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Press Release - McCain-Palin 2008 Launches New TV Ad: "Jim Johnson"

September 19, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, McCain-Palin 2008 released its latest television ad, entitled "Jim Johnson." The ad highlights Barack Obama's work with former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson who cooked the books at Fannie and made millions. Knowing this, Barack Obama still picked Johnson to run his vice presidential search. While promising reforms, Barack Obama relies on those who walked away with millions in payments from institutions that are now costing the taxpayers billions. The ad will be televised nationally.

VIEW THE AD HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq7DGTggpx0

Script For "Jim Johnson" (TV :30)

ANNCR: What Obama says...

BARACK OBAMA: It would be unacceptable for executives of these institutions to earn a windfall.

ANNCR: ...Is not what he does.

Meet Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO.

Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions.

Then Obama asked him to pick his VP.

And raise thousands for his campaign.

Barack Obama. More empty words.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

AD FACTS: Script For "Jim Johnson" (TV :30)

ANNCR: What Obama says... BARACK OBAMA: It would be unacceptable for executives of these institutions to earn a windfall. ANNCR: ...Is not what he does.

Barack Obama: "It would be unacceptable for executives of these institutions to earn a windfall at a time when the US Treasury has taken unprecedented steps to rescue these companies with taxpayer resources." (NBC's "Nightly News," 9/9/08)

ANNCR: Meet Jim Johnson, former Fannie Mae CEO.

Jim Johnson Is The Former CEO Of Fannie Mae. "There is no public policy reason to exempt them. It is not fair.' Inside Fannie Mae's sprawling Wisconsin Avenue headquarters, Lightfoot's proposal set off alarms. A team of executives led by chief executive Jim Johnson and Vice Chairman Frank Raines gathered around the firm's 34-foot-long boardroom table to decide how to respond." (David A. Vise, "Fannie Mae Lobbies Hard To Protect Its Tax Break," The Washington Post, 1/16/95)

ANNCR: Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions.

In 1998, Fannie Mae's Earnings Were Manipulated, Which Resulted In "Maximum Payouts" To Executives Including CEO Jim Johnson. "As CEO of Fannie Mae, Johnson, a former chief of staff to Vice President Walter F. Mondale and chairman of the board of the Kennedy Center, was the beneficiary of accounting in which Fannie Mae's earnings were manipulated so that executives could earn larger bonuses. The accounting manipulation for 1998 resulted in the maximum payouts to Fannie Mae's senior executives -- $1.9 million in Johnson's case -- when the company's performance that year would have otherwise resulted in no bonuses at all, according to reports in 2004 and 2006 by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight." (Jonathan Weisman and David S. Hilzenrath, "Obama's Choice Of Insider Draws Fire," The Washington Post, 6/11/08)

The Manipulation Resulted In Johnson Receiving A Bonus Of Over $1.9 Million When He Otherwise Would Not Have Earned A Bonus. "An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight report in September accused the company of improperly deferring $200 million of estimated expenses in 1998, which allowed management to receive full annual bonuses. Had the expenses been recorded that year, no bonuses would have been paid, the report said. Fannie Mae reported paying bonuses in 1998 to Johnson, who received $1.932 million; Raines, who then was chairman-designate, $1.11 million; Chief Operating Officer Lawrence M. Small, $1.108 million; Vice Chairman Jamie S. Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general, $779,625; Chief Financial Officer J. Timothy Howard, $493,750; and Robert J. Levin, who was executive vice president for housing and community development, $493,750." (Albert B. Crenshaw, "High Pay At Fannie Mae For The Well-Connected," The Washington Post, 12/23/04)

Johnson Also Received Fees And Compensation From Fannie Mae Worth $3.3 Million Between 2001 And 2006. "Johnson left the company before it was swept up in an accounting scandal that tarred its reputation, but even during the years of scandal, Johnson was reaping hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees and other compensation, $3.3 million in all between 2001 and 2006." (Jonathan Weisman and David S. Hilzenrath, "Obama's Choice Of Insider Draws Fire," The Washington Post, 6/11/08)

ANNCR: Then Obama asked him to pick his VP.

Barack Obama: "Jim Johnson has a very discreet task, as does Eric Holder, and that is to gather up information about potential vice presidential candidates -- they are performing that job well..." (Barack Obama, Media Avail, St. Louis, MO, 6/10/08)

ANNCR: And raise thousands for his campaign. Barack Obama. More empty words. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

Johnson Is A Bundler For Obama's Presidential Campaign. (Obama For America Website, www.barackobama.com , Accessed 9/18/08)

John McCain, Press Release - McCain-Palin 2008 Launches New TV Ad: "Jim Johnson" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/291986

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