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One of the myths that John McCain has pawned off on the public most successfully is the one about his inveterate hostility to earmarks. For years McCain has been claiming that he never has put a single earmark in any bill.

"I have never asked for nor received a single earmark or pork barrel project for my state..."

Here he was praising himself last December as the NYT was about to break the Vicki Iseman lobbying story:

"I've never done any favors for anybody — lobbyist or special-interest group — that's a clear, 24-year record."

On July 29 in a speech to employees at the Wagner Equipment Co. in Aurora CO, McCain told the earmark lie again:

Next he moved on to talking about how he would never allow any "pork barrel" spending to be put into any bill he would sign. He made a claim that he has never (note the absolute here) put any kind of earmark in a bill in his time in the Congress or Senate.

You see McCain's assertion about earmarks parroted all over. The Myth has such a grip on the public that The Google doesn't know of anyone ever using the expression 'McCain inserted an earmark'  - until now, that is.

However as BarbinMD has documented repeatedly, in his eagerness to shower federal money on constituents and cronies McCain does indeed resort to earmarks. For example, McCain slipped a $ 14.3 million earmark in the 2004 Defense authorization bill (from which it jumped into the appropriations bill) to purchase land near an Arizona Air Force base. The earmark had not been approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee nor requested by the President nor part of Pentagon planning. From Roll Call (subscription required):

"Even though this project is in clear violation of the McCain rule because it was not authorized nor requested, we are happy to provide the funds at his request and the request of other members of the Arizona delegation," said House Appropriations Committee spokesman John Scofield.

Scofield also noted that the provision may violate other tenets of McCain’s "pork" rules because the purpose of the funds — to acquire land to prevent the encroachment of residential development near the base’s live-fire range — is not included in Defense’s long-term strategic plans and may not be achievable within a five-year time frame.

McCain inserted the earmark on behalf of an Arizona developer, SunCor, whose executives have close ties to McCain's political campaigns and have contributed $224,000 to him since 1998.

His friends at SunCor also benefited from dubious land-swap legislation McCain pushed through Congress in 2005. Over the years McCain has promoted quite a few bills to reward friends back home. Among the many favors he's done for wealthy Arizona land developer Donald Diamond, McCain has sponsored at least 3 bills to assure land deals Diamond wanted. Two other shady land-swap deals McCain got involved in during the '90s are described here. Then there was McCain's 2005 legislation to give $10 million to the Univ. of Arizona as a tribute to William Rehnquist. Even in the corrupt Republican Congress of the day, the bill couldn't get out of committee.

And let's not ignore McCain's prodigious letter-writing on behalf of constituents as he's tried to tap into federal dollars by secretive routes. For example, in 1992 he wrote to EPA head Bill Reilly asking him to direct $5 million for a wastewater treatment plant in Arizona. This came after Congress had already rejected the spending request.

"I would like to request that EPA either re-program $5 million out of existing funds or earmark the amount from an appropriate account," McCain wrote in his Oct. 9, 1992 letter to then-EPA Administrator William K. Reilly, calling the earmark "crucial to protecting the public health and the environment."

How many more times from now until the November election will we read and hear that McCain has 'never asked for a single earmark or pork barrel project'?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  John McCain is the world's biggest liar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, statsone

    I can not believe that the Republican party decided to outdo the Bush 2004 campaign for lying.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:27:52 PM PDT

    •  yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and they don't really have any idea how they come across.  Some guy on Dan Abrams show said "The average American spends more time in Europe than Obama did" -- not like that is relevant or appropriate, as Obama is running for president, not going on vacation.  But the thing that annoyed me is that the "average American" has probably never gone to Europe or has only gone once.  Average would mean that an equal number have gone as have not.  I have no data to tell me that half the US has spent a couple of weeks in Europe, but I know that half my students haven't and even several of my colleagues haven't (and we are university faculty, the latte-drinkers they make fun of in the McCain world, and the ones who are more likely to have traveled to Europe than not).

  •  Liar Liar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, jfromga

    with no moral compass.  

  •  Mr Keating 5 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, jfromga

    He is an old liar

  •  McCain is a douchebag n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent". - Thomas Jefferson

    by bobscofield on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:29:37 PM PDT

  •  Reader's Digest (0+ / 0-)
    Which is not (in my opinion), a right wing rag, have even featured McCain as a hero on Capitol Hill, bravely going after pork barrel spending.

    Reader's Digest has moved to the right more though lately, along with every other media form in the country.

    I baaaa for Obama

    by Krush on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:30:19 PM PDT

  •  Hate to say it: 527, it's the only way to (7+ / 0-)

    get this message across.  A well made-ad, incredibly provocative with lots of cable coverage.  And it needs to be made NOW before the Olympics so that the idea that McCain isn't all that he appears to be starts to germinate.

  •  I think I saw this story on FOX News (0+ / 0-)

    or maybe not.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:34:27 PM PDT

  •  sad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, Krush, RickMassimo

    Why do the nets do a better job than the other nets (CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN) covering these things?

