Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sour Kraut

A couple quick notes this morning and hopefully a longer post later:
  • As a student of politics and a reader of McCain's second book, it has surprised me that the Keating Five has not been a bigger deal for McCain's presidential bid. I think the Keating 5 was blown out of perspective when it happened. McCain is guilty (as are the other 4) of not being aware what was going on, but I doubt anyone outside of Keating did anything with sinister motives. Schulz picked this up, but is a little less forgiving.
  • Schulz also picked up that the Wall Street Journal has squashed Palin's claim that she rejected the bridge to nowhere. Granted she was probably was acting out of political necessity, but it's unfair to brag about it now.
  • Bravo to Luke Ravenstahl on his efforts to have the state help fix Pittsburgh's (and other municipalities') pension problems. It's exactly what REPRESENTATIVES are supposed to do, represent us.
  • Bravo to Bram for this comment, "It would also be helpful to have a column on the website listing the political contributions of all contract winners, bidders and principals involved."


Schultz said...

Burgher Jon,

The problem with McCain's involvement in Keating Five is that he had a very long relationship with Charles Keating prior to the news about the scandal. Besides paying for trips for McCain and his family, Keating even invested in a pretty big real estate development with McCain's wife and sugar momma, Cindy McCain. I believe it was to the tune of $100million if I am not mistaken. After all this McCain went to bat and voted on legislation that helped Keating's banking business.

More recently, there have been allegations that McCain did something similar with Paxson Communications. Unfortunately, the New York Times led their story off a few months ago with that alleged affair, and so the rest of the story about McCain's relationships with lobbyists got dismissed.

Burgher Jon said...

McCain was definitely buddies with Charles Keating, no doubt about it. I also think he definitely acted improperly. I only question how much he really knew about what he was doing. Being a senator is a time consuming job, McCain states that Keating told him a couple lies about the bill and he voted for, I'm inclined to believe him. He's still responsible for vetting the decision, and in that way culpable, but I think the lack of intent (intent is unprovable but I'm inclined to believe him) makes him less then evil.

I think the intent to use his position to corrupt the system is more likely in the Paxson deal (which actually involves Pittsburgh TV stations). It looks like he wrote a couple letters in that case urging people to do things that he could not possibly have thought were in the best interests of his Arizona Constituents. Whether or not it was because he was sleeping with the woman, who knows, but it's pretty clear he acted improperly INTENTIONALLY.