McCain’s ethics questioned

Revelations of an eight-year-old relationship between John McCain and an attractive female lobbyist raises a new question about the GOP Presidential frontrunner’s ethics.

Questions about womanizing by McCain have circulated in Washington for years and even his senior advisors were convinced eight years ago that he was involved in an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

McCain also went to bat for Iseman’s clients, writing multiple letters to the Federal Communications Commission and taking other actions that could be considered conflicts of interest for the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Both McCain and Iseman deny any sexual relationship but word of the doubts expressed by his staff during his first Presidential run bring to the forefront questions about whether or not McCain is as ethical as he claims.

And it is not the first time McCain has been caught in questionable activity.

Reports The New York Times:

Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.

Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame.

But the concerns about Mr. McCain’s relationship with Ms. Iseman underscored an enduring paradox of his post-Keating career. Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.

Reports The Washington Post:

Aides to Sen. John McCain confronted a telecommunications lobbyist in late 1999 and asked her to distance herself from the senator during the presidential campaign he was about to launch, according to one of McCain’s longest-serving political strategists.

John Weaver, who was McCain’s closest confidant until leaving his current campaign last year, said he met with Vicki Iseman at the Center Cafe at Union Station and urged her to stay away from McCain. Association with a lobbyist would undermine his image as an opponent of special interests, aides had concluded.

Members of the senator’s small circle of advisers also confronted McCain directly, according to sources, warning him that his continued ties to a lobbyist who had business before the powerful commerce committee he chaired threatened to derail his presidential ambitions.

“It’s a shame that the New York Times has chosen to smear John McCain like this,” said Charles R. Black Jr., a top adviser to McCain’s current presidential campaign and the head of a Washington lobbying firm called BKSH & Associates. “Neither Senator McCain nor the campaign will dignify false rumors and gossip by responding to them. John McCain has never done favors for anyone, not lobbyists or any special interest. That’s a clear 24-year record.”

The McCain team issued a statement last night decrying “gutter politics” and saying the story — which had been reported on the Drudge Report Web site in December — was a “a hit and run smear campaign.”


  1. JoeHollinger

    Joe Hollinger,Proud to be a U.S. Citizen, and
    I believe in the United States
    and the United States Constitution.

    I must return to the concern posted by Sandra Price that all of this election hoopla, beating on candidates because of one thing or another, and so on, is indeed to cover up a bunch of clandestine activities taking place behind the scenes.

    The real estate loan debacle being one that will send the United States Treasury into a bankrupt state in a short time.  This involves several trillions of dollars.

    Another, the formation of a North American Union that will tear down the borders between Mexico, the United States, and Canada and have us all use a common currency called the Amero. Take a look at the continuous efforts of many in the House and Senate that continue to try and get legislation through that will grant amnesty to illegal aliens and encourage their families to join them in the United States. That is so there will be a work force in place that will work for the lower valued Ameros in quantities per hour that sound impressive to those that are not use to getting paid high numbers of any currency.

    Another serious event that is being pushed is the mandatory use of driver’s licenses that contain VChips which produce radio waves that can be tracked from space. Implementation was supposed to be 2008 but the opposition from several states has  forced “W” to push the date out until 2012. (Keep and eye on that year and possibly December 21 thereof.) These driver’s licenses will migrate into National IDs using the same VChip and mirgrate further into VChips that will be implanted under the skin of every mother son of us. The implanted VChips will include an ID number that will control every thing that takes place in a person’s life from health care to pay. If the Illuminati/Neocons/Bankers/Zionists feel that we have done something that goes against policy, they will turn off your ID number and your as good as dead; you won’t be able to eat, by gas, or get your pay out of the bank.

    Don’t listen to the sound of the drums, study what the drummers are doing when its quiet. Don’t drink alcohol because the plan is for us all to become alcoholics and easier to control. Remember the fate of the Russian people under Communism? They didn’t have much to eat but the vodka was plentiful and cheap. Poverty didn’t look to bad through the drunken fog of reality.

    Communism will be our fate if we do not stop the chain of events that has already been started, and is being continued by every president from, and including Jimmy Carter to “W”.

    Did you ever ask yourselves why Israel is so important to the United States? Wake up folks, it is not because of religion. It is because of money that is controlled by the Zionist from Israel. Those powerful and rich people are the ones behind the New World Order. They empower the Illuminati, Neocons, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Elites, Council on Foreign Relations, G8 bankers, etc.

    Their are some heavy guns pointing at us and our borders are not the least bit safe and we don’t have a military to protect them. Does anyone see a reason for keeping our troops tied up in Iraq here?

  2. Janice

    I would rather have our public officials screwing around than screwing us over. McCain can declair his innocence from the roof tops, but I seriously doubt that four of the best political reporters on the staff are going to publish something that will destroy their career. I expect that McCain is guilty, if not of adultry, than certinally peddling influence. I find, as an American citizen, the latter to give more cause for worry than the former.

    Which leaves Huckabee… This election – so very important – is turning into a three ring circus.

