42° F

Reality Check: Obama Ad Ties McCain To Lobbyists

Published On: Sep 18 2008 06:11:50 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 18 2008 06:56:25 AM CDT

A new Sen. Barack Obama ad tries to challenge Sen. John McCain's commitment to reform in Washington by pointing out his ties to lobbyists.

VIDEO: Watch The Report

McCain has branded himself and his running mate as mavericks and reformers, but Obama challenges that in an ad that examines McCain's inner circle.

The problem with the ad, a WISC-TV analysis found, is that someone needs to check the verb tenses.

The ad makes it look like these staffers are currently lobbying in Congress, while in fact none of them are currently lobbyists.

"It's over; it's over for the special interests. Wait a second: John McCain's chief adviser lobbies for oil companies - - even from Russia and China," said the ad.

McCain's senior adviser is Charlie Black. It's true that he has been a lobbyist, but he currently is not.

In 2004, he was listed as a lobbyist for Russian oil company Yukos. He's also lobbied for companies like General Motors and AT&T. Black left his lobbying job in March of 2008.

The ad continued, "His campaign manager lobbies for corporations outsourcing American jobs."

Rick Davis is McCain's campaign manager and a former telecommunications lobbyist.

He's lobbied for companies like SBC and Verizon, which have outsourced.

"The campaign chairman he picked last year, a bank lobbyist," said the ad.

First of all, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm is no longer McCain's national campaign co-chair; he stepped down in July. Gramm was a registered lobbyist for Swiss bank UBS until April.

He is still a vice chairman with the bank and, though a McCain supporter, he's no longer with the campaign.

The ad continued, "If seven of McCain's top advisers are lobbyists, who do you think will run his White House?"

Other McCain campaign staffers and fundraisers do have lobbying histories, a WISC-TV analysis found.

Many of them terminated their lobbying associations earlier this year after Davis reportedly issued an order that no person working for the campaign be a paid lobbyist.

Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, brings some lobbyist connections.

Biden's son only recently stepped down as a lobbyist with a Washington firm.

  • World Series Game 1 Progressive Field wide shot

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    2016 World Series: Cubs even things up

    The 2016 World Series started Oct. 25, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, with the National League champion Chicago Cubs and the American League champion Cleveland Indians.

  • PHOTOS: Vilas Zoo announces new holiday lights exhibit

    The Henry Vilas Zoo will light up nights this holiday season with its new Zoo Lights event. The Zoo Lights exhibit will offer zoo-goers a stroll down Candy Cane Lane with festive lights and sounds. Zoo organizers announced the Zoo Light exhibit Wednesday and said thousands of lights will transform the zoo into a winter wonderland Nov. 25-Jan. 1.

    Admission is $7 and Zoo Lights will run Thursdays through Sundays beginning at 5:30 p.m.

  • Takata air bag recall by the numbers - blurb

    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Takata air bag recall by the numbers

    Millions of cars have been recalled due to defective Takata air bags across the world. One in every 10 cars in the U.S. is affected by the recall, Automotive News reports. The publication is calling this the "recall of the century," as up to 90 million more recalls are possible.