(Straight Talk Express) Ucs News- With strict new ethics rules in place Republican John McCain was forced to clear-out many top aides last week. While many thought the clean up was complete, the Arizonia senator announced today that two more lobbyist staff members were purged from the campaign. According to McCain’s Chief of staff, both the Straight Talk Express bus driver and galley cook were registered “foreign agents” the driver lobbying on behalf of regime of Myanmar; the cook on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
At least five senior staffers have parted ways with McCain’s White House campaign in recent days after the Arizona senator clamped down on lobbyist activity that might pose a conflict of interest with his presidential bid. A week ago, McCain imposed draconian rules on his staff including a ban on all registered lobbyists or “foreign agents” and a demand for full disclosure of outside activity by part-time volunteers and Straight Talk staffers.
The Straight Talk Express driver, Edward Letsger confirmed that he had done public relations work for the widely reviled military regime of Myanmar. Letsger, a long time McCain staffer has been with McCain for over 10 years. Records indicate Letsger drove the Straight Talk Express during the Senators ill fated Presidential run in 2000.
McCain, facing a possible general election contest with Democrat Barack Obama and his message of change, is courting independent voters with the image of a maverick unafraid to take on his own party on matters of principle. So being tied to the ultimate insiders of Washington’s “K Street” crowd, named after the locale of lobbying companies’ swanky offices in the capital city, is not the posture that McCain wants to project.
Barack Obama, whose campaign banned registered lobbyists from the start, said “I can’t believe that McCain would put Letsger in control of the Straight Talk Express. John McCain should be ashamed of himself, letting a lobbyist set the direction of his campaign.