McCain adviser's work as lobbyist comes to light

"I can see why the firm wouldn't want to give up the income," Sloan said. "But you can either work for a presidential campaign or be a lobbyist, but not both."

Scheunemann, who was McCain's foreign policy adviser during the 2000 presidential campaign, serves as McCain's spokesman on international issues, including those involving his former clients. For example, Scheunemann gave an interview in April to U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty about Georgia.

"The Georgian example has inspired Americans and American leaders in their dedication to democracy. … It's really about shared values, and it's something that Sen. McCain feels particularly deeply," Scheunemann said.

Georgia paid Orion Strategies $240,000 in the year ending Dec. 1, reports show.

Five staffers and advisers have left McCain's campaign in recent weeks because of the new conflict-of-interest policy. Democrats have pounced on the departures, saying they show McCain has been surrounded by lobbyists while decrying their influence in Washington.

"The fact is, John McCain's campaign is being run by Washington lobbyists and paid for with their money," Obama said Monday in Billings, Mont.

Hazelbaker suggested Obama was being disingenuous because he does not restrict the lobbying activities of his advisers. Obama's campaign co-chairman, former South Carolina governor Jim Hodges, was a registered lobbyist from June 2007 until March for Chicago-based financial services firm Hillenbrand Partners.

"The McCain campaign has put forward the most stringent policy of any presidential campaign in history, and it will be instructive to see if Obama meets the standard set by McCain," Hazelbaker said in an e-mail.

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