McCain Guru's Work for Foreign Dictators Draws Fire

Angola's Savimbi, Philippines' Marco haunt Charlie Black's clients list
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
McCain Guru's Work for Foreign Dictators Draws Fire
Carly Fiorina, background and Charlie Black, advisers to Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A client list that included dictators in Angola, the Philippines, Kenya, and Somalia is now haunting a key strategist for John McCain, the Washington Post reports, with Democrats baying over Charlie Black’s lobbying record. Black was among the earliest users of the revolving door between lobbying and campaign consulting that McCain has criticized, a conflict likely to animate Barack Obama’s strategy this fall.

The Republican "portrays himself as Mr. Clean, and then he has all these lobbyists around him who are connected to a lot of not-so-clean people," a professor says. Black insists, however, that his foreign lobbying work—most notably for Jonas Savimbi, the Angolan leader who spent $600,000 in 1985 alone—was always cleared by the State Department—and was in US interests. (More John McCain stories.)

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