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Tax-exempt group close to McCain just happens to run ads supporting his position

The Washington Post reports: For weeks, Republican presidential candidate John McCain had been hammered for supporting the Air Force's February decision to award a $40 billion contract for refueling tankers to Northrop Grumman and its European partner. Democrats, labor unions and others blamed the senator for a deal they say could move tens of thousands of jobs abroad.

McCain's advisers wanted to strike back against key Democratic critics. But they did not mount an expensive advertising campaign to defend the candidate's position. They called a tax-exempt nonprofit closely aligned with the senator from Arizona, seeking information and help.

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) partnered with Northrop and one of its consultants to produce a vitriolic advertising campaign defending the tanker deal. ...

The McCain campaign said that it did not coordinate with CAGW on the group's ads about the tanker deal and that Swindle played no role in initiating the attack on Northrop's opponents. "One campaign staffer called CAGW to ask for information about what CAGW had said in the past on the issue, and was told that CAGW had a policy of not talking to the campaign. That was the end of the conversation," spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said in a statement. -- McCain Campaign Calls; A Nonprofit Steps In - washingtonpost.com

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