Pete Yost reports that "Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse. In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI's chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain's campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September. ... The Republican senators targeted by DCI began hearing from prominent constituents and financial contributors, all urging the defeat of Hagel's bill because it might harm the housing boom. The effort generated newspaper articles and radio and TV appearances by participants who spoke out against the measure. Inside Freddie Mac headquarters in 2005, the few dozen people who knew what DCI was doing referred to the initiative as 'the stealth lobbying campaign,"' according to three people familiar with the drive. They spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying they fear retaliation if their names were disclosed."