Does anyone remember McCain and the Keating 5?

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In summary, John McCain had a relationship with a lobbyist while he was the head of the Senate Ethics Committee.
  • #1

n the spring of 1987, McCain was just beginning his first term in the Senate. Charles Keating was a friend, a campaign contributor, and owner of Lincoln Savings and Loan. At the time, Lincoln was under investigation by federal regulators. As McCain recounted the story in an NPR interview two years later, Keating came to his office and offered to do certain things for him, as McCain put it, in return for McCain's interceding with regulators


McCain had received some $112,000 in contributions from Keating, his relatives and employees for the House and Senate campaigns. But he told the Senate Ethics Committee in 1991 that the money was not a factor.

The S&L bail out also cost taxpayers $2.6 billion and investors in Lincoln lost almost $200 million dollars.

Ok, on the other hand the ethics committee did find him "guilty of only poor judgment" but let me remind you this was even before any sort of campaign finance reform was ever enacted on soft money.
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  • #2
Were he not the lone Republican member of the Keating 5, the investigation of McCain would have been dropped quickly. While he did have some financial connections with Lincoln and did arrange a meeting with Lincoln bigwigs and the S&L investigators, he did not use his influence to hinder the investigations. The initial investigation into McCain indicated he was the least culpable of the Keating 5. Guilty of doing something stupid.

Nonetheless, McCain has said that this was the worst thing that happened to him in his life. This was the event that led McCain to work on campaign finance reform.

This topic has popped up from time to time. It won't float as a Democratic dirty trick. McCain is far too open and forthcoming about the entire incident.
  • #3
Robert Bennett (a self admitted Democrat) was the special counsel assigned to investigate the matter for the Senate Ethics Committee. His recommendation that John Glenn and John McCain be dropped from the investigation went unheeded... the only time in the Senate Ethics Committee history that the advice of the special counsel was ignored. McCain has good reason to believe that this was because he was the only Republican under investigation.
The committee later characterized his involvement as "poor judgement" but it is difficult to see what constitutes poor judgement in this case. Charles Keating was a constituent of McCain's and the owner of a large thrift in Arizona and as such represented a major employer in his state. Setting up a meeting between one of his constituents (and benefactors) and bank investigators is hardly a scandal. The committee never elaborated on just which action of McCain's was "poor judgement" but it did say that his actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence.

How do you get from "not improper nor attended with gross negligence" to "poor judgement"?
  • #4
Anyone read the NY times article as well? LOL McCain already on his 2nd affair. The first one was when he cheated on his sick wife and left her for his now current wife.

Funny, since the Republicans are supposed to have a strict regimen towards religion.
  • #5
If it's true, it'll make hime the second President in just over 8 years to cheat on his wife on company time. :rolleyes:

[edit] I've read the article now. On the specific issue, it's really thin. But what strikes me about the report it its length. It's 4 pages long (the net version)! And with so little actual content about the title issue, it looks more to me like they are campaigning for Obama than trying to report on a potential issue.
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  • #6
This is some lousy mudslinging. As soon as it became apparent that the Keating 5 mud won't stick, here comes another blob. This purportedly happened eight or nine years ago, and it is only coming out now? The timing alone makes it very suspect. The thinness of the content and the thickness of the coverage, doubly so. So much for the Democrats being above dirty tricks.
  • #7
I don't know if you read the article, but there is about as much in it about the Keating 5 as there is about the woman! That makes it look like as much an attempt to bring the Keating 5 issue back up.
  • #8
If TV news shows are talking as much or more about the New York Times and why they published the article as they are about John McCain, then the story has a problem. Other versions from other news organizations are a lot cleaner and focus more on McCain's relationships with lobbyists. It's still old news from 8 years ago and still inconclusive.

The only 'hard' news is getting a rebuke from the FCC for what they felt was inappropriate interference by McCain into the FCC's consideration of the sale of a TV station. That's a legitimate knock for someone who's built a reputation criticizing lobbyists influence with politicians even if he did nothing illegal (or even unusual for the average politician).

That's the sort of story that prevents a candidate from saying they're holier than thou, but not exactly a damning story.

Related to Does anyone remember McCain and the Keating 5?

1. What was the Keating 5 scandal?

The Keating 5 scandal was a political scandal that occurred in the late 1980s and involved five United States Senators, including John McCain, who were accused of improperly intervening on behalf of Charles Keating, the chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. Keating was facing an investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and the Senators were accused of pressuring regulators to drop the investigation in exchange for political favors and campaign contributions.

2. How was John McCain involved in the Keating 5 scandal?

John McCain was one of the five Senators who were accused of intervening on behalf of Charles Keating. McCain received $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates and also took multiple trips on Keating's private jet. While McCain maintained that he did not do anything illegal or unethical, he did acknowledge that his involvement in the scandal was a mistake and publicly apologized for it.

3. Did John McCain face any consequences for his involvement in the Keating 5 scandal?

Yes, John McCain faced consequences for his involvement in the Keating 5 scandal. He was formally reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee and his reputation was tarnished. However, he was not criminally charged and was able to continue his political career.

4. How did the Keating 5 scandal impact John McCain's political career?

The Keating 5 scandal had a significant impact on John McCain's political career. It damaged his reputation and credibility, and he faced criticism for his involvement in the scandal throughout his political campaigns. However, he was able to overcome it and went on to serve in the Senate for over 30 years and as the Republican nominee for President in 2008.

5. Is the Keating 5 scandal still relevant today?

While the Keating 5 scandal occurred over 30 years ago, it is still relevant today. The scandal brought attention to the issue of political corruption and the need for campaign finance reform. It also serves as a cautionary tale for politicians and the consequences of getting too close to special interest groups and lobbyists. The scandal continues to be referenced in discussions about political ethics and the role of money in politics.

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