Archive for the ‘Keating Five’ Category


One of the things that happens in my life is that after a while, the details get fuzzy. So, in light of the current Presidential campaign AND the current fiscal crisis, I wanted to find out just what did happen with John McCain and the Keating Five.

While one conservative commentator wrote recently that he was exonerated, this writer says that McCain was the “most reprehensible of the Keating Five”. Looking at this article from the Arizona Republic, part of a lengthy series on the senator, I’ve concluded that neither POV is accurate.

While it is true that by 1987, McCain had received about $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates, McCain was hesitant about intervening on Keating’s behalf in the dealings with the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Indeed, McCain had previously refused his colleague, Democratic senator Dennis DeConcini’s request to meet with the Lincoln auditors themselves. In his book Worth the Fighting For, McCain wrote that he remained “a little troubled” at the prospect, “but since the chairman of the bank board didn’t seem to have a problem with the idea, maybe a discussion with the regulators wouldn’t be as problematic as I had earlier thought.”

The reprieve did not help Keating’s businesses, but tainted senators as “The Keating Five”, which became “synonymous for the kind of political influence that money can buy. As the S&L failure deepened, the sheer magnitude of the losses hit the press. Billions of dollars had been squandered. The five senators were linked as the gang who shilled for an S&L bandit.

“S&L ‘trading cards’ came out. The Keating Five card showed Charles Keating holding up his hand, with a senator’s head adorning each finger. McCain was on Keating’s pinkie…”

McCain, however, made a “critical error” when he “had adopted the blanket defense that Keating was a [mere] constituent and that he had every right to ask his senators for help.” But on “Oct. 8, 1989, The Arizona Republic revealed that McCain’s wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators.”

The paper also reported that the McCains, sometimes accompanied by their daughter and baby-sitter, had made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating’s opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay.

McCain also did not pay Keating for some of the trips until years after they were taken, after he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. Total cost: $13,433.

When the story broke, McCain did nothing to help himself.

“You’re a liar,” McCain said when a Republic reporter asked him about the business relationship between his wife and Keating.

“That’s the spouse’s involvement, you idiot,” McCain said later in the same conversation. “You do understand English, don’t you?”

He also belittled reporters when they asked about his wife’s ties to Keating.

“It’s up to you to find that out, kids.”

The paper ran the story.

In his 2002 book, McCain confesses to “ridiculously immature behavior” during that particular interview and adds that The Republic reporters’ “persistence in questioning me about the matter provoked me to rage.”

In the end, McCain received only a mild rebuke from the Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Keating. Still, he felt tarred by the affair.

“The appearance of it was wrong,” McCain said. “It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”

So, it appears that while McCain was the most minor of players in the Keating Five, his legendary temper fueled his own difficulties.
***
Last week, I discovered a website, ABC Wednesday, where every week, one submits a post based on a particular letter of the alphabet. I’ve already picked out my posts for L, M, N, O and Q, and they are far less political than this first contribution.
ROG

The first time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1977 Democratic primary for mayor of New York City, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Koch won and was easily re-elected mayor that fall.
The second time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1982 Democratic primary for governor of New York State, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Cuomo won and was easily elected governor of New York.
In 2004, Koch, ostensibly a Democrat, supported the re-election of GW Bush. So, I’m not a big fan of Edward I. Koch. And yet…

When Ed Koch says that a Sarah Palin presidency ‘scares’ him, that resonates with me.

Look, I can get into a rhetorical debate about this – and BTW, the Librarians against Palin website points out that she probably meant “theoretical” when she talked about her “rhetorical” book ban. And yes, I know the banned book list floating around the Internet has been debunked, but there are still questions to be resolved.

But I didn’t need the word of the former New York City mayor to tip me off. Frankly, her responses in the Gibson/ABC News interview were often troubling. Is it that she really WANTS to go to war with Russia AND Iran? Does she assume that Israel should have carte blanche? A scary interview.

At least she “clarified” her Bridge to Nowhere position during the interviews, though she returned to the lie two days later. Even Pat Buchanan says she’s being trained to “parrot the McCain-neocon line”, contrary to her own earlier beliefs.

I do wonder about Troopergate as much as how it reflects her governing style as the specific facts in the case. And has been the role of Alaska’s “first dude”?

Know that I don’t care particularly about Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old pregnant daughter. I do, however, care about her position of forcing “abstinence-only education” down the throats of the school districts. (Hey, send money to Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name!) And I can’t help but wonder: How well would Barack Obama have done if he had come forth with a 17 year old pregnant, unmarried, unemployed daughter? And speaking of sex, Sarah Palin’s “hotness” factor, which I know liberal bloggers are tired of hearing about, but which voters may be responding to initially, won’t be enough the more voters learn more about her.

Even the resident conservative of The View, Elisabeth Hasselback thought that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig”, a phrase used by John McCain regarding Hillary Clinton’s health care policies, was a non-issue. Ah, politics of distraction. The handlers at least are on script as they play the gender card. I will say this – Sarah Palin does snark well – and are community organizers, which would have included my late father, ticked.

Having said all that, I’ve pretty much tired of talking about Palin – well, maybe not this Palin. Until Sarah does something else totally outrageous, I’ll let others carry that ball. I’d rather discuss about the top of the ticket, John McCain.

If I were a Republican in 2000 and voting in the primary, I likely would have gone for John McCain, certainly over George W. Bush. While I was mildly troubled by that Keating Five thing involving the Savings & Loan disaster of the 1980s, he seemed like an honorable guy. In this lengthy (30 minute) piece, Joe Biden talks, among other things, how badly he felt when the forces of W. vilified McCain before the South Carolina primary that year:

Since he had been tortured himself, he was sensitive to a strong anti-torture policy for the United States, and I applauded that.

So how the hell did the ‘Straight Talk Express’ get so derailed? More than anger, I have a profound disappointment that the Arizona senator has sunk to such levels that even Karl Rove says McCain is lying in his ads.

A raspberry to the MSM here. It took Comedy Central’s the Daily Show, FCOL, to show how McCain’s 2008 talking points about working with Democrats, et al was almost verbatim what W said in 2000 – anyone have that link? – and we all know how well THAT worked. Obama gets knocked for wanting to talk to Iran, but – surprise – five former U.S. Secretaries of State are saying the same thing.

McCain’s self-declared lack of strength in the economic side is problematic. His economic policy, deemed ‘incomplete’ by the hardly liberal US News makes the rich richer. He declares that fundamentals of the economy are strong even as Wall Street collapses. McCain, the computer illiterate is the one I find “out of touch”. And it saddens me. Earlier this year, Wesley Clark, that is, General Wesley Clark, got in trouble for suggesting that John McCain’s war record was not an automatic qualifier for the Presidency; he wasn’t wrong, merely impolitic. America is guns AND butter.

I’ll be mentioning McCain again, I suspect.

ROG

Contact me
  • E-mail Contact E-mail
  • RSS Feed Blog content c 2005-2017, Roger Green, unless otherwise stated. Quotes used per fair use. Some content, including many graphics, in the public domain.
I Actually Know These Folks
I contribute to these blogs
Other people's blogs
Popular culture
July 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Archives
blogoversary
Get your own free Blogoversary button!
Networked Blogs
Counter
wordpress analytics