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McCain Fumbles for Transparency Policy on CEO $$$, A Bill Barack Obama Wrote Over a Year Ago

Today, in the wake of the massive collapse of financial corporations traceable to exactly the sort of deregulation John McCain loves, the McCain campaign groped in a panic for some policy, any policy, that would make it look like John McCain cares about the economy.

Chief McCain campaign economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin hit the airwaves and the telephones this morning with what he thought was a commonsense winner: Americans, says Holtz-Eakin, should get behind John McCain because John McCain has decided he supports giving shareholders the right to vote on CEO salaries.

Wall Street Journal:

John McCain’s senior policy adviser outlined a quartet of ideas to further supervise the U.S. economy, an expansion of his policy positions.

Doug Holtz-Eakin, a senior adviser to the Republican candidate and a former Congressional Budget Office director, offered the specifics in a briefing with reporters…

There would also be improvements in corporate governance, Holtz-Eakin said, pushing for complete transparency in the cash and non-cash compensation for all CEOs that can be presented to shareholders for a vote. “Is this money going to the CEO or should it be put in research and development or should it be put into some other use?” Holtz-Eakin said. “We don’t see that in America right now.”

NPR Morning Edition:

Holtz-Eakin says McCain feels CEO salaries would be reined in quickly if they were put before shareholders for a vote. Shareholders might start thinking, “Gee, that could be my money or that could be money we plow into investment or research.”

Hmm. Shareholders getting to vote on CEO salaries… Shareholders getting to vote on CEO salaries… Gosh darn it, I just know I’ve heard that somewhere before…

Oh, right!

S. 1181: a bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation.

The bill was introduced to the Senate on April 20, 2007, well over a year ago. Funnily enough, though, John McCain’s name isn’t listed as either the sponsor or one of the cosponsors (those Senators who think the bill’s enough of a good idea to sign their name to it).

John McCain didn’t sign on to the bill. But who did? Who introduced that legislation well over a year ago? Let me look that up. Hmmm, let’s see…

Oh, here it is. Barack Obama introduced that legislation to the Senate over a year ago.

I guess that makes John McCain an Obama supporter.

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