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Independent Group Ad Plays Ayers Card

By Matthew Mosk
A new Republican-leaning group surfaced today as a player in hardball presidential politics.

Officials with the American Issues Project, a nonprofit that describes itself as a champion of conservative values, say the group will spend $2.8 million to air a stinging television ad that ties Democratic Sen. Barack Obama to William Ayers, a former member of the notorious Weather Underground.

What stations the ad would air on was not immediately clear. The Associated Press reported this evening that the group initially sought to air the ad on the Fox News channel, but a Fox spokesman said the network declined to run it.

The Issues Project's spokesman, Christian Pinkston, said the ad will air in Ohio and Michigan.

American Issues Project has been in existence since last year, but this ad represents the first project it has produced. "We're doing a series -- this is our first -- of commercials and other projects that will hit on both political and policy issues that we feel are underreported or glossed over," Pinkston said. "This happens to be a political one, but there will be policy ones as well."

Asked if the group plans more ads targeting Obama, Pinkston said, "We're not announcing exactly what the plan is. I think it's safe to assume there will be more ads."

Pinkston said the group's budget is "considerably more" than the $2.8 million being spent on this ad. The group is organized as a 501(c)4, which means there is very little it is required to disclose about who funds it. But Pinkston said it would file a report with the Federal Election Commission identifying donors who helped bankroll this ad. One of its board members, Ed Failor, Jr., was previously a paid consultant for McCain's campaign in Iowa last year. The campaign paid his firm $50,000 until July 2007.

"Barack Obama is friends with Ayers, defending him as, quote, 'Respectable' and 'Mainstream,'" the ad says. "Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' home. And the two served together on a left-wing board. Why would Barack Obama be friends with someone who bombed the Capitol and is proud of it? Do you know enough to elect Barack Obama?"

The Obama campaign offered a sharp response to the ad.

"The fact that John McCain dispatched his paid consultant to launch this despicable ad from a so-called 'independent' committee shows how desperate he is to change the subject from his shocking disconnect with the economic struggles of the American people," said Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesman. "He knows that Barack Obama has denounced the detestable crimes that Bill Ayers committed forty years ago.

"Instead of invoking Paris, Britney and obscure sixties radicals, Senator McCain should take the day off at one of his seven homes to consider whether his support for outsourcing, tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas and continued spending of ten billion a month in Iraq is really putting 'country first.' To us, it sounds like just more of the same."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 21, 2008; 11:03 PM ET
Categories:  Ad Watch , Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain Targets Obama's Glass House
Next: And How Many Houses Do You Have?

Comments

yes we do have more than that yes he did leave his disable wife for barbie. and the other thing is McCain is walking around in five hundred dollar shoes i'm not hateing on him or anything i just know game when i see it you can't play a player.but that tells me something.you mean to tell me that our country are stuggling to make ends meet and you wore five hundred shoes to the town hall meeting to connect to my story and all american story. that say to me that you are out of touch. some american can't afford to buy a 10.00 pair of shoes.

Posted by: renee | August 28, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

you got people sitting at home right now trying to see how are going to make a dollar out of fithteen cent, trying to provide for ther families and get throw everyday life. but i do what to say this that barack; obama was eight years old when this man did all of this stuff i have done things that i am not proud of when i was young too. and as far as barack being friends. his friend is not running for President and barack is.

Posted by: renee | August 28, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I am upset that Cindy heard we were sending medicine to help our friends in Georgia..she immediately boarded a plane and was last scene trying to schedule a meeting with those in charge of distributing the pain killers muttering "..but I need them more than they do".

Posted by: Cindy's pusher | August 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama's response, if citizens are conserned about his relationship with Ayers, should be to explain it. If it was casual, say so. If he thinks Ayers is a conformed man, say so. I think a response ad with Ayers explaining their relationship, along with a statement of regret for youthful enthusiasm would play much better than deflecting the issue by slinging mud at McCain. Threatening McCain supporters free speech should be frightening to even Obama supporters.

Posted by: rpatoh | August 27, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Scape·goat·ism

The act or practice of assigning blame or failure to another, as to deflect attention or responsibility away from oneself.
Also called scapegoating.

McCain and the Republican Party:
A party that pratices scapegoating!

Posted by: vicbennettnet | August 27, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Ayers is a Friendly terrorist.

Posted by: rasheri | August 23, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

McCain denounced the swiftboating of Kerry. Now, the man who financed it is, alone, paying for the Ayer ads. The silence from McCain is deafening. What a man of principle.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 23, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

You know who I have sympathy for, us, the American people, our great country and our use to be allies. Our Constitution has been torn apart, our great name has been ruined and by the Bush Administration and here we have people wanting this mess to continue. We don't don't need another King for 8 years. The United States was founded to have a government run by the people for the people. Our economy is in the toilet, we are fighting two wars and McCain is waving a big stick at Iran and Russia. When our children and possibly you have to face the draft again, you have no reason to complain as you are getting what you deserve.

The negative ads need to stop, the negative talk needs to stop. The candidates should talk about their policies and what they are going to do to get us back on track. Instead it's the same old politics as usual, if you don't have an answer, destroy your opponent, no matter of the consequences.

One day in the future, people will wake up and ask, what happened to our country.

We need change now. The sad thing is that it will take years to get this country back on its feet and it will take fresh faces and new blood to get it back.

Posted by: Tom from Va. | August 22, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I understand exactly how you Obama supporters feel. Here is your 'chosen one' being trashed and all you can do is try to point out what terrible things McCain has done or been involved in.

