From the Washington Post:
Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, was president of the Homeownership Alliance, which advocates the expansion of homeownership through low-interest mortgages funded by Fannie and Freddie. Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., who is heading McCain's vice presidential vetting panel, was a lobbyist for Fannie Mae. Mark Buse, a longtime McCain aide, lobbied for Freddie Mac before returning to McCain's Senate staff.
And the list of Republican Fannie and Freddie lobbyists includes some of its most notable rogues — including Tony Rudy, Edwin Buckham, Kevin Ring and David H. Safavian, all of whom were linked to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal — as well as some of its leading power brokers, from Reagan White House chief of staff Kenneth M. Duberstein to uberlobbyists Vin Weber and Tom Korologos. Alberto R. Cardenas, one of McCain's top fundraisers, has lobbied for Fannie Mae, as have former Montana governor Marc Racicot and tax-cut advocate Grover Norquist.
Obama also has ties to the firms. James A. Johnson, the former head of his vice presidential vetting panel, was a chief executive of Fannie Mae, as was Franklin D. Raines, who said this week that he has been consulting with the campaign on housing issues. Maria Echaveste, a top Clinton White House official whose husband, Christopher Edley Jr., is a close Obama friend and adviser, has lobbied for Freddie Mac, and former commerce secretary William M. Daley, a top Obama backer, was an in-house lobbyist.
Other Democratic luminaries who have advocated for the mortgage giants include strategist Steven Elmendorf, Rep. Doris Matsui (Calif.), former Al Gore aide Ronald A. Klain, former Clinton aide Steve Ricchetti and former congressman Harold E. Ford Jr. (Tenn.), now the head of the Democratic Leadership Council. Jamie Gorelick, a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, was also vice chairman of Fannie Mae.
That payroll has cost Fannie and Freddie nearly $200 million in lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade, according to lobbying reports and Federal Election Commission disclosures. It has also won them plenty of protection from calls for greater regulation, less federal protection, and even nationalization.
From Robert Novak's column:
As financial storm signals appeared the past 18 months, some Bush officials urged drastic reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But, according to internal government sources, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson objected because it would look "too political." The Republican administration kept its hands off the government-backed mortgage companies that are closely connected to the Democratic establishment.
Paulson is a Republican, but as head of the Goldman Sachs investment bank he had close ties with Democratic-dominated Fannie Mae.
After prominent Democrat James A. Johnson's departure from Fannie following eight years as chairman and chief executive, and after Johnson joined the ZymoGenetics biopharmaceutical firm, he was named head of Goldman Sachs's compensation committee, helping to set Paulson's abundant salary there.