APRIL 22, 2008
Despite John McCain’s presidential campaign pledge forbidding official favors for top donors, the Arizona senator has introduced legislation and heavily intervened to acquire lucrative deals for a wealthy longtime friend who has raised a quarter of a million dollars for him so far.
A major U.S. newspaper has documented in a lengthy piece the decades-long relationship between the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and a powerful Arizona developer who has made millions of dollars thanks to the senator’s efforts on behalf of the deals.
Without McCain’s aggressive intervention, millionaire Donald Diamond could not have made the deals which, in a few instances involved beneficial public-for-private land swaps and the actual remapping of public lands. McCain helped his friend acquire the valuable properties by introducing legislation in 1991 and 1994 on his behalf. The senator’s efforts led to multi million-dollar profits and the acquisition of thousands of acres in Arizona. McCain has sponsored a third similar bill that currently sits before the U.S. Senate.
In 1999 McCain helped Diamond purchase highly-sought yet forbidden California land owned by the Army, which he immediately sold for a $20 million profit. Then McCain got his buddy a lucrative contract to develop a resort hotel and luxury housing in 2005. These efforts certainly contradict McCain’s vows not to intercede with the government on behalf of a donor or take any action on their behalf that doesn’t serve the public’s interest.
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