The McCain camp calls the stories a "smear campaign" and says he won't be distracted by them.
The Washington Post says Vicki Iseman's partners at the DC-area firm Alcalde & Fay include L.A. "Skip" Bafalis, a former five-term Republican congressman from Florida.
(The firm has lobbied for several Miami entities, including the county and the school district.)
The Post says "in the years that McCain chaired the commerce committee, Iseman lobbied for Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson, the head of what used to be Paxson Communications...and was involved in a successful lobbying campaign to persuade McCain and other members of Congress to send letters to the Federal Communications Commission.
"At the time he sent the first letter, McCain had flown on Paxson's corporate jet four times to appear at campaign events and had received $20,000 in campaign donations from Paxson and its law firm. The second letter came on Dec. 10, a day after the company's jet ferried him to a Florida fundraiser that was held aboard a yacht in West Palm Beach."
And the Times notes that in 1999 "Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene."
Both have denied a romantic relationship. And now former Jeb Bush campaign aide and McCain 2000 campaign spokesman Todd Harris is defending his former boss on MSNBC. He says the Times, after "building up" McCain's campaign, is "tearing him down."