Rick Davis and AT&T Shacking Up

Boy, I thought it’d be hard to imagine an administration cozier with AT&T than George Bush’s–particularly since Bush replaced both Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett with AT&T lobbyist Ed Gillespie. But apparently, Rick Davis’ lobbying firm has been shacking up with AT&T:

So just how close are the ties between the McCain camp and AT&T? Well, AT&T shares a luxury skybox with Davis, Manafort Inc. at Nationals Stadium, which opened earlier this year and is home to the city’s baseball team. I say it “appears” because two sources, including one person who has been in the skybox, told me about the AT&T/Davis, Manafort luxury suite, but none of the relevant parties will comment on the matter. AT&T’s Washington lobbying office has not returned phone calls about the suite, nor has Davis, Manafort. Repeated attempts to seek comment from the McCain campaign have also been unsuccessful. Chartese Burnett, a spokeswoman for the Nationals, said the team does not disclose the holders of the luxury suites because of “privacy concerns.” But she did tell me that there are 66 suites at the stadium, which rent for between $160,000 and $400,000 per year.

There’d be nothing illegal about a shared arrangement. It would simply reflect the seamless web that exists between McCain and the lobbyists and special interests groups that he likes to criticize while out on the trail campaigning as a “maverick” and “change agent.” I just hope they get better iPhone service than I do.

 Now, for the record, Rick Davis thinks it’s "chasing ghosts" to go after the McCain team’s intimacy with big lobbyists.

WALLACE: Well, as a matter of personal privilege, I’m going to give you the opportunity to respond to David Axelrod, who said, you know, for all this talk about wait till we come in and shake the lobbyists, but the campaign team of McCain is filled with lobbyists or, in your case, former lobbyists. How do you respond?

DAVIS: Oh, I think that, you know, it’s just more of the same from David Axelrod. I mean, they’ve been running against ghosts of the past all along. And I think it just shows that they don’t really have anything to talk about.

If they want to run against Rick Davis or our campaign staff, let them. I think it’s hilarious. I think it’s a wonderful distraction from the real issues that we’re trying to debate.

It’s a classic example of a campaign that doesn’t have anything else to say, so they pick on staff.

But then, Davis couldn’t and didn’t actually refute Axelrod’s point: that the McCain campaign is infested with lobbyists. Also, I suspect Davis isn’t going to get as much mileage complaining that Obama is "picking on" staff as he has from complaining that Obama or the press are "picking on" poor Sarah Palin.

I’m mostly just curious how they "share" this box. Do they use it together, with Davis’ lobbyists entertaining clients on AT&T’s dime? Do they have a social secretary dedicated to ironing out timing conflicts? And have any of McCain’s big donors discovered an open door to this box?

  1. TobyWollin says:

    Well, considering the big party ATT just threw at the DNC for their “good friends” it sounds as if they are just hedging their bets in terms of who is going to be sitting in the Oval Office in January. While the rest of us watch the Constitution float down the river out of sight, ATT will still have everyone well in hand.

  2. Leen says:

    Since Edwards screwed himself out of the running (so wanted Edwards to be Attorney General0 ( if McCain and Bill can be accepted after cheating on their wives why not Edwards) the focus on lobbyist and poverty issues went down the drain. Glad your back on it EW

  3. yonodeler says:

    I wondered how long it would take for actual harm caused by overdone domestic surveillance and security programs to become obvious. The treatment of demonstrators, visitors, and the press during the national political conventions of this summer, especially the RNC, were the juncture into obviousness, it appears to me now.

    The static and relatively static personal information assembled and kept at ready by DHS programs may be nicely supplemented, for their purposes, by personal information obtained from broad telephonic and Internet surveillance.

    • R.H. Green says:

      “the juncture into obviousness…” Not sure what this means, but it reminds me that ITT was the proud sponsor of the overthrow of the Allende govt in Chile in the 70s, with help from Henery Kissenger and the US Navy.

      • Leen says:

        Kissinger floating around the Republican convention sure was a reminder of war criminals still running free.

      • yonodeler says:

        There have been harmful acts done in secrecy by intelligence and law enforcement agencies going way back. Some of the acts have eventually been widely reported by news media. I was thinking about the “9/11 changed everything” era, not all of US history.

  4. der1 says:

    Davis’ attitude is just another example of the blood lust fever that seems to permeate our culture. Tom Brady is a professional, my being a fan doesn’t matter, and knows that career ending injuries are the risk you take, but I cannot understand some of the online comments I read on the dirty hit that took him down. It’s mind blowing that some “fans” of the sport are more delighted to see one of its premier stars taken out for the season than watch a skilled and talented athlete perform. So in politics, like in sports, the fans cheer on a beat down rather than watch or listen to a good and fair debate about their future.

