Writing for The Atlantic, Joshua Green digs up more proof that there's something fishy about Verizon's efforts to put a cellphone tower across the way from the McCains' Hidden Valley ranch, as the Washington Post reported Thursday. Cindy McCain made the request – through Verizon's public website, according to the campaign -- before McCain was a candidate. So -- although the permanent tower was eventually rejected and temporary towers were put up at the Secret Service's request after McCain became a candidate (although I still don't get how Verizon and AT&T do stuff for free) – Verizon was pursuing a very costly permanent installation at Mrs. McCain's request.
Posting about this yesterday, I questioned: "why exactly did they jump when she cried “cell tower?”
And there was plenty of jumping involved, Green notes. Verizon completed a 200-page environmental assessment of the site, including paying archaeologists to look into the impact on Indian artifacts and to make sure the proposed site wouldn't be on ancient burial grounds.
Beyond this Verizon did plenty of notifications of government agencies and was marching through the bureaucratic hoops.
And despite the assertion that the cell tower request was made through the website, Verizon was well aware of who was making the request. The Atlantic obtained and posted Verizon's internal maps that label the tower location near "John McCain's Cabin." ("Cabin," that's good.) Green concludes:
The McCains may not have asked Verizon for any special favors—but, wittingly or not, they sure look like they were about to receive them. To my mind, Verizon looks worst of all: the company is claiming that it abandoned the tower because it wouldn’t “make business sense to do it.” In a sense, this is self evident: you don’t have to look any further than a map of the area to see what a remote and sparsely populated place is “AZ 2 Hidden Valley Ranch.” And so the only reason to embark on the two-year process of lawyers, regulators, consultant, archeologists, and Indians is if you’re seeking a payoff of another kind.