So how does it feel having done to you what you did to the Clintons? What goes around surely comes around, hmmm?

Obama's a loser, a liar who is being exposed now. No point in remindng anyone of the Keating 5 thing. Everyone already knows it. Why don't you just accept that Obama's about as corrupt as they come -- say, in the same class as McCain?

Pardon me for having little sympathy.

Posted by: Lassair | August 22, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

It all started in March 1987. Charles H Keating Jr., the flamboyant developer and anti-porn crusader, needed help. The government was poised to seize Lincoln Savings and Loan, a freewheeling subsidiary of Keating's American Continental Corp.

As federal auditors examined Lincoln, Keating was not content to wait and hope for the best. He had spread a lot of money around Washington, and it was time to call in his chits.

One of his first stops was Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.

The state's senior senator was one of Keating's most loyal friends in Congress, and for good reason. Keating had given thousands of dollars to DeConcini's campaigns. At one point, DeConcini even pushed Keating for ambassador to the Bahamas, where Keating owned a luxurious vacation home.

Now Keating had a job for DeConcini. He wanted him to organize a meeting with regulators to deliver a message: Get off Lincoln's back. Eventually, DeConcini would set up a meeting with five senators and the regulators. One of them was McCain.

McCain already knew Keating well. His ties to the home builder dated to 1981, when the two men met at a Navy League dinner where McCain spoke.
And you know the rest of his crooked history...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow, "despicable", "shocking", "detestable". Carefully crafted words of outrage and yet the press release sounds like warmed-over boiler-plate from the last five elections. Where's the passion Barack?

In the same statement they get down in the same mud by accusing the McCain campaign of being direcly responsible for the ad, and then taking a snarky shot about the seven houses.

Somehow I don't think the seven house thing is having the impact they want.

These guys are both rich pols, both involved in plenty of ethically challenged activities.

Most people recognize that lies and hypocrisy are favorite tools of Republican politics. It's a bit disturbing and possibly a hopeful sign for Democratic hopes in the future to see the Democratic candidate and party increasingly embrace the same tactics in this cycle. Too bad they are so inept at it.

Posted by: Paul | August 22, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Personally, we need some serious leftist to come forward in this country and bring down the neo-facism movement backed by Evangelical fanatics that is becoming Amerika.

Obama's problem is he's too right;

McCain's problem is his big brown nose(and the fact that he is totally insane.)

This country needs a forceful left to combat the really slimmy right.

Posted by: Well ... | August 22, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

It is now apparent that Mccain and those of his camp who call themselves Christians, do not believe the first thing in or about Christianity 'Redemption". It is the reason that those who look to the past cannot lead us into the future.A vision is forward looking not backward looking, and this is the reason that Mccain has no capacity or capability to lead this nation.This nation was not built on a dream which is what Christianity teaches us that old men will do. It was and countinues to be built on a Vision which the young men will do. That is the case for the young man Obama. Christianity also teaches that if a man does not know his own business, How can he understand other peoples business.The old things of the sixtys and seventys have no place in this election.

Posted by: samiael | August 22, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Check into their relation to and funding by the KKK and evangelical racists.

There is the answer.

Posted by: Chris | August 22, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

We have never had a presidential candidate with more anti-American, leftist ties than Obama. In fact, we've never had one with ANY leftist ties, to my knowledge.

The Obama fans are the most self-righteous bunch I've ever seen. Present them with FACTS that don't make their messiah look good, and they start denying, making excuses, and name-calling. Yet, they will repeat any rumor or outright lie against Obama's opponents. If it were proven tomorrow that Obama was a card-carrying communist, they would excuse that, too. In other words, they don't hold Obama to the same standards that the rest of us do --- or to any standards at all, evidently. Too bad they aren't the only ones voting.

Posted by: Judy Kilgore | August 22, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Ayers was a good friend and finacial back of Obama.
that's a fact.
Is Obama regreting who he is friends with?"
-----------------------------------------

Yup, he probably was 40 years ago. And since that time, because of what that friend did, he has denounced him as any reasonable man would do.

I'm sure "annoymous" that in your lifetime, there are probably more than a few "friends" that have done pretty bad things, especially if you're a Rovian surrogate. Have you the cajones to denounce them?

Doubtful. You're part of the McSame greed machine.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

LOL!!! When Jeremiah Wright's new book comes out (October?) you are going to try and dismiss that as "old, tired" vast right-wing conspiracy too? These are not the primaries anymore. This is the general election, my friend, and all bets are off.

Posted by: JakeD | August 22, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Sniff...sniff...what's that smell??? Oh, I recognize it...it's rightie desperation. the ayers think is an old non story - but it's just like the right to keep using the same old tired tactics over and over.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Dana:

Charles Keating is not, and never was, a terrorist. Perhaps you should read up a bit on Obama's friend before you make such unwarranted comparisons.

Steve:

McCain WROTE those loopholes so, of course, they are using them. Just like the DNC is complaining about the RNC not reporting contributions monthly.

Posted by: JakeD | August 22, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The full quote in the ad reads as follows, and was not originally Obama's, he was quoting the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“Ayers…became a respectable figure in mainstream liberal Chicago years ago.”

~ on Obama's website as of 6/10/2008, since removed

Pretty scary stuff there, eh?


republicansforobama.org

Posted by: Lisa | August 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

They play the Ayers card on Obama like Mccain is innocent. Mccain was apart of the Keaten 5. Mccain and other senators was under investigation. Again Cindy Mccain was involved because she had interest with Mr. Keatens real estate matter. Why didn't they mention that. Besides, Obama didn't have anything to do with William Ayers and the Weather ground. Sen. Obama was 8 years old when that happened. Obama was associated with Ayers after he turned his life around and became a professor and worked on charities. They try to make it look like Obama was apart of Ayers terrible deeds. They didn't mention that Ayers is a professor at a college and work on several charities now. Which is totally different from Mccain direct connections and being friends with Mr. Keaten while Mr. Keaten was corrupt.

Posted by: Dana | August 22, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey JakeD, did you say McCain is a true campaign finance reformer. That is rich. Why is his Iowa campaign chairman running ads against Obama using loopholes, then?

Posted by: steve boyington | August 22, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

This is a pathetic add. I think McCain's wearing the public out on his incesant negativity. I'll give him the initial bounce in the polls for his initial negative campaign, but now the public wants substance from McCain and that is something that he can't deliver. If he does deliver it people will see that it benefits them in no way.

Posted by: BigB1 | August 22, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Ayers was a good friend and finacial back of Obama.
that's a fact.

Is Obama regreting who he is friends with?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

McCain lied to induce the USA to go to war against IRAQ. He says he had a SOURCE that told him it was the IRAQI's who did the anthrax attack. McCain is playing the role of the agent of dark forces, using lies and fear.

The forces of Light must respond to the lies, about ayers, because anything that is said, is picked up and repeated,
like the dream I had, in which the Divine Person came to me and told me for certain that McCain is the ANTI-CHRIST.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 22, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain = dark forces

Obama = forces of Light

McCain = lies, energy wars, THE DRAFT and tax refunds for the rich

Obama = truth, go catch bin Laudin and end tax on the poor.

The red party WONT catch bin Laudin because they NEED him as the boogey man. Bin Laudin's dad has breakfast with Bush I.
Dark forces stick together.


Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 22, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, then, let's have a balancing ad, tying McCain and Leibermann to a very large collection of Fundimentalist pastors that go so far as to advocate violence against Catholics and Mormon's. Oh, and what about McCain's philandering, and his ties with Keating, Abramoff, Diamond, and other money men that have funbded all of those houses. The sad fact is, this sodden old fool is a crook. But, so is his buddy, Liebermann. These scounderals both need to be tossed out of office, arrested, and imprisoned for their crooked deals.

Posted by: Observer | August 22, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Meredith, you need to look into the Chicago Annenberg Project to see how close Obama has been with Ayers, who in the debates he said was just a "neighbor". The Chicago Annenberg Project is the only (?) thing Obama has run in his life and according to its final report it was a failure. That's okay, some things fail, but the Democrat machine in Chicago (Mayor Daley) has recently barred access to the voluminous papers on this organization even though it's in a public library. Let the public see what happened (including what happened to the $150 million the project had) and make their own decisions. If Obama wants to "change" America, why didn't he change the corrupt Chicago political system that he rose from?

Posted by: Brett | August 22, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Mitch, where in that article is there any indication the Democratic party is involved?

One of the few talents possessed by you racist fringe goblins is an incredible ability to mistranslate the most innocuous of reports to suit your hate and bias.

I'm convinced it's a brain chemistry malfunction.

You give good Republicans a bad name.

Posted by: MediaWatch | August 22, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Any idiot can copy and paste. If you have an argument to make, try stringing a couple of sentences together, Harry.

Posted by: Jenna | August 22, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why anybody would listen to a thing this group has to say. They're a 501(c)4! Their entire purpose is to say and do anything to make sure Obama doesn't win.

It's called BIAS and AGENDA. The "American Issue Project" is not an objective, trustworthy source of information. The same could be said of any 501(c)4 groups running similarly biased ads against McCain--though I'm not aware of any.

Just because it's on TV, people, doesn't make it accurate. Ayers was a fellow professor at Chicago University. Was Obama supposed to snub a colleague for things that happened years before they met? Was he supposed to vet everyone who crossed his path to make sure they were "safe" politically or "worthy" of his attention or to be a donor to his campaign?

That's stupid.

Let's stop obsessing about the wide variety of people that Obama knows or that know him. Let's look instead at what Obama's ideas are for the country and what McCain's ideas are. Let's look at both mens' attitudes and character. Do we want someone who has the same plans and attitude as Bush to continue war, to continue bad economic policy, whose idea of "leadership" is to swagger and boast? (i.e. McCain) Or do we want someone who understands and has lived out fiscal responsibility in his personal life, who is committed to bringing our troops home, and whose humility and thoughtful reflection has earned him respect world-wide and who will be able to work with other world leaders to protect American interests?

Let's use our brains and focus on the REAL issues in America. Let's don't get distracted by half-truths and distortions by a group whose only agenda is to smear the reputation of the guy they don't like.

Posted by: Meredith | August 22, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Aspergirl-

Good post. The American people are not stupid, although many politicians like to think we need to be told how to live our lives---including what to eat. They believe we don't understand nuance and are too busy gripping our bibles and guns to have any clear understanding of the issues of the day, viewing everything through a film of faith and, even worse, that scary, intellectually bereft love of country called patriotism-- what they consider to be mere geography and the product of an inferior mind.

I have confidence we'll make the right choice in November. The polls are continuing to back that up.

Posted by: Penny | August 22, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The response from the Obama campaign to this ad, which should have been a blowoff, was surprisingly strong. That tells me that this ad bothers them. A lot. They're scared.

"Playing politics we can believe in" seems the order of the day with every new poll drop. They have every right to be nervous.

Posted by: Penny | August 22, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

aspen girl, wah wah wah wah wah, Funny how when Obama hits McCstank back, all your little puppets cry foul? How many homes do YOU OWN Aspen girl? I'm sure you don't own 7 worth millions do you? How can someone who has 7 homes worth millions, has a wife who is a beer magnate, and has his own personal private jet has the NERVE TO CALL OBAMA AN ELITEST? TARD, Mccstank and YOU! Now he wants to play even more dirty with this stupid ad? Do you not remember the keating 5? Does McCstank really want that on a commerical aired all day? Hey wait, let me email the Obama camp, they now have more fire to light his little shriveled up wrinkled, little raisin of a man! OBAMA 09!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

THE POST HAS NOW PUT UP 12 ARTICLES ON MCCAIN'S TRIVIAL HOUSE GAFFE

Number of articles on:

Obama saying he's visited America's 57 states: ZERO
Obama's Tony Rezko ties: ZERO
Obama's Annenburg project failure: ZERO
Obama's flat out lies about Born Alive Bill: ZERO
Obama's "losing" the forum at Saddleback: ZERO
Obama said the Kansas tornadoes killed 10,000: ZERO
Obama's claim his parents met at Selma march: ZERO
Obama's claim that Iraqi translators are needed in Afghanistan when they speak different languages: ZERO
Obama says stating a personal opinion on abortion is "above his pay grade": ZERO
Obamas' charity donations were Obama's claims he'll slow the rise of oceans: ZERO
Obama's claims he'll heal the planet: ZERO
Obama's claims he'll end poverty: ZERO
Obama's claim of there being "arugula" price inflation was in fact false: ZERO
Obama's position "[Iran] doesn't pose a serious threat to us": ZERO
Obama says he didn't know what Rev. Wright preached despite being a 20-year Trinity Church member: ZERO
Obama claims Rev. Wright never before acted like he did when preaching Afrocentric conspiracy theories in DC last Spring, even though videos exist: ZERO
Obama claims his grandmother is a "typical white person": ZERO
Obama claims Rev. Wright is family like his uncle: ZERO
Obama's Rev. Wright published Hamas manifesto in Trinity Church newsletter: ZERO
Obama was actually endorsed by Hamas: ZERO
Obama registered as a Muslim in Catholic school: ZERO
Michelle Obama says in stump speeches that Americans are "downright mean, lazy, selfish": ZERO
Obama-Ayers working papers access in library blocked by Chicago Mayor: ZERO

The Washington Post admits to carrying 3 times more Obama coverage than McCain coverage, good or bad. (What it fails to admit is that its McCain coverage is almost all negative while its Obama coverage is almost all positive or discussing strategies Obama can use to win). What you do see in the Post is pounded out on the keyboards of passionate Obama cheerleaders.

BUT IT'S NOT JUST PRINT MEDIA THAT BLASTS ELECTION YEAR PROPAGANDA

"Overall, the three broadcast networks gave Obama nearly seven times more good press than bad press. There have been 462 positive stories (34 percent of the total) compared to just 70 stories (or five percent) that were negative. The rest were classified as neutral. "NBC Nightly News" was the most aggressive, with 179 Obama-boosting stories, compared to just 17 negative ones, a 10-to-one margin. "CBS Evening News" was almost as bad, with a 156-to-21 gap between positive stories and negative ones."

(http://townhall.com/Columnists/BrentBozellIII/2008/08/22/bracing_for_the_goo)

Mark Twain said that if you don't read news you're uninformed and if you do read news you're misinformed. If you read the Washington Post, you can be BOTH uninformed AND misinformed.

To really get well-rounded coverage, read the article listings at realclearpolitics.com and news.google.com>elections. The regional and special-interest and political news sites carry the information and stories that liberal media stonewall.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 22, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Obamanation | August 22, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

An unrepentant terrorist who tried to bombthe pentagon,killed officers in the process, opened Obama's fund raiser at his own house when Obama first ran for office?What does it say about Obama? Are we surprised now that Americans are unwilling to give white house keys to these anti-American folks?We need to know the truth.How would MSM hide all these from us?PC at the expense of our national security?

Posted by: J | August 22, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I really hope you Dems have more than Keating 5 and a failed marriage -- he has already admitted those were his greatest moral failures and became a true campaign finance reformer -- do any of you dispute what's in this ad?

Posted by: JakeD | August 22, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Things are really heating up here. These campaigns are getting really tough and ugly. The real-time open poll over at http://www.bop-o-rama.com lit up last night with McCain's number on a constant march toward 250,000. McCain supporters seem to have taken a breather but Obama's total is above 430,000.
The Keating 5 is a story that will not go away. The Republicans in cyberspace better not pause to long.

Posted by: acarponzo | August 22, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

"Even Fox wont run this ad because they know it is a lie. Obama isn't a 'friend' of Ayers- Ayers lives in Chicago. So does Obama. Ayers runs in political circles. So does Obama. End of story. If McCain wants to run with this, he can explain Keating to the American Public. Or Reed. Or any one of his lobbyist connections.
Posted by: katharine | August 21, 2008 11:54 PM"

obama planned his senate campaign in ayers home. McCann was cleard of any wrongdoing by a dem senate ethics committee, anything else?

Posted by: Dwight | August 22, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse


Friends with a terrorist?

Obama supports terrorism. He hates police officers and soldiers. He hates America.

Posted by: Brick | August 22, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Come on Dems shove the Keating 5 scandal up the old mans as*.