  3. Carl Nemo

    Hi Janice…

    Nicely stated and spot-on analysis concerning the “ethics” spin surrounding McCain’s dalliance…!

    I, like most Americans are tired of having leaders that are screwing around on our dime and time among other things…! Maybe Bush didn’t screw around, but he and Cheney simply screwed us over leaving us with trillions of unpayable debt… 😐

    Mr. “100 Years War” McCain evidently will be more of the same plus he’ll also enjoy other percs too…no?! /:)

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Janice

    The real issue here is not that McCain may have had an affair, but that he is doing things in the political arena that are unethical. This betrays the people of this country, and his office in government.

    McCain also went to bat for Iseman’s clients, writing multiple letters to the Federal Communications Commission and taking other actions that could be considered conflicts of interest for the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

    Doing this – and I have not heard anyone dispute this claim, is NOT something that is acceptable by anyone in office – and certinally not by someone running for President. Haven’t we had enough illegal activity and corruption over the last 8 years? Why would anyone with a shred of intelligence even consider voting for someone who breaks the law and sells influcence?

    Having an affair shows a lack of character – but that seems to be the norm in Washington D.C. Peddling influcence is also the norm, but this hurts everyone, while an affair is personal to those involed. I am so sick of these compassionate conservatives. They are nothing but a bunch of corrupt hyprocrites.

  5. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Glad to see

    …I wasn’t the only one thinking that!

    …someone does need to feed her – she’s a lollypop –


  6. JerryG

    Freaky, freaky, freaky!

    Consider this! If you put a photo of Iseman next to a photo of Cindy McCain you’d almost swear they were twins! I betcha’ John McCain got confused and thought Iseman was really Cindy! After all, what other explanation could there possibly be? *Wink* *Wink*

  7. JudyB

    Having illicit dalliances, seems to be a prerequisite for someone in politics. I’d like to add, this was supposed to have taken place 8 or 9 yrs ago, so the 71 yr old most likely isn’t banging her anymore. However, we have been getting screwed non-stop by most of our sanctimonious leaders! Oh, by the way…both McCain and Iseman deny this ever happened but I’m sure it will be beaten to death, whether its true or not….remember folks, this is an election year so, Hold on…this is just the beginning of what promises to be a wild one!

  8. anthny

    Yes to McCan. And more power to him.
    If it was good enough for Garry Hart it should be enough to take him down. But is it true? If McCan was a regular guy he would be bragging about his conquests.
    It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and McCain already sung.
    The posts today are over the top. Thanks to Carl Nemo for the savvy links.
    If we look back at our history, most men would do the naughty thing because they still can. Which is saying a lot when your seveny-one, at least he has a healthy

  9. ekaton

    “But whether he and his wife and his girlfriend have or had “issues” is, IMHO, not fair game for public voyeurism.”

    Unlike, of course, Bill Clinton, where the reverse was true, eh?

    — Kent Shaw

  10. dbumRob

    Well, if the pattern holds true, first there is the denial, which has happened. Then as the newshounds uncover more, there will be an admission that they were “close.” Then as it looks like it’s going to hang him, he’ll say he was drinking because of the stress of his “maverick” job, he’s entered “rehab” (like Bush did) and then he’ll give some pseudo-religious veneer to it all.

    As for it not being a factor in his fitness, I have this to say. More than the fact he allegedly cheated on his wife, the fact that he was willing to conflict his job as a Senator and his representation of his constituents, and his oath to uphold the Constitution by associating with a lobbyist while conducting related business in the senate tells me that McCain will stoop to the usual low bar of GOP values, despite his “straight talk.” A fine example of this is his vote against banning waterboarding lately, as he opposed it all the while Bush was in office.

    Attractive is relative to perspective and the comparison of what a partner will do and what a mistress will do.

  11. Steve Horn

    First off, this is about as newsworthy as an article about what kind of cat the candidate owns. However, I’ll toss a bit of fuel on the fire, just for fun.

    To McCains credit, at least she’s attractive (unlike Clintons various companions), and he’s not seeking gratification in a public restroom (like Larry Craig). Nor is he having sex with minors. Having an affair obviously isn’t unheard of in the towers of power, let’s face it, those in office aren’t saints, they’re men and women – vulnerable to the same temptations that pull at all of us from time to time.

    If it’s true, the best thing McCain can do is to say “yep, I’ve been having a relationship with her” and end the titillation. Denial will just lead to more media heat and hype (think Gary Hart and the incident on the “Monkey Business”). Pulling a Clinton (a blow job isn’t sex) would be absurd if he wants to retain any sense of integrity.

    If it’s not true, then he’s going to have a hell of a time proving that he did NOT have an affair. Proving you didn’t do something is damn near impossible.


  12. WWWexler


    There’s no doubt she’s a female lobbyist. But “attractive”? I’d have to say fair, at best.

    However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Regarding the story, McCain has a pile of ethics problems, flip flops, comeaparts, and foibles following him around like a herd of clamoring ghosts. The electorate clearly chose him out of sheer desperation, and he stands no chance in November against the Dems unless they come up with a new, improved, foolproof foot-shooting device.

