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What Leaving Really Means, Rick Davis

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis (at left) seems to have truthiness problems. At least he cannot remember when or if he left the lobbying firm he was or is it still is a partner in.


Jill Hazelbaker, the campaign’s communications director, said in an e-mail Tuesday that Davis “left” Davis Manafort in 2006. In a statement attacking The New York Times, posted on the campaign’s Web site on Wednesday, campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb said essentially the same thing.

According to Newsweek though: Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, remained the treasurer and a corporate director of his lobbying firm this year, despite repeated statements by campaign officials that he ended his relationship with the firm in 2006, according to corporate records.

Filings by “” with the Virginia Corporation Commission as recently as April 1, 2008, show Davis listed as one of two corporate officers and directors of the firm, according to records on the commission’s Web site. That filing lists Davis as “treas/clerk” of the firm; his business partner, Paul Manafort is listed as president and CEO.

A filing by “Davis Manafort, Inc.” (same Alexandria , Virginia, address, recorded on October 17, 2007) lists Davis as officer and director of the firm, reporting his position as “T/Clerk,” formal title, corporate treasurer and clerk.

Hmmmm. It looks like you did not really leave. Would an IRS subpoena of financial transactions help your memory?

Or… shall we examine a real example of what it means to separate from a firm when asked to serve one’s country?

Charles T. “Chuck” Manatt (at right), former DNC Chair, left the law firm he founded Manatt Phelps and Phillips) to become Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 1999. His name was allowed to stay on the door as founder but all shares and title were removed. This has been the case for all Ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers and key appointees. Why? To remove the possibility of taint, incfluence or impression of impropriety. (Note: this reporter was employed by that firm in the mid 1990s.)

Indeed when Ambassador Manatt’s term ended with the change of Administrations in 2001, according to partners there at the time, he was welcomed back and there was a long period where he was not voted back his original shares. While one could call that a testament to the me first nature of his chosen profession, I digress. He and another former Ambassador formed a global strategies group which, along with the firm with his name (and, as best as can be determined, shares re-bestowed) on the door, continue to thrive.

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So Mr. Davis, shall we compare definitions so there is clarity? Separation means leaving… completely, even risking not being welcomed backby Paul and knowing that loyalty and sacrifice in your business is like wetting yourself in a dark suit, it may tempoarily give one a warm feeling but no one notices.

That you would take $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac up until last month when they oops, went under, doesn’t even surprise. It’s how the game is played at your level.

That you were stupid enough to not cover your tracks and get caught does. But then that would explain the the current, classic Rove MO: to discredit your attacker, challenge the media, whip out racist Muslim fears via your mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh and intimidate the New York Times so you can win.

Pity, it is a tactic that we’re seeing through. Also a pity, Freddie didn’t wait three months, you might have made it.
I mean who knew the Beauty Queen would implode into a “laying on of hands” witch hunting incapable of answering a simple media question or explaining your boss’ stance on deregulation and his 26-years of no oversight, would catch you unawares?


The problem, with 39 days to go, you’re running out of people to blame Rick. Why not look in the mirror?

Denis Campbell

Denis Campbell is a US journalist based in the United Kingdom. He contributes to newspapers and magazines, is a BBC Radio election commentator and publishes the daily e-magazine The Vadimus Post from the Latin Quo Vadimus – where are we headed and do we know why?

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