Posted by: Jim | August 22, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Obamas past asociations with Wright, Ayers, and Pfleger will be enough to send him down to defeat

Posted by: Sean | August 22, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

4 MORE YEARS?

Posted by: John | August 22, 2008 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Corruption allegations
The core allegation of the Keating Five affair is that Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators. The regulators backed off, to later disastrous consequences.
Beginning in 1985, Edwin J. Gray, chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), feared that the savings industry's risky investment practices were exposing the government's insurance funds to huge losses.[5] Gray instituted a rule whereby savings associations could hold no more than ten percent of their assets in "direct investments",[5] and were thus prohibited from taking ownership positions in certain financial entities and instruments.[6] Lincoln had become burdened with bad debt resulting from its past aggressiveness, and by early 1986,[5] its investment practices were being investigated and audited by the FHLBB:[7] in particular, whether it had violated these direct investment rules; Lincoln had directed FDIC-insured accounts into commercial real estate ventures.[4] By the end of 1986, the FHLBB had found that Lincoln had $135 million in unreported losses and had surpassed the regulated direct investments limit by $600 million.[5]
Keating had earlier taken several measures to oppose Gray and the FHLBB, including recruiting a study from then-private economist Alan Greenspan saying that direct investments were not harmful,[5] and getting President Ronald Reagan to make a recess appointment of a Keating ally, Atlanta real estate developer Lee H. Henkel Jr., to an open seat on the FHLBB.[5] But by March 1987, Henkel had resigned, upon news of his having large loans due to Lincoln.[5]
It appeared as though the government might seize Lincoln for being insolvent.[6] The investigation was, however, taking a long time.[7] Keating was asking that Lincoln be given a lenient judgment by the FHLBB, so that it could limit its high risk investments and get into the safe (at the time) home mortgage business, thus allowing the business to survive. A letter from audit firm Arthur Young & Co. bolstered Keating's case that the government investigation was taking a long time.[8] Keating now wanted the five senators to intervene with the FHLBB on his behalf.
By March 1987, Keating and DeConcini were asking McCain to travel to San Francisco to meet with regulators regarding Lincoln Savings; McCain refused.[8][6] DeConcini told Keating that McCain was nervous about interfering.[6] Keating called McCain a "wimp" behind his back, and on March 24, Keating and McCain had a heated, contentious meeting.[8]
On April 2, 1987, a meeting with chairman Gray of the FHLBB was held in DeConcini's Capitol office, with Senators Cranston, Glenn, and McCain also in attendance.[6] DeConcini started the meeting with a mention of "our friend at Lincoln."[6] Gray told the assembled senators that he did not know the particular details of the status of Lincoln Savings and Loan, and that the senators would have to go to the bank regulators in San Francisco that had oversight jurisdiction for the bank. Gray did offer to set up a meeting between those regulators and the senators.[6]
On April 9, 1987, a two-hour meeting[4] with three members of the FHLBB San Francisco branch was held, again in DeConcini's office, to discuss the government's investigation of Lincoln.[8][6] Present were Cranston, DeConcini, Glenn, McCain, and additionally Riegle.[6] The regulators felt that the meeting was very unusual and that they were being pressured by a united front, as the senators presented their reasons for having the meeting.[6] McCain said, "One of our jobs as elected officials is to help constituents in a proper fashion. ACC is a big employer and important to the local economy. I wouldn't want any special favors for them.... I don't want any part of our conversation to be improper." Glenn said, "To be blunt, you should charge them or get off their backs," while DeConcini said, "What's wrong with this if they're willing to clean up their act? ... It's very unusual for us to have a company that could be put out of business by its regulators."[6] The regulators then revealed that Lincoln was under criminal investigation on a variety of serious charges, at which point McCain severed all relations with Keating.[6] Glenn continued to help Keating after that revelation, by setting up a meeting with then-House Majority Leader Jim Wright, which turned out to be the only questionable thing Glenn did throughout the whole affair.[9]
The San Francisco regulators finished their report in May 1987 and recommended that Lincoln be seized by the government due to unsound lending practices.[6][4] Gray, whose time as chair was about to expire, deferred action on the report, saying that his adversarial relationship with Keating would make any action he took seem vindictive, and that instead the incoming chair should take over the decision.[5] Meanwhile Keating filed a lawsuit against the FHLBB, saying it had leaked confidential information about Lincoln.[5] The new FHLBB chair was M. Danny Wall, who was more sympathetic to Keating and took no action on the report, saying its evidence was insufficient.[4][6] In September 1987, the Lincoln investigation was removed from the San Francisco group and in May 1988, a new audit of Lincoln began in Washington.[6]
News of the April meetings between the senators and the FHLBB officials first appeared in National Thrift News in September 1987, but was only sporadically covered by the general media for the next year and a half.[10]

Posted by: Harry | August 22, 2008 4:30 AM | Report abuse

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI), 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 (FHLBB).
After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings. Senators John Glenn and John McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised "poor judgment".
All five of the senators involved served out their terms. Only Glenn and McCain ran for re-election, and they were both re-elected.
Circumstances
See also: Savings and Loan crisis
The U.S. Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 747 savings and loan associations (S&Ls) in the United States. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.[1].
The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990-1991 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed per year dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, the lowest rate since World War II.[2]
The Keating Five scandal was prompted by the activities of one particular savings and loan: Lincoln Savings and Loan Association of Irvine, California. Lincoln's chairman was Charles Keating, who ultimately served five years in prison for his corrupt mismanagement of Lincoln.[3] In the four years since Keating's American Continental Corporation (ACC) had purchased Lincoln in 1984, Lincoln's assets had increased from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion.[4] Such savings and loan associations had been deregulated in the early 1980s, allowing them to make highly risky investments with their depositors' money, a change of which Keating took advantage.[4] Lincoln's investments took the form of buying land, taking equity positions in real estate development projects, and buying high-yield junk bonds.[5]

