Veepstakes Watch: A Ridge Too Far?

By Jennifer Parker

Jun 25, 2008 9:12am

"For almost two years former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge failed to register a nearly half-million-dollar lobbying contract that he had with the government of Albania," Roll Call’s Anna Palmer reports (subscription required).

After the Justice Department contacted the former governor of Pennsylvania and Vietnam veteran — often named as a possible vice presidential candidate for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — Ridge filed the required registration statement.

"It was brought to my attention after the contract expired and my lawyer said under the circumstances I probably should have filed," said Ridge, a national co-chairman of the McCain campaign . "I didn’t think it was [necessary] to register."

I would say it could be problematic for McCain to run with lobbyist as his running mate. McCain spox Tucker Bounds says: "Sen. McCain is not aware of the exact circumstances of Gov. Ridge’s work as a lobbyist for Albania, an important European ally to this country, in 2006 and 2007. "However, the governor is in full compliance with the McCain campaign’s lobbying policy, which requires that part-time volunteers disclose current lobbying work and agree not to lobby John McCain or his staff on those issues or participate in campaign policy making on that subject."

Hope that Albania contract was worth it. I might posit that Gov. Ridge just lobbied himself off McCain’s short list (if the abortion-rights-supporter was ever on it.)

- jpt

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