Nothing Wrong With Land Swap, Says McCain


From CBS News' Andante Higgins:

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- John McCain responded to an article in the Washington Post today, which alleges that a land swap deal in Arizona that benefitted one of his contributors, saying he did nothing improper. "I worked for a long period of time with the mayors, with the environmental groups, and other interested individuals for a long period of time, including having town hall meetings," McCain said, pointing reporters to editorials in a local Arizona paper which supported the legislation. "I am very proud of my record, I'm proud of the work we did in that land exchange, and I am proud of my environmental records."

In 2005, McCain helped legislation pass that allows individuals to trade remote grassland and pine forest on Yavapai Ranch for federally owned property which is now ready for development, according to the Post. The deal has raised questions because huge profits were made as a result, and some ecosystems and habitats may have been affected as a result.

As the Democrats appear to be closing in on Barack Obama as their nominee, McCain said he's set for the beginning of the general election. "Oh I'm ready," he said. "I'm ready to take to the American people the challenges of the issues we face. Whether it be raising your taxes as Senator Obama wants to do, or something like capital gains where 100 million Americans have an investment or have the government make the decisions on healthcare or the family, or certainly issues such as national security."