    • Drumman says:

      It’s the same trash that would rather see big crashes in racing than good clean action. personally I don’t get it.

    • nomolos says:

      As a supporter of the Pats ever since they practiced at Cleveland Circle and one who has been to every home field except Birmingham Alabama let me just say that was not a “dirty” hit it was the luck of the draw, an accident and now we must go on with the game but for goodness stop the foolishness that the accident was “dirty”. it is not only bald faced bullshit but it is damned unfair to the other player who was dong his bloody job like everyone else on the field in that play (except, that is, Kazkur who was no doubt dreaming about who he would rat on next).

      • Neil says:

        I’m glad you posted this comment. I was torn away from NFL week one yesterday by a funeral in Connecticut, my sister’s husband’s mother. I have the game on dvr and will watch it later. The dirty comment above and yours are the only two I’ve read. I’m glad you posted yours.

  5. Leen says:

    Amy Goodman

    Crashing the Party: Suites, Corporate-Sponsored Events Gather the Money Behind the Conventions

    The Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities, like last week’s Democratic convention in Denver, is largely funded by big corporations. We try to go inside the suites at both conventions, and speak to Colorado Senator Ken Salazar and MSNBC pundit Tucker Carlson. [includes rush transcript]


  6. posaune says:

    yonoderler @4:

    Yeah, it is obvious. For real.
    This past week, a good friend of our, a 65-yo disabled former professor from Gallaudet University received a “confiscatory” letter from dhs. She is retired, raises Irish Terriers as a hobby that she trains as hospital service dogs (some go to vets). She had made a call to a pet supply store in Colorado to purchase a $5.95 1/2-oz bottle of fur colorant from their catalog. The day the package arrived she received the confiscatory letter, demanded that she turn over the product to dhs. She called to say it must be an error, and the demand was restated. She refused. They showed up in big black suv’s at her home (where she has lived/raised her kids) for 42 years. They wanted to search her house. She refused and told them to get a warrant. She has now received a subpeona with a demand to forfeit the product.

    It’s obvious. Her phone carrier is verizon.

    • skdadl says:

      I don’t follow; truly, I don’t. Fur colorant? That is honestly what set off the alarm bells? I mean, I semi-got falafels and vegan potlucks, but … fur colorant?

  7. posaune says:

    skdadl @12

    yes, it’s a chemical that uses potassium (also used in water treatment for swimming pools) that can be used to even out the red fur color on the dog’s toes.

  8. jacqrat says:

    I think an effective ad for the Obama campaign would be cuts of Perino, McClellan, etc. standing at the podium saying they “will not answer that question” (there are millions of clip of that being said, in hundreds of ways…) cut in with Rick Davis on Fox last Sunday, defending Keeping Sarah Palin under wraps and refusing to let her be interviewed until the press treats here with “the RESPECT AND DEFERENCE” she requires.

    To me, that would illustrate most easily how electing the republican ticket would NOT be CHANGE, “Coming” or otherwise. Same bullshit, different day.

    • foothillsmike says:

      There was a great deal of spin especially from the pentagon spokesperson Barbara Starr – They didn’t know the video existed so now they are going to reopen the investigation. BS> What they didn’t know was that there was proof out there that they were engaging in a cover up and lying. They didn’t know there were 90 people killed my ass.

      • Kinmo says:

        Oh, those crazy camera phones w/video. How will AT&T help control the message with those pesky camera/video phones everywhere. Tee-Hee, they created a MONSTER!

  9. grok says:

    I’m mostly just curious how they “share” this box. Do they use it together, with Davis’ lobbyists entertaining clients on AT&T’s dime? Do they have a social secretary dedicated to ironing out timing conflicts? And have any of McCain’s big donors discovered an open door to this box?

    It is being reported that C.S. Lewis is presently doing a thousand and one revolutions in his grave. This is due to the imminent publication of “The Lobbyist, The Retch and The Warmongers” a trite, but truly terrifying tale, told by children. It is about the founders of a lobbyist firm, Pevensie, Pevensie and Davis, who are forced, by circumstances of war, to spend their time at sports arenas and corporate functions, if only to lessen the damage they might otherwise do… One day they find themselves in a spare skybox at the rear of which is old wardrobe containing leather chaps, a dozen feather boas and an authentic replica of a Minneapolis airport restroom. Whilst re-enacting J. Edgar Hoovers greatest hits one day, the wardrobe door is accidently shut, revealing a new door that provides an entrance to a magical and mysterious world…