Posted by: Harry | August 22, 2008 4:28 AM | Report abuse

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI), 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 (FHLBB).
After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings. Senators John Glenn and John McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised "poor judgment".
All five of the senators involved served out their terms. Only Glenn and McCain ran for re-election, and they were both re-elected.
Circumstances
See also: Savings and Loan crisis
The U.S. Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 747 savings and loan associations (S&Ls) in the United States. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.[1].
The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990-1991 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed per year dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, the lowest rate since World War II.[2]
The Keating Five scandal was prompted by the activities of one particular savings and loan: Lincoln Savings and Loan Association of Irvine, California. Lincoln's chairman was Charles Keating, who ultimately served five years in prison for his corrupt mismanagement of Lincoln.[3] In the four years since Keating's American Continental Corporation (ACC) had purchased Lincoln in 1984, Lincoln's assets had increased from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion.[4] Such savings and loan associations had been deregulated in the early 1980s, allowing them to make highly risky investments with their depositors' money, a change of which Keating took advantage.[4] Lincoln's investments took the form of buying land, taking equity positions in real estate development projects, and buying high-yield junk bonds.[5]
Corruption allegations
The core allegation of the Keating Five affair is that Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators. The regulators backed off, to later disastrous consequences.
Beginning in 1985, Edwin J. Gray, chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), feared that the savings industry's risky investment practices were exposing the government's insurance funds to huge losses.[5] Gray instituted a rule whereby savings associations could hold no more than ten percent of their assets in "direct investments",[5] and were thus prohibited from taking ownership positions in certain financial entities and instruments.[6] Lincoln had become burdened with bad debt resulting from its past aggressiveness, and by early 1986,[5] its investment practices were being investigated and audited by the FHLBB:[7] in particular, whether it had violated these direct investment rules; Lincoln had directed FDIC-insured accounts into commercial real estate ventures.[4] By the end of 1986, the FHLBB had found that Lincoln had $135 million in unreported losses and had surpassed the regulated direct investments limit by $600 million.[5]
Keating had earlier taken several measures to oppose Gray and the FHLBB, including recruiting a study from then-private economist Alan Greenspan saying that direct investments were not harmful,[5] and getting President Ronald Reagan to make a recess appointment of a Keating ally, Atlanta real estate developer Lee H. Henkel Jr., to an open seat on the FHLBB.[5] But by March 1987, Henkel had resigned, upon news of his having large loans due to Lincoln.[5]
It appeared as though the government might seize Lincoln for being insolvent.[6] The investigation was, however, taking a long time.[7] Keating was asking that Lincoln be given a lenient judgment by the FHLBB, so that it could limit its high risk investments and get into the safe (at the time) home mortgage business, thus allowing the business to survive. A letter from audit firm Arthur Young & Co. bolstered Keating's case that the government investigation was taking a long time.[8] Keating now wanted the five senators to intervene with the FHLBB on his behalf.
By March 1987, Keating and DeConcini were asking McCain to travel to San Francisco to meet with regulators regarding Lincoln Savings; McCain refused.[8][6] DeConcini told Keating that McCain was nervous about interfering.[6] Keating called McCain a "wimp" behind his back, and on March 24, Keating and McCain had a heated, contentious meeting.[8]
On April 2, 1987, a meeting with chairman Gray of the FHLBB was held in DeConcini's Capitol office, with Senators Cranston, Glenn, and McCain also in attendance.[6] DeConcini started the meeting with a mention of "our friend at Lincoln."[6] Gray told the assembled senators that he did not know the particular details of the status of Lincoln Savings and Loan, and that the senators would have to go to the bank regulators in San Francisco that had oversight jurisdiction for the bank. Gray did offer to set up a meeting between those regulators and the senators.[6]
On April 9, 1987, a two-hour meeting[4] with three members of the FHLBB San Francisco branch was held, again in DeConcini's office, to discuss the government's investigation of Lincoln.[8][6] Present were Cranston, DeConcini, Glenn, McCain, and additionally Riegle.[6] The regulators felt that the meeting was very unusual and that they were being pressured by a united front, as the senators presented their reasons for having the meeting.[6] McCain said, "One of our jobs as elected officials is to help constituents in a proper fashion. ACC is a big employer and important to the local economy. I wouldn't want any special favors for them.... I don't want any part of our conversation to be improper." Glenn said, "To be blunt, you should charge them or get off their backs," while DeConcini said, "What's wrong with this if they're willing to clean up their act? ... It's very unusual for us to have a company that could be put out of business by its regulators."[6] The regulators then revealed that Lincoln was under criminal investigation on a variety of serious charges, at which point McCain severed all relations with Keating.[6] Glenn continued to help Keating after that revelation, by setting up a meeting with then-House Majority Leader Jim Wright, which turned out to be the only questionable thing Glenn did throughout the whole affair.[9]
The San Francisco regulators finished their report in May 1987 and recommended that Lincoln be seized by the government due to unsound lending practices.[6][4] Gray, whose time as chair was about to expire, deferred action on the report, saying that his adversarial relationship with Keating would make any action he took seem vindictive, and that instead the incoming chair should take over the decision.[5] Meanwhile Keating filed a lawsuit against the FHLBB, saying it had leaked confidential information about Lincoln.[5] The new FHLBB chair was M. Danny Wall, who was more sympathetic to Keating and took no action on the report, saying its evidence was insufficient.[4][6] In September 1987, the Lincoln investigation was removed from the San Francisco group and in May 1988, a new audit of Lincoln began in Washington.[6]
News of the April meetings between the senators and the FHLBB officials first appeared in National Thrift News in September 1987, but was only sporadically covered by the general media for the next year and a half.[10]
Failure of Lincoln
Lincoln stayed in business; from mid-1987 to April 1989, its assets grew from $3.91 billion to $5.46 billion.[5] During this time, the parent American Continental Corporation was desperate for cash inflow to make up for losses in real estate purchases and projects.[11] Lincoln's branch managers and tellers convinced customers to replace their federally-insured certificates of deposit with higher-yielding bond certificates of American Continental; the customers later said they were never properly informed that the bonds were uninsured and very risky given the state of American Continental's finances.[11]
American Continental went bankrupt in April 1989, and Lincoln was seized by the FHLBB on April 14, 1989.[4] More than 21,000 mostly elderly investors lost their life savings. This total came to about $285 million.[citation needed] The federal government was liable for $2 billion to cover Lincoln's losses when it seized the institution.[11]
Keating was hit with a $1.1 billion fraud and racketeering action, filed against him by the regulators.[4] Asked whether his contributions had bought him influence, Keating said: “I want to say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so.”[12]
When the former chairman of the FHLBB went public about the Senators' assistance to Keating, that set off a series of investigations by the California government, the United States Department of Justice, and the Senate Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee's investigation focused on all five senators, who soon became known as the "Keating Five". The initial charges against the five Senators were brought by Common Cause, a public interest group, and the Senate’s inquiry subsequently lasted 22 months.[13]
