Swift boat bank-rollers donating to McCain

July 1, 2008 at 10:37 AM

WASHINGTON, July 1 (UPI) -- GOP Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign accepted nearly $70,000 from donors of a group whose tactics he condemned four years ago, an analysis shows.

In 2004, McCain condemned the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's advertising as "dishonest and dishonorable" when ads attacked 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, on his military service. But a USA Today analysis of campaign financial records indicates McCain has accepted $69,100 from nine of the organization's big backers and their families.

Campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said in an e-mail to USA Today that McCain accepted the money because the donors are "interested in supporting (his) agenda of reform, prosperity and peace."

Bounds said McCain has criticized the so-called 527 groups -- named for the tax code section that governs their operations -- arguing that "virtually every attack-style 527 group on the airwaves" is to aid his likely Democrat contender Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Obama said 527 groups are one of the reasons he declined public funding for his presidential run.

Outside groups have spent nearly $10 million to aid Obama, data compiled by the non-partisan CQMoneyLine show. Independent groups invested less than $50,000 on McCain's behalf.

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