McCain Convention Manager Resigns After NEWSWEEK Reveals Burma Ties

Around noon today, the powers-that-be at NEWSWEEK posted "A Convention Quandary" on our website. In the story, investigative ace Michael Isikoff reported that the man chosen by John McCain's presidential campaign to run this summer's GOP convention--Arizonan Doug Goodyear--was causing some headaches within the ranks. The problem? Goodyear is CEO of DCI Group, a consulting firm that earned $3 million last year lobbying for ExxonMobil, General Motors and other clients--not the most convenient association for a candidate who's already struggling to reconcile his reputation as an anti-special interests crusader with the sizable number of lobbyists on his senior staff. Further complicating matters: Isikoff's revelation that DCI was paid $348,000 in 2002 to represent Burma's military junta, leading "a PR campaign to burnish the junta's image, drafting releases praising Burma's efforts to curb the drug trade and denouncing 'falsehoods' by the Bush administration that the regime engaged in rape and other abuses." Ouch.

Apparently, Goodyear agreed.

Shortly after 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, the Republican National Convention announced that it had accepted Goodyear's resignation, setting a new land speed record for shortest time lapsed between the "story breaks" and "ax falls" phases of a political scandal. "Today I offered the convention my resignation so as not to become a distraction in this campaign," said Goodyear in written statement. "I continue to strongly support John McCain for president, and wish him the best of luck in this campaign." Asked later by the Politico whether Team McCain had given him the boot, Goodyear said no. "My decision," he added. "[It was] unambiguously the right thing to do."

Ironically enough, though, Goodyear defended his involvement with the brutal Burmese regime in Isikoff's original story. "It was our only foreign representation, it was for a short tenure, and it was six years ago," he told NEWSWEEK at the time, adding that the junta's record in the current cyclone crisis is "reprehensible."

Funny how the spotlight changes things.

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