In that Newsweek piece (noted below), which details Rick Davis
's continuing financial ties to mega-lobby firm Davis Manafort
, Mike Isikoff reveals that in addition to paying Davis's salary directly to Davis Manafort
, the McCain campaign has paid almost a million dollars to 3eDC
, a web development company, part owned by Davis.
Now, digging around a little, I notice that 3eDC
is pretty closely tied to Davis Manafort
.Not only, as Newsweek
notes, does the company share an address with Davis Manafort
So to cycle back, how we got into all this was trying to figure out whether Rick Davis had really cut his ties with Davis Manafort
The question most people have been asking is whether Davis
was still drawing a salary.What it seems like now, however, is that Davis
has born poring tons of McCain campaign money back into Davis Manafort
-- either by having his
campaign salary paid to the firm or by having huge consulting accounts set up for paper companies owned by Davis
.In either case, the question seems no longer to be whether Davis
still draws a salary from Davis Manafort
but whether McCain-Palin 2008 and Davis Manafort
are even distinct organizations.
Even though Davis
was no longer drawing any salary from the firm, what David Kurtz and I were wondering was whether Davis
had somehow redirected his
salary to some other entity from which he
could later profit from it or draw it back.Well, it seems Newsweek
has finally caught up with Davis's flimflam ...
The McCain campaign told reporters the fees were irrelevant because Davis
"separated from his
consulting firm ... in 2006," according to the campaign's Web site, and he
stopped drawing a salary from it.In fact, however, when Davis
joined the campaign in January 2007, he
asked that his
$20,000-a-month salary be paid directly to Davis Manafort
, two sources who asked not to be identified discussing internal campaign business told NEWSWEEK
.Federal campaign records show the McCain campaign paid Davis Manafort
$90,000 through July 2007, when a cash crunch prompted Davis
and other top campaign officials to forgo their salaries and work as volunteers.Separately, another entity created and partly owned by Davis--an Internet firm called 3eDC, whose address was the same office building as Davis Manafort's--received payments from the McCain campaign for Web services, collecting $971,860 through March 2008. In an e-mail to NEWSWEEK, a senior McCain official said that when the campaign began last year, it signed a contract with Davis Manafort "in which we purchased all of [Davis's] time, and he agreed not to work for any other clients."
Frankly, it's even more convoluted than I'd imagined.But the McCain campaign's claim that anything done by Davis Manafort
is irrelevant to the campaign since no one at the campaign has any tie to the firm now seems pretty ridiculous.
It may be filtered through and packaged by Steve Schmidt or Salter or Davis
...Now, Davis is part owner of Davis Manafort, the firm in question.
But the McCain campaign is insisting that Davis
hasn't drawn any compensation from the firm since 2006.
But the only evidence seems to be Davis's
and the campaign's claims.I suspect that what they're saying may be true.But at this point with Davis
and the campaign caught in so many different lies, do they really have any credibility to make such claims absent actual evidence?I mean, just yesterday Davis was saying he
hadn't had any contact with the mortgage giants since the front group he
ran for them shut down in 2005.