Senator John McCain Slams J.D. Hayworth’s Infomercial. Then Matthew Lesko Slams John McCain.

Never in the history of American politics has a TV infomercial been such a point of contention! In Arizona, former congressman J. D. Hayworth is challenging Senator John McCain for his party’s nomination. Last month, video of Hayworth’s appearance on a 2007 infomercial for the “National Grants Conferences” of Mike and Irene Milin was posted online. The video shows Hayworth endorsing the seminars that instruct people how they can get “free” money from the government.

In 2008, I wrote briefly about J.D. Hayworth’s involvement with the National Grants Conferences infomercial in the post How Low the Mighty Have Fallen: Hugh Downs and Al Haig Do Infomercials. At the time, Hayworth (as well as his colleague J. C. Watts who appeared on an earlier version of the infomercial) was merely a former congressman. I thought the infomercials by Hugh Downs and Al Haig were more interesting, little knowing how controversial Hayworth’s role would become.

McCain is now slamming Hayworth for appearing on the infomercial. Hayworth has been accused of hypocrisy for running as a “small government” conservative after appearing on this infomercial gleefully encouraging viewers to grab “free money” from the taxpayer. Also problematic are reports that the National Grants Conferences are major rip offs. This calls into question either Hayworth’s judgment (if he didn’t know about the company’s shady practices) or his ethics (if he did know).

Senator McCain’s campaign produced this commercial mocking Hayworth’s turn as an infomercial pitchman.

As you can see, the McCain video features lots of cheesy infomercial celebrities such as Miss Cleo, Ron Popeil, and especially Matthew Lesko.

No doubt, the McCain ad featured Lesko so prominently because he is the most famous name associated with “free government money” infomercials. The infomercial Hayworth appeared on, however, was for an entirely different product—one not associated with Lesko. So now Matthew Lesko is bashing the McCain campaign for using his image without permission. He is considering filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Lesko also called the National Grants Conferences “immoral” because of the high prices charged to attendees.

The Arizona Senate primary takes place August 24, but whatever the outcome one thing is certain: No politician will ever willingly appear on an infomercial again!

A free, not-taxpayer-funded thanks to reader Tyler R. for giving me the link to the Lesko story.


  • 1 Response to “Senator John McCain Slams J.D. Hayworth’s Infomercial. Then Matthew Lesko Slams John McCain.”

  • McCain’s video was pretty funny!

    Comment by mike ski on October 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm