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Verizon Wireless Contests McCain Cell Tower Story

This week there's been a bit of a brouhaha over whether or not Verizon Wireless gave Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain special treatment by building a cell tower near his Arizona home. The Washington Post says it did, Verizon Wireless says it didn't.
This week there's been a bit of a brouhaha over whether or not Verizon Wireless gave Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain special treatment by building a cell tower near his Arizona home. The Washington Post says it did, Verizon Wireless says it didn't.Earlier this week, The Washington Post suggested in a story that Cindy McCain, Sen. McCain's wife, requested that Verizon Wireless build a cell tower near their home in Arizona to improve coverage. Since there is now a tower there (even if temporary), on the surface it looks like Verizon responded to McCain's request. But not so fast.

Verizon Wireless, responding to the story, issued the following statement:


The Washington Post story regarding Verizon providing a cell tower to the McCain Ranch is wrong. Verizon received a request from Mrs. McCain, but declined. Subsequent to that, the Secret Service made a legitimate request for a temporary tower for its work and Verizon complied, as is required by our contract with the agency. The Secret Service request, made on May 28, specifically said it needed the service urgently and requested that Verizon "explore every possible means of providing an alternative cellular or data communications source in the referenced area and provide any short-term implementation of any type as a solution in the interim."
The Post is sticking by its story and says that public records prove its case.

It says that McCain first asked Verizon for improved coverage as far back as early 2007. Later in 2007, Verizon produced an environmental impact assessment study, and even contracted out for the job of designing and building a tower. The Post reports that Cindy McCain signed contracts with Verizon in May of this year for the tower. That doesn't gel with the time line given by Verizon Wireless.

In the end, Verizon stationed a COW (cell on wheels) near the McCain home and has not built a permanent tower. The issue has yet to be fully resolved.