Public Relations
Indian gaming non-lobbyist part of McCain team

Correction: The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association is a client of DC Navigators, not the National Indian Gaming Association.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, doesn't want lobbyists working for his campaign but he doesn't seem to mind being associated with a lobbying firm run by a self-described non-lobbyist.

Mike Murphy is the founder of DC Navigators, a firm whose clients include the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. John Tahsuda, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma who used to work for McCain on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, serves as vice president in Washington, D.C.

Murphy served as strategist for McCain's failed 2000 presidential bid and he's interested in working for the candidate again, The New York Times reports. But Murphy said he is not a lobbyist and said he will quit DC Navigators if he joins the campaign.

"I’ve never been registered in my life," Murphy told the Times.

Tahsuda, who used to work for the National Indian Gaming Association, has been serving as co-chair of McCain's Indian committee with Jana McKeag, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who owns a lobbying firm.

OIGA spent around $50,000 on DC Navigators' services in the first quarter of this year, according to Senate records.

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Internal Politics Heat Up at McCain Campaign (The New York Times 7/8)