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John McCain's Top Advisers Lobbyists For Ameriquest Mortgage

It's all about the company you keep (h/t KL): When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation's burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was ti

It's all about the company you keep (h/t KL):

When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation's burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little "straight talk."

"I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis," the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats' proposals.

What McCain did not say - which some believe smacks of politics - is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.

John Green, the senator's chief liaison to Congress, and Wayne Berman, his national finance co-chairman, billed more than $720,000 in lobbying fees from 2005 through last year to Ameriquest Mortgage through their lobbying firm, disclosure forms reviewed by the Daily News show.

Ameriquest, which since has been bought out, was forced to settle suits with 49 states for $325 million. More than 13,680 New York homeowners got taken for a ride by the company, records show.

"They would be defined as the most blatant and aggressive predatory lenders out of everybody," said Bruce Marks, head of the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

But will the media bother to confront McCain about this derailing from his "straight talk" against special interests and lobbyists? Nah, I don't think they will either.

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