  •  Such a liar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, peraspera

    He said the same about not taking money from lobbyists, yet he's taken tens of thousands from them including the oil companies.  Too bad the press won't call him out on any of his lies.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

    by rlharry on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:37:18 PM PDT

  •  There is so much of this stuff.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    McCain is a brutal candidate with a long history of deception of the public.

    It'll sadden me deeply if he wins this election because Obama is afraid to go negative on him.

    I know there are a lot more "Bush States" that Obama is likely to win than there are "Kerry States" that McCain will even come close in, but I am still worried.

    I do know that there is going to be a ground swell of Obama voters that McCain isn't going to have. Urban areas are going to have lines wrapped around blocks to get into the booths.

    Still, I am a nervous nellie and I will likely be until this is all over with.

  •  Would make a great political ad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Vicky, Black Max

    showing his quotes while a voice lists all of his earmarks.

  •  Stop slathering on the facts like a trollop, you (8+ / 0-)


    John McCain's Court will overturn Roe; don't kid yourself.

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:40:44 PM PDT

  •  The point about Google is interesting, but.... (0+ / 0-)

    You can still get a lot of juicy results by searching for "McCain's earmarks" (include the quotes).

    I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.

    by Jacob Bartle on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:41:42 PM PDT

  •  And Arizona used to be known for its... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

    by Bensdad on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:41:49 PM PDT

  •  OMG, I just heard the video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    of Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, talking to Andrea Mitchell this afternoon on MSNBC.

    There aren't enough drugs on the planet to normalize this guy.


    or go to and scroll down about 1/2 way)

  •  Email cited Obama snubbing troops? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    Guys - I got an email from my "republican" relative (doesn't everyone have one of those!) that was a "forward" (supposedly!) from some Marine that recalls being snubbed by Obama when he visited Afghanistan. I would appreciate any information into this email as this relative of mine is a pain in the neck!

    I won't repeat the whole diatribe as it would just be spread around. I just wanted to know if anyone read anything "like" this. The guy starts out with...

    > I received this from someone who was in Afghanistan when Obama blew in.
    > Hi
    > all FYI--for what freedom is worth.Tiffany and Jeff Porter are our
    > friends who live in Virginia .(Below is from Tiffany)I don't know each
    > of
    > your personal political convictions, and apologize if anyone finds this
    > offensive. I thought it was important enough to share.This is Jeff's
    > first hand view of Senator Obama. Tiffany---------- Forwarded Message
    > ----------Hello everyone,As you know I am not a very political person. I
    > just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan
    > for about an hour on his visit to 'The War Zone'.

    It goes on to whine and complain about him passing over them for handshakes and such. Bogus stuff in my mind. But I really want to know if this is some "fake email" sent out by the GOP.

    Please help me here!

    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

    by Wynter on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:57:33 PM PDT

  •  Once again, and again and again, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, RickMassimo

    McCain is proven to be a goddamned liar in the GWB mold. So somebody explain to me how McCain could have been such a paragon of moral strength and decency in that POW camp, and conduct himself like a gutter snake both politically and in his own family ever since his release? I wrote a diary asking that same question, framing it with the apparently specious "Songbird" allegations, and decided it could trigger some "blowback" of its own that I don't want to start. So that diary remains unpublished.

    Fair question? Out of bounds? It's certainly a dichotomy I don't understand.

    The History Commons needs your participation.

    by Black Max on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:59:34 PM PDT

    •  In unusual situations, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      people can behave unusually. Schindler was no paragon of virtue either.

      McCain has had a typical Republican life, with a juncture where he performed admirably. I'm not taking anything away from that, just sayin'.

      The above comment is probably disrespectful of John McCain's military service somehow.

      by RickMassimo on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:49:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know if you want to make any (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      assumptions about his time as a POW. I read this article last year from a former classmate at the Academy, a man who also was also a POW in Hanoi. It's an interesting read.

      Small quote:

      Senator John Sidney McCain, III is a remarkable man who has made enormous personal achievements. And he is a man that I am proud to call a fellow POW who "Returned With Honor." That's our POW motto. But since many of you keep asking what I think of him, I've decided to write it out. In short, I think John Sidney McCain, III is a good man, but not someone I will vote for in the upcoming election to be our President of the United States.

      Read it here.

      Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it. - Harry S Truman

      by parker parrot on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. McCain (0+ / 0-)

    is going to flip or flop so hard that he crushes his chest wall. He should be very careful. I'm only saying this for his own good. If one crushes the chest wall, life is hard to sustain. Of course, I mean this in a political sense.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:00:11 PM PDT

  •  Arizona Dems have been telling everyone for years (5+ / 0-)

    We have been standing on chairs, waving our arms....yelling yoohoo ..... it is ALL a lie for years....


    Interesting the local TeeVee news has been very honest about McCain's chances here in AZ..... two days in a row they have been reporting that McCain & Obama are within one percentage point considering the margin of error of recent polls.... They are calling it a dead heat..... woohoo...

    AZ State Democratic Party spokesperson was interviews.... they showed the stats & breakout
    Democrats / Independents / Republicans

    Lots like lots of polling places need to move AZ way out of the red and even out of the pink ..... light blue probably right..... WOOHOO...

