UT Alumnus Linked to McCain Scandal

Hector Alcalde, UT graduate and former Trustee, is the founder and current Chairman of the lobbying firm at the center of the scandal plaguing John McCain’s bid for the White House.

The scandal involves McCain’s possibly romantic relationship with Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist who The New York Times reports is a partner in Alcalde’s firm, Alcalde ‘amp; Fay.

According to the Times, McCain’s relationship with Iseman, 31 years his junior, caused many to believe that his ethics were compromised, especially in light of several political decisions he made which were favorable to Iseman’s clients.

Alcalde’s firm has already struck back at the Times, releasing a statement saying that ‘It is beneath the dignity of a quality newspaper to participate in such a campaign of character assassination.’


A native New Yorker, Hector Alcalde came to Florida in the early 1950s, according to the biography on his firm’s website.

He attended the University of Tampa, where he graduated with a bachelor of arts in government in 1956.

He moved to Washington D.C. in the early 1960s, and founded his firm in 1973.

After reaching considerable success with the firm, he returned his attention to the University of Tampa, where he served on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1991. During this time he served on boards for educational affairs, facilities and athletics.

In 2006, Alcalde ‘amp; Fay’s total lobbying income was $10,300,000, according to The Center for Responsible Politics, a self-described non-partisan group dedicated to tracking money in politics.


Iseman worked for Alcalde’s firm as a lobbyist for players in the telecommunications industry, including Paxson Communications (now ION Media Networks), according to the Times.

The Times reports that when several of McCain’s campaign staff members noticed the frequency of her showing up at McCain’s offices and events, they worried that the relationship had become romantic.

During this time, the Times writes that McCain several times advanced legislation favorable to Iseman’s clients and wrote letters to the FCC on their behalf, one time following a direct request by Iseman to do so.

This is particularly scandalous because McCain has worked to present ethics as a strong point of his political identity, ever since a similar incident in the early 1990s nearly ruined his political career.

His campaign aides have said that McCain only acted in favor of Iseman’s telecommunications clients when doing so adhered to his principles and political philosophy, specifically the benefits of deregulation.

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