    Anything John McCain has taken a firm, unshakable stand on… ANYTHING… you can find a sound bite with him on both sides of the issue.


  13. keith

    Maybe Mr. McCain should now ask former President Clinton to be his running mate. After all, both camps want to combat “government waste” and both camps like to tout their candidate’s “experience”.

    So, with Bill hiring on as Mr. McCain’s Vice President (or should we say “President of Vice”) and after they were elected, they’d have living, breathing proof of a new campaign to root out government waste at all levels.

    That’s because they’d now be able to SHARE their Oval Office bimbos!

  14. Sandra Price

    Don’t blame Doug for bringing the story to CHB. It was on all the news channels all night long. I am more concerned about the Lobbyist association than his possible love affair. Boys will be boys!

  15. The Kansan

    Now we know what George W had on McCain when competing against each other in South Carolina. McCain was the popular choice going in, and before you knew it, he quit and claimed w was the best choice and that he would support w. McCain went from an independent thinker to a Bush yes man overnight. Didn’t you think that was strange? It was obvious at that time that Rove had a picture of McCain ____ing a goat. I’ve waited 8 years to learn what that evidence was.
    Knowing about McCain’s history, attractive women has been his downfall his whole life.
    I was a mcCain supporter before the 2000 South Carolina fiasco, but couldn’t stand him afterward for quiting. (And we know from his stay at the Hanoi Hilton that he isn’t a quitter.)
    My problem is: If he let some scum like Bush and Rove put him in his place, what about the next guy who saw McCain with another goat?
    Think about it.

  16. Nogood

    I can’t say that I really blame McCain. The young lady really doesn’t look bad. I took notice of McCain’s wife the other day and she gave me the impression that she could be a bitch. Maybe John needed a little “extra”.

  17. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Wow! That Chick McCain is thumping is a hot mama! John, after you sacrifice your career for the that Fraulein, send her to me!

  18. Carl Nemo

    Yo incog99…

    Regardless of the source of this theoretical, well-directed conspiracy against John McPain; all I can say is that I hope they are successful in derailing “Mr. 100 YEARS IN IRAQ”, “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” nightmare from fulfilling our worst national and world-destroying nightmares…!

    McCain is both senile and f**king NUTS…! You’ve heard it here, now, and surely not the last from other savvy observers concerning this mattoid and his ongoing ravening, imbecilic, stupidity…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  19. Carl Nemo

    Hi Warren,

    Thanks for the reply. Rest assured Sir, I could care less if he had a tryst with the this fairly young nubile woman. She’s quite attractive and I can’t really blame him for being tempted. No problemo…! I just don’t want this crook as our president. It’s simple as that. I’d vote for you Warren before John McCain…! : )

    Carl Nemo **==
    p.s. Read the “electricnevada” link and then think…just think! Do some serious digging on this pol clown and then both analyze and think some more and it just might percolate into your consciousness that this guy is bad kimche…!

  20. incog99

    Seriously, this seems to me to be a right wing hit piece on McCain. There are many in the party unhappy with his status. The New York Times is a nest of Neocon reporters. Their complicity in getting us into war with Iraq is one case in point. Wan’t Judith Miller one of their reporters on Yellow Cake etc.? If anything it is a vast right wing conspiracy against McCain.

  21. Warren


    McCain may be a “dirt bag”.

    But whether he and his wife and his girlfriend have or had “issues” is, IMHO, not fair game for public voyeurism. Do you mean to exclude everyone who’s ever had an extra-marital affair from public office? If so, good luck finding good government. All you’ll get is right wingers that nobody can prove ever had an affair – even though most of ’em probably have, just they lie about it.

  22. SEAL

    I wonder why they let this cat outta the bag again at this partricular time? It won’t benefit anyone in the repugnant party. Mac already has the nomination sewed up. If a democrat has done it why not wait until next October and the general election?

    Personally, I don’t care who he’s banging. At 71, more power to him as long as he doesn’t trade sex for votes.

  23. incog99

    Well Keith you know we must be regulated! Anything that appears to be fun must be monitored and controlled. They do allow us alcohol for some reason but all the rest of it is illegal or sold by the pharmaceutical companies for big profits (Viagra comes to mind).

    Sex between consenting adults must be closely monitored for our own good since our government is smarter than we are and “knows better” than us just ask Hillary! Since they are superior to us they must rule us and they call it leadership.

    Oh well.

  24. Carl Nemo

    Yo Warren…

    “This has NO BEARING on his fitness for office”…?!

    Notice how this continual stream of human garbage that both aspire and make it to the Whitehouse encourages voters to compromise evermoreso to the minus column concerning values.

    I suggest you bury your nose in the “electricnevada” link I provided about six posts back and let it sink into your consciousness that there’s far more negativity concerning McCain, the “dirtbag”, than you might care to acknowledge. Sorry pal, but McCain is a corrupt pol to the core…! He’s both a legend and hero in his mind and to those he might dupe. : |

    Carl Nemo **==