Relationships of senators to Keating
Once Lincoln failed, the relationships of all the senators to Keating came under intense press scrutiny.
Cranston had received $39,000 from Keating and his associates for his 1986 Senate re-election campaign. Furthermore, Keating had donated some $850,000 to assorted groups founded by Cranston or controlled by him, and another $85,000 to the California Democratic Party.[4]
DeConcini had received about $48,000 from Keating and his associates for his 1988 Senate re-election campaign.[4] In September 1989, DeConcini stated he would return the money.[4]
Glenn had received $34,000 in direct contributions from Keating and his associates for his 1984 presidential nomination campaign, and a political action committee tied to Glenn had received an additional $200,000.[4]
McCain and Keating had become personal friends following their initial contacts in 1981.[8] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in lawful[14] political contributions from Keating and his associates.[15] In addition, McCain's wife Cindy McCain and her father Jim Hensley had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. McCain, his family, and their baby-sitter had made nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard Keating's jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating's opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay. McCain did not pay Keating (in the amount of $13,433) for some of the trips until years after they were taken, when he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln.[6][16]
Riegle had received some $76,000 from Keating and his associates for his 1988 Senate re-election campaign.[4] Riegle later announced in April 1988 he was returning the money.[5]
Conclusion of investigation
The Senate Ethics Committee's report regarding the Keating matter came out in August 1991, and addressed each of the five senators.[17]
Cranston: severely reprimanded
The Senate Ethics Committee ruled that Cranston had acted improperly by interfering with the investigation by the FHLBB.[17] He had received more than a million dollars from Keating, had done more arm-twisting than the other Senators on Keating's behalf, and was the only Senator officially rebuked by the Senate in this matter.[18]
Cranston was given the harshest penalty of all five Senators. In November of 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee voted unanimously to reprimand Cranston, instead of the more severe measure that was under consideration: censure by the full Senate. Extenuating circumstances that helped to save Cranston from censure were the fact that he was suffering from cancer, and that he had decided to not seek reelection, according to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Democratic Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama. The Ethics Committee took the unusual step of delivering its reprimand to Cranston during a formal session of the full Senate, with almost all 100 Senators present.[13]
Cranston was not accused of breaking any specific laws or rules, but of violating standards that Heflin said “do not permit official actions to be linked with fund-raising.” The Ethics Committee officially found that Cranston’s conduct had been “improper and repugnant”, deserving of "the fullest, strongest and most severe sanction which the committee has the authority to impose." The sanction was in these words: "the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, on behalf of and in the name of the United States Senate, does hereby strongly and severely reprimand Sen. Alan Cranston.”[13]
After the Senate reprimanded Cranston for repugnant conduct, Cranston took to the Senate floor to deny key charges against him. In response, Senator Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, the Republican Vice-Chairman of the Ethics Committee, charged that Cranston’s response to the reprimand was “arrogant, unrepentant and a smear on this institution," and that Cranston was wrong to imply that everyone does what Cranston had done. Alan Dershowitz, serving as Senator Cranston's attorney, alleged that other Senators had merely been better at “covering their tracks.”[13] Likewise, political historian Lewis Gould has written that, “the real problem for the 'Keating Three' who were most involved was that they had been caught.”[19]
Riegle and DeConcini: criticized for acting improperly
The Senate Ethics Committee ruled that Riegle and DeConcini had acted improperly by interfering with the investigation by the FHLBB.[17]
DeConcini later charged that McCain had leaked to the press sensitive information about the investigation that came from some of the closed proceedings of the Ethics Committee.[6] McCain denied doing so, although one congressional investigator concluded that McCain had been one of the main leakers during that time.[6]
Glenn and McCain: cleared of impropriety but criticized for poor judgment
The Senate Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of Glenn in the scheme was minimal, and the charges against him were dropped.[17] He was only criticized by the Committee for "poor judgment."[20]
The Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of McCain in the scheme was also minimal, and he too was cleared of all charges against him.[18][17] McCain was criticized by the Committee for exercising "poor judgment" when he met with the federal regulators on Keating's behalf.[6] 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."[14] On his Keating Five experience, McCain has 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."[6]
Several accounts of the controversy contend that McCain was included in the investigation primarily so that there would be at least one Republican target.[21][22][23][9] Glenn's inclusion in the investigation has been attributed to Republicans who were angered by the inclusion of McCain, as well as committee members who thought that dropping Glenn (and McCain) would make it look bad for the remaining three Democratic Senators.[21][23] Democrat Robert S. Bennett, who was the special investigator during the scandal, suggested to the Senate Ethics Committee that it pursue charges against neither McCain nor Glenn, saying of McCain, "that there was no evidence against him."[22] The Vice Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Senator Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, agreed with Bennett, but the Chairman, Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama, did not agree.[9]
Regardless of the level of their involvement, both senators were greatly affected by it. McCain would write in 2002 that attending the two April 1987 meetings was "the worst mistake of my life".[24] Glenn has described the Senate Ethics Committee investigation as the low point of his life.[7]Reactions
Not everyone was satisfied with the Senate Ethics Committee conclusions. Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, which had initially demanded the investigation, thought the treatment of the senators far too lenient, and said, "The U.S. Senate remains on the auction block to the Charles Keatings of the world."[25] Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, called it a "whitewash".[25] Jonathan Alter of Newsweek said it was a classic case of the government trying to investigate itself, labelling the Senate Ethics Committee "shameless" for having "let four of the infamous Keating Five off with a wrist tap."[26] Margaret Carlson of Time suspected the committee had timed its first report to coincide with the run-up to the Gulf War, minimizing its news impact.[25]Aftermath
Cranston left office in January of 1993, and died in December of 2000. DeConcini and Riegle continued to serve in the Senate until their terms expired, but they did not seek re-election in 1994. DeConcini was appointed by President Bill Clinton in February 1995 to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. [27]
Glenn did choose to run for re-election in 1992, and it was anticipated that he would have some difficulty winning a fourth term in the Senate. However, Glenn handily defeated Lieutenant Governor R. Michael DeWine for one more term in the Senate before retiring in 1999.
After 1999, the only member of the Keating Five remaining in the U.S. Senate was John McCain, who had an easier time gaining re-election in 1992 than he anticipated,[28] and who ran for president in 2000 and became the Republican presumptive nominee in 2008. McCain survived the political scandal by, in part, becoming friendly with the political press, and in part by not letting the controversy detract from his work as a senator.[28]
The scandal was followed by a number of attempts to adopt campaign finance reform—spearheaded by U.S. Sen. David Boren (D-OK)—but most attempts died in committee. A weakened reform was passed in 1993. Substantial campaign finance reform was not passed until the adoption of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002.

