Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

John McCain, remember the Keating Five

The Keating Five were five United States senators; Dennis DeConcini, John McCain, Alan Cranston, Don Riegle, and John Glenn. Of these, DeConcini and McCain were republicans the the other three were democrats. These senators received substatial financial contributions from Charles Keating who was busy running Lincoln Savings and Loan as his own presonal piggy bank.

When Keating started getting in trouble with Federal banking regulators in 1987, he called upon the five senators he had "purchased" for help and, initially, he was not disappointed as they stepped in to shield him to some extent from the regulators. Unfortunately for him, Keating's banking operations were so bad that even the five Senators on his side could not change the ultimate course of the investigations which would reveal Keating for the crook that he was. History might have changed had Keating spread a bit more of his money around more generously -- given the amount of money paid to each of the Keating Five, he could certainly have afforded to purchase a quorum.

The story of the Keating Five came out when Keating's house of cards started falling down. Of the five, Alan Cranston was a sick man and had already decided not to run for relection in California. Therefore, he was saddled with most of the blame for the actions of the Keating Five. The remaining senators were given slaps on the wrist.

John Glenn, whose qualification for the Senate appeared to be riding a space capsule, finsished out his career getting another ride into space from NASA justified as a special mission no one had asked for (interestingly at the same time that NASA was attacking the Russians for selling space station trips to "space tourists"; i.e., individuals with inadequate political connections). During the years of the democratic majority in the Senate, Glenn also ran the Investations Committee and helped to make sure nothing was investigated.

Of all the Keating Five, however, John McCain has come out the best of all; turning himself from a political hack taking payoffs from corrupt bankers into a champion of campaign "reform". McCain's particular flavor of campaign reform have made him the darling of the liberal mainstream media since the limits on political speech in "campaign reform" do not apply to media outlets dominated by liberals.

John McCain is to be admired for both his service in Vietnam and saying "no" to John Kerry when Kerry tried to put together the liberal "dream team" ticket of Kerry and McCain. On his signature issue of campaign reform, however, his hands remain dirty.


At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Keating Five should be a major issue in this year's election, but for reasons I cannot understand neither the press nor John McCain's opponents seems to think it is important enough to bring out into the open. McCain rubbed elbows with a criminal, and took large sums of money from him. His efforts to present himself as an honorable man don't hold up when one remembers the notorious Keating Five.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger FL pilot said...

There is no question that McCain's actions in the Keating Five case were serious and objectionable but the Clintons have elevated corruption and pay-to-play to an entirely new level. Compared to the likes of regular Clinton Chinese funraising scandals and pay-for-pardon deals, what McCain did was the equivalent of a child taking a cookie from a cookie jar.


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