One of Barack Obama's newest campaign ads features a couple figures who operated in part out of Seattle's corporate back alleys.
One is disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whose criminal acts exposed during Lobbygate date back to his formulative years with Seattle law and lobbying firm Preston Gates Ellis, now K&L Gates. He's finally doing time after taking a number of Republicans down with him.
The other is onetime Microsoft $1.6 million "consultant" and religious-right pitchman Ralph Reed, who is also a former Preston Gates consultant and worked with Abramoff.
Indeed, a $121,000 check - the initial funds used to launch a deceptive Deep South antigambling campaign run by Reed - was authorized by top officers at Preston Gates. Eventually, as much as $1.3 million in funneled funds gushed through the law firm's accounts, later showing up in documents during the Lobbygate probe launched by Sen. John McCain.
The Obama ad re-links McCain and Reed, who was never called to testify by McCain, and now, the ad says, is raising funds for his campaign. Thing is, Reed did recently appeal for donations in an e-mail but there's no proof McCain knowingly approved. Reed subsequently was asked not to show up for the Atlanta fund-raising event itself.