the termination of Nelson’s consulting contract.”

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