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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

McCain Hires Hymes of Anke-Biting Pundits, but Disclosure is Delayed

Looks like Sen. John McCain's continuing campaign to appeal to the Right has advanced significantly with the hiring of Patrick Hymes of Ankle-Biting Pundits to work for Straight Talk America, one of the Arizona senator's organizations.

But even retaining one of the sharpest writers on the Right side of the Blogosphere doesn't remove the one big "but" that stands in the way of McCain's abundant ambitions - campaign finance reform and its historic abridgement of the First Amendment. Until McCain concedes the pernicious error of McCain-Feingold, I don't understand how any serious conservative or libertarian can think of supporting him for higher office.

In addition, Jim Geraghty of National Review Online's TKS adds a rich irony to the hiring of Hymes by noting the delay in the announcement of his retention for several months during which time the former CrushKerry.comer posted several pieces of effusive praise for McCain and some stiff attacks on potential rival Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

It ought to be Rule One among politically active bloggers that the financial relationship should be acknowledged whenever you post on behalf of a candidate who is paying you. Better you disclose it first than somebody else at a less opportune moment, right?

UPDATE: Comments from other Bloggers

Danny Glover at Beltway Bloggers offers his usually astute observations here, as does Tim Chapman here.

And it is worth noting this graph from Hynes comment to Geraghty:

"Obviously, everything that I write on ABP is heartfelt and sincere; everyone who knows me knows this is the case. My consulting business and my blog are two different entities (in fact, my blog isn’t even an 'entity' in the legal sense, it’s just a blog). Others who blog at ABP are - and I suspect, will remain -highly critical of Sen. John McCain at times."

Well said and true, no doubt. But the disclosure is no less essential.