|Public land deals pop up in the presidential campaign|
We wondered (because we think about these things) how long it would be before the issue of federal land deals would come up in connection with presidential politics. All it would take would be for someone from the West to run. Nearly every western Senator we can think of-- no matter the party--has shepherded a public land trade, sell-off, or giveaway through Congress.
This week, Senator John McCain inadvertently helped turn the spotlight on this phenomenon. On Tuesday, the New York Times ran a story on some land swaps McCain eased along for a developer friend/donor named Don Diamond. As is often the case, the proponent and the politician got the better end of the deal, and the public lost out.
You can read David Kirkpatrick and Jim Rutenberg's story here
Today, the Time's editorial writer Robert Semple followed with a call for "Mr Straight Talk" McCain to be forthright on the issue: McCain's office says the Senator didn't do anything for Diamond he wouldn't have done for any Arizonan. But just how many gazillionaires are there in Arizona, knocking on the door for a land deal? Too many, sure-- but not a lot. Read the editorial "The Trouble With Not Being Earnest," here.
Thanks, members and supporters, for your interest in these issues.