McCain asks Russia for donation

Most amusing news story of the day. Apparently, sending a letter beginning “Dear Friend” to Ambassador Vitali Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN to ask for between $35 and $5,000 was a “mistake”. Meaning, no, not that McCain’s campaign managers realised it was a faux pas, but that the letter was not indeed intended for Ambassador Churkin. Yuri Saikin and Yuri Yershov report for Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

October 22, 2008 Requesting a donation from the office of the Russian Ambassador at the United Nations was a mistake. This belated admission has been made by Brian Rogers, spokesman for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Rogers said it was due to an error in the mailout address list.

The office of Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations reported on October 20 that it received a letter, signed by McCain and addressed to Ambassador Vitali Churkin, requesting a donation to the Republican candidate’s presidential campaign. In the six-page missive, McCain requests Churkin to donate between $35 and $5,000 – paying the money directly to a special campaign committee for McCain and running mate Sarah Palin.

A substantial part of McCain’s letter is devoted to criticizing his rival, Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama. The letter doesn’t mention the word “Russia” at all. The author also forgets to relate the potential advantages of his position for Russia if he wins thanks to Russian tax-payers’ money. But he does guarantee that once he is elected president, the USA will “advance freedom and democracy worldwide.”
The Russian representative’s office at the United Nations isn’t inclined to take this letter to Ambassador Vitali Churkin seriously – if only because McCain addresses the Russian diplomat as “Dear Friend,” instead of the proper “Your Excellency Mr. Ambassador.”

Nevertheless, the letter has been answered. A press release from Russia’s UN mission indicates that “neither Russian state officials, nor the office of the Russian Federation’s Permanent Representative at the UN, nor the Russian government finance political activities in other countries.”

McCain’s supporters maintain that the letter was a mistake, at best; at worst, it could have been an act of provocation or a fake. They claim that someone might have used a facsimile of McCain’s signature. McCain’s opponents say that signature-facsimiles have been used by candidates (including Obama) for many years, but there have never been reports of a candidate’s name and signature being used in controversial letters.

Meanwhile, Obama has set a new record by collecting over $150 million in private campaign donations in September. This is almost double the sum that McCain received from state sources for the last two months of his campaign.

Translated by InterContact. Via Johnson’s Russia List.


One Comment to “McCain asks Russia for donation”

  1. good old johnny…
    … i can’t believe what he does on this page…

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