FEC Investigating McCain Contributions

Have you noticed how often John McCain and other Republicans project their own sins onto Barack Obama? This appears to be the case once again with their accusations regarding accepting excessive donations. The FEC is investigating the issue–investigating John McCain that is. From The Trail:

While the Republican Party is pushing the Federal Election Commission to investigate the possibility that Democrat Barack Obama collected excessive contributions, its own candidate is facing scrutiny on the same subject.

The FEC sent a letter to Sen. John McCain’s campaign treasurer Sept. 30 demanding the candidate turn over more information about “contributions that appear to exceed the limits.”

The letter is accompanied by a nine-page list showing scores of overages from McCain’s August campaign finance report, including nearly $13,000 from Texas rancher Ray R. Barrett Jr.; $9,200 from an Iraqi security consultant, H. Carter Andress; and $5,000 from Joseph F. Davolio, an executive at a major national liquor, beer and wine distributor.

“Please inform the Commission of your corrective action immediately in writing and provide photocopies of any refund checks and/or letters reattributing or redesignating the contributions in question,” the letter from the FEC’s senior campaign finance analyst, Leah S. Palmer, says. “The acceptance of excessive contributions is a serious problem.”

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Ike Hong says:

    The following are comments about Mr. Andress´ interview with the National Review several weeks ago concerning his book: Contractor Combatants: Tales of an Imbedded Capitalist. If he is a better option than Blackwater then we really are in trouble.

    Good day!

    The interview and comments from Mr. Andress are interesting. He appears articulate and intelligent. I fully support our troops and the mission to bring stability and democracy to Iraq while returning our troops home ASAP.

    However, the definition of combatant contractor still is a euphemism for a mercenary to many people, especially in the Mid East. An Imbedded Capitalist combatant contractor makes it clear that the mission is about money and not some altruistic crusade. The US military wants the conflict to be over ASAP to bring the troops home. The imbedded combatant contractor wants and needs this struggle to be prolonged as long as possible to continue profiting from the conflict.

    Mr. Andress cleverly sells parts of his abilities with implied skills and stories to his audience. Now he has substituted experience and relevant skills needed to rebuild Iraq and bring our troops home with his self promotion and salesmanship. Examples range from his euphemism for a mercenary as a combatant contractor, CEO taking a company public through the SEC to importing vodka. Mr. Andress has secured the most lucrative money making venture of his life through his salesmanship and not real qualifications.

    Mr. Andress´ construction and engineering experience prior to Iraq was restoring an old home? Maybe he is also studying logistics, finance, and Arabic with the US tax payers’ money and the Iraqi citizens’ future? Could not the US military and Defense Department find someone who already had real and relevant work experience in commercial construction, engineering, logistics and etc. to make our best efforts to maximize the chances for success for Iraq and America?

    Another example of his implied skills and business experience is the Ukrainian vodka. Mr. Andress states that he was the first importer of Ukrainian Vodka, Zhitomirska Jubilee “Z” Vodka. In fact it was Tailor Made Import that imported Zhitomirskaya as the first Ukrainian vodka. Clever of him to drop the letter “a” with his version?

    Tailor Made Import was dissolved because Mr. Andress failed to meet his vodka sales objectives and repay his loans of less than one hundred thousand dollars to the company. Tailor Made Import, the original Ukrainian vodka importer closed its doors due to Andress´ lack of positive results, cooperation and loan repayments. I guess he was acquiring skills to sell vodka and repay the loan? Similarly is he studying Arabic and acquiring his other job related skills in Iraq at the US tax payers expense?

    Maybe a journalist should verify and quantify this company that he took public through the SEC. It sounds so grand and sophisticated. It must have employed tens of thousands of people like his company in Iraq?

    It is unimaginable that any US public traded company would hire an inexperienced vodka salesman with a history degree to be a CEO to handle tens of millions of dollars in contracts and services. The shareholders would demand accountability and intensive due diligence in searching for qualified candidates for this work. It is even more frightening that for Iraq and the US tax payers that Mr. Andress is: “… one of the keys to standing up the Iraqi military and police thereby providing the exit strategy for US combat forces to leave Iraq. Therefore if we, and the few other companies like us, succeed then the U.S. will be victorious in the Iraq war.”

    More constructive engagement with experienced and qualified personnel that can meet the real objectives without an innate conflict of interest to make Iraqi free should have been and are needed. Maybe Congress and the US taxpayers should ask why we are funding an imbedded capitalist to learn Arabic, write a book, and acquire the skills that should have been a pre-requisite to be awarded contracts worth ten of millions in the first place.

    The imbedded combatant contractors want this struggle to continue as long as they can continue earning highly profitable money from the US government. There is no incentive for them to leave and bring an end to the trouble. The combatant contractor needs instability and the US government’s patronage to continue collecting money. There is a fundamental conflict to bring stability to Iraq and terminate the Imbedded Capitalist’s profitable money making venture in Iraq.

    It maybe more interesting for a journalist to delve into Mr. Andress´ past independently of his own self promotion and claims. You may want to start with childhood onward.

    Threatening and taunting his pregnant high school teacher and her unborn child in a full class with a coat hanger in Winter Park , Florida at Trinity Preparatory School in 1980. Is that behavior becoming of an US Army officer and a gentleman? I am sure that he has an explanation for this episode along with his arrests that did not make his book or your interview.

    We hope that the readers remember the title of his book: Contractor Combatants: Tales of an Imbedded Capitalist. Mr. Andress is there to make money as long as possible at the expense of the US taxpayers and Iraqi people.

    Maybe his past unpublished activities were the perfect prerequisite to be a combatant contractor? Oh, some of the other records are probably sealed. He probably forgot to mention that along with other highlights to his past employers including the US Army. Thanks for letting the American public and Iraqi people know that Mr. Andress is all about helping us and providing an exemplary moral compass in Iraq .

    Ronald V.

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