    •  My wife's from Arizona (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and says much the same thing. I'll go back to the question I asked before, in a previous comment. How could McCain go from an apparent snot-nosed admiral's brat and a wannabe Top Gun Navy pilot, transform into a heroic POW, then revert back to a snake-bellied bastard who junks his first wife and lies his way through thirty years of a high-profile Senate career? It doesn't jibe worth a damn.

      The History Commons needs your participation.

      by Black Max on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:25:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read about his early race for AZ-1 and (0+ / 0-)

      ended up doing a diary about it yesterday. He was opportunistic, mean-spirited, nasty and dishonest starting with his very first primary. I knew there was a reason I was seeing low fundraising in the state. Plus that, the guy has never had a tough race since that first primary. And he pulled out the POW card to shut down the carpetbagging accusations. Yeah, I know. It's a leap. But he made it.

      Aren't you pissed that one of your two Senators can't be bothered with doing his actual job? His last recorded vote is when, April?

      Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it. - Harry S Truman

      by parker parrot on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:59:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain-Peabody Coal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, Black Max

    McCain was the point man in a scheme to rob ten thousand Navajo of their lands to the benefit of Peabody coal, who just happened to be one of his supporters.

    "The Dineh (otherwise known as Navajo) were stripped of all land title and forced to relocate. Their land was turned over to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites that would be destroyed by the mines. People whose lives were based in their deep spiritual and life-giving relationship with the land were relocated into cities, often without compensation, forbidden to return to the land that their families had occupied for generations. People became homeless with significant increases in alcoholism, suicide, family break up, emotional abuse and death. "

    -- Marsha Monestersky for the UN Commission on Human Rights and Women Enacting Change at the UN

    "I feel that in relocating these elderly people, we are as bad as the Nazis that ran the concentration camps in World War II."

    -- Roger Lewis, federally appointed Dineh Relocation Commissioner upon resignation in 1998

    The national media seems to have ignored the story, but I'd love to see McCain answer for his actions. What better time than during a Presidential campaign when he's running on his so-called integrity.

    For anyone wanting to read more.

    "When the powerful say that the price was worth the blood and treasure, you can bet your ass it wasn't their blood, nor their treasure."

    by sceptical observer on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:31:48 PM PDT

  •  Vote McSame-Buy French Tankers (0+ / 0-)

    Don't forget the $100 billion give away to AirBus for the AF KC-45 tanker.  Order ketchup with your "freedom fries" and get a toy KC 45 with that Happy Meal cause your job is gone it a McMeal is all you can afford sucker.  

    "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

    by YellerDog on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:41:21 PM PDT

  •  Good Job on this Article--He had me fooled... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but you know what they say,

    "fool me once, uh, eh, can't fooled again."

    I will never believe another word that comes out of his mouth.

  •  If Obama had one ad spot right now (0+ / 0-)

    this one is it. And the same theme can be played over and over with other subjects.

    In modern American politics-as-is, never defend, always attack.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:14:31 PM PDT

  •  Well, in all fairness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shirah, bfbenn

    "would like to request" is not the same as "I am asking."  McCain didn't ask.  Indeed, by using the subjunctive "would" with "like" he's more than leaving open the possibility that he actually won't, can't, or doesn't really want to.

    What this tells us is that McCain has a habit of hinting at actions that he doesn't plan to take, of submitting legislation that he doesn't intend to pass, and of proposing programs that aren't going to work.  The McCain/Feingold campaign finance law is a good example of something designed not to accomplish what was expected--i.e. designed to fail.
    The invasion of Iraq is another example. Neither sovereignty, democracy, independence or economic progress were to be achieved.  What was aimed for was acquiring the use of valuable real estate on the cheap for military use.  The publicly stated goals are all negated by that purpose.

    I think we need to take notice that official corruption is not just, or even primarily, the extorting and accepting of bribes.  Rather, it's the use of public office for the benefit of a special interest that does not serve and may even be contrary to the public interest.

    By redefining the public as a special interest group, the distinction has been somewhat obscured.  Redefining the public interest as the national interest and pretending that a public official, by virtue of the office he holds, is ipso facto promoting the national interest also helps to obscure what's really going on.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 02:24:17 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure I can agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the perceived distinction between "would like to request" and "I am asking", although diagramming sentences was never my strong suit.  I'll accept that there is a difference, but I don't think it should provide any cover for Mr. McCain with regard to earmarks.
      I absolutely LOVE your point about redefining the public as a special interest, however.  I see a lot of truth in that!

      "The Attorney General underwent surgery to remove a faulty gall bladder...A condition that left his gall completely unmitigated" -Jon Stewart

      by bfbenn on Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 06:34:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, shirah

    "I've never done any favors for anybody — lobbyist or special-interest group — that's a clear, 24-year record."

    This from the poster child of the Keating Five.

    "I'm not opposed to all wars; I'm opposed to dumb wars." -- Obama in 2002

    by Frank Palmer on Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 10:23:47 AM PDT

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