Keating Five? How about the Obama TEN?
Posted by cann0nba11 on October 6, 2008
[originally posted September 24, updated October 6 in prep for the Tuesday debate.]
I am SO tired of hearing Obama supporters tossing out the Keating Five reference any time they have to talk about McCain. Let’s clear some things up right now.
- Who are they? The Keating Five is a group of five senators: Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI). Notice that four of them are Democrats.
- What did they do? They were accused of improperly aiding Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of an investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board.
- What happened to Keating? Keating served five years in prison for his mismanagement of Lincoln.
- What happened to the senators? The Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings. Senators Glenn and McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised “poor judgment”.
- What are the details? In the 1980s Keating contributed $1.3 million to these Senators, later he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators, which some of them did. Keating and DeConcini asked McCain to travel to San Francisco to meet with regulators regarding Lincoln Savings; McCain refused. According to testimony DeConcini told Keating that McCain was nervous about interfering and Keating called McCain a “wimp” behind his back, On March 24, 1987 Keating and McCain had a heated, contentious meeting. Additional meetings were held in April, and when the regulators then revealed that Lincoln was under criminal investigation on a variety of serious charges, McCain severed all relations with Keating. Furthermore, McCain paid Keating back $13,433 to cover the cost of the trips that Keating had provided in the early 1980s after learning that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. All told, McCain attended two meetings. Two meetings.
Officially, McCain was criticized by the Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” when he met with the federal regulators on Keating’s behalf. The report also said that McCain’s “actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him… Senator McCain has violated no law of the United States or specific Rule of the United States Senate.”
McCain is an honorable man and acknowledged the situation. He has repeatedly said “The appearance of it was wrong. 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.” Senator John Glenn, also cleared of any wrongdoing, said in 2002 that attending the two April 1987 meetings was “the worst mistake of my life”.
This is the only negative political issue or investigation that has marred McCain’s political career. He has asked for and received $0 in earmarks. He is a staunch advocate of fighting government corruption and excess. This experience with Keating was the genesis for his fight against government corruption. He acknowledge his error in judgment and has moved on with his career. Barack Obama will not acknowledge any of his errors of judgment.
So now that we know the story of the Keating Five, allow me to present to you the Obama Ten:
- Willam Ayers – Unrepentant Domestic that selected Obama to serve as Chairman of the Board of Ayer’s Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Obama served under Ayers for five years. It was not just a casual relationship.
- Tony Rezko – Convicted Chicago-style felon, neighbor and house shopping partner. Obama approached the well-known Illinois political fixer under active federal investigation, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, for “advice” as he sought to find a way to buy a house shortly after being elected to the United States Senate. Obama later admitted “It was a mistake to have been engaged with him…”
- Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Wright – Inflammatory and divisive preacher that admitted to the New York Times “If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me.”
- Franklin Raines – Former Fannie Mae CEO mired in a $6.3 billion book cooking scandal, and an Obama economic advisor. The leaders of Enron and Worldcom did less and were convicted. Why not Raines?
- James Johnson – Another former Fannie Mae CEO, improperly deferred $200M in expenses, allowing him to receive a bonus of nearly $20 million. He also briefly led Obama’s search and selection of Joe Biden as Obama’s VP candidate.
- Frank Marshall Davis -Communist mentor in Hawaii that had weekly “bull sessions” that involved getting drunk on whiskey while teaching Obama about why he should hate whitey and why America is bad.
- Barack Obama Senior – While he may not have stuck around to raise Barack, this staunch opponent of capitalism is someone that Obama said “I did feel there was something to prove to my father.”
- Bernardine Dohrn – Another Weather Underground alumn, former FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive, and wife of Ayers. Hostess of the now famous political coffee launching Obama’s career in their living room. She also worked at the same Chicago law firm where Michelle worked for two summers as a student associate. Did they work together? We will probably never know. But the coincedence is worthy of consideration.
- Dorothy Tillman – Chicago alderwoman accused of using a taxpayer-funded development project to steer contracts to family and friends and possibly cheat the IRS. Despite this information Obama still endorsed her in her re-election attept. Tillman is perhaps best known for once pulling a pistol from her purse and brandishing it around at a city council meeting. Nice judgment.
- ACORN – ACORN is at the heart of one of the most massive voter fraud campaigns in American history. ACORN is intimate with Barack Obama and is a major supporter of unions throughout the country and is doing its level best (and illegally at that) trying to assure that Obama wins this election.
McCain met twice with a constituent and distanced himself from the issue as soon as he learned of any potential criminal wrongdoing. This single incident is all that Team Obama can dig up? Meanwhile, Obama has a long track record of questionable relationships and poor judgment. To me (and anyone else able to think clearly) there is no comparison.