An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Craig Shirley, a Republican consultant, as a member of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign staff. Shirley had been a consultant for McCain and a member of the senator's Virginia Leadership Group but has agreed to stop working for the campaign.
More Campaign Staffers Out Because of New Ethics Policy
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The campaign of Sen. John McCain continued to dismiss staff members this week for violating its new ethics policy, as Democrats ratcheted up pressure on McCain advisers for their lobbying backgrounds.
McCain dismissed two staff members Thursday after unveiling the policy, which prohibits staffers from lobbying, representing a foreign agent or participating in outside political groups. A memo from campaign manager Rick Davis asked aides to disclose previous lobbying ties and to make sure they aren't currently registered as lobbyists or foreign agents.
One staffer, Craig Shirley, was dismissed after the Politico reported that he worked for the attack site StopHerNow.com. Another, Eric Burgeson, left Thursday after it was disclosed that he lobbies the federal government on energy policy.
McCain's campaign created the policy following two other forced departures -- regional campaign manager Doug Davenport and Republican convention chief Doug Goodyear -- for representing the military government in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
Democrats seized on the issue, with the liberal group MoveOn.org releasing an ad calling for McCain to dismiss top adviser Charlie Black, who until recently was the head of a large District-based lobbying firm.
Asked about the issue while campaigning in West Virginia and Kentucky, McCain shrugged it off, saying that the creation of the new ethics policy should solve the problem. "We saw a problem, fixed it," he said.
And he defended Black and Davis, who have also come under fire. "Charlie Black and Rick Davis are not in the lobbying business; they've been out of that business," he told reporters.