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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McCain Accepts $50K Donation from Keating Firm

Charles Keating

Has John McCain lost his mind? He says our economy is fundamentally sound at 9 am and that we're in an economic crisis at 11 am. He badmouthed the Bush tax cuts in 2000 and advocates them now. And today he said that Sarah Palin is the most qualified VP candidate in recent times. But, that's not even the worst!

Hannah Strange, News Reporter, Times Online:

Those voting for the first time this year may not have even been alive during the Keating Five scandal, the political corruption case that threatened to end John McCain's political career back in 1989. Much to the chagrin of those Democrats gesticulating wildly at the very silent elephant in the room, the Obama campaign has largely refrained from touching upon the issue, perhaps preferring to leave past associations well alone, for understandable reasons.

But sometimes history throws little reminders into our present path, and this is one of those times. Campaign finance records have revealed that the law firm founded by Charles Keating - before he went to jail for fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy for his activities as chairman of Lincoln Savings and Loans - has made donations totalling over $50,000 to McCain's campaign.

The Center for Responsive Politics has done the maths, and says: "In amounts ranging from $200 to $2,300, about 30 partners and employees of the legal firm Keating, Muething and Klekamp, as well as their family members, have contributed $50,200 to McCain's 2008 campaign. All but two of the contributions came in July, and all but three of those July donations were logged on July 31, suggesting they were delivered at the same time. As with any bundle of campaign contributions, it's difficult to determine which donor was the "bundler," the person who solicited the contributions on the campaign's behalf. McCain's online roster of bundlers, which purports to name any individual bundling $50,000 or more for the campaign, does not associate any of McCain's major fundraisers with the Keating firm."

This is not improper in itself, and the only Keating included in the bundle is William J. Keating, Jr., Charles Keating's nephew, who is listed as a partner in the firm and contributed $1,000.

But it reminds us of McCain's role in "The Keating Five," a group of senators who received a total of $1.4 million in campaign contributions connected to Keating and personally intervened with government regulators to allow Lincoln Savings and Loans to make highly risky investments that defrauded thousands of investors and cost taxpayers $3.4 billion.

Keating, now 84, once wrote to McCain that "I'm yours till death do us part". Could he be keeping his promise?

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