Posted by: Harry | August 22, 2008 4:27 AM | Report abuse

If you heard that John McCain dumped his first wife for a rich socialite who helped launch McCain's political career... well, that's pretty much true. McCain came back from Vietnam to find his wife had been in a horrific car accident. As a result, she had gained some weight. Perhaps, the story goes, her altered physical appearance was a factor in his pursuit of 25-year-old socialite Cindy Hensley, who he would soon marry, after securing a tidy, uncontested divorce from poor Carol.
McCain's second wife, Cindy, has also been smeared as a former drug addict. Between 1989 and 1992 she became addicted to painkillers. She admitted to stealing pills from a charitable organization she ran at the time. Cindy McCain was never prosecuted and allegations that McCain intervened on her behalf have never been substantiated. No worse behavior than, say, a certain popular talk show host that really dislikes Cindy McCain's husband.

Posted by: TOM | August 22, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

If you heard that John McCain dumped his first wife for a rich socialite who helped launch McCain's political career... well, that's pretty much true. McCain came back from Vietnam to find his wife had been in a horrific car accident. As a result, she had gained some weight. Perhaps, the story goes, her altered physical appearance was a factor in his pursuit of 25-year-old socialite Cindy Hensley, who he would soon marry, after securing a tidy, uncontested divorce from poor Carol.
McCain's second wife, Cindy, has also been smeared as a former drug addict. Between 1989 and 1992 she became addicted to painkillers. She admitted to stealing pills from a charitable organization she ran at the time. Cindy McCain was never prosecuted and allegations that McCain intervened on her behalf have never been substantiated. No worse behavior than, say, a certain popular talk show host that really dislikes Cindy McCain's husband.

Posted by: TOM | August 22, 2008 4:18 AM | Report abuse


Boom goes the dynamite.

Posted by: Miguel | August 22, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Independent group?
The title is a blatant lie. This group worked closely with McCain last year.

Posted by: Don | August 22, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Obama's good friend Ayers called up his radical friends and had them send threats to McCain's campaign offices in Colorado.
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2129629620080822

Obama's campaign will stop at nothing to try and get him elected.

Posted by: Mitch | August 22, 2008 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Dude! The sixties are like, so over!! McCain is still freaking about Woodstock!?!? Get over it man! The Hippies were right! McNamarra said so. The Vietnam war was a lie. It was over 30 years ago. Hello!

America is tired of the culture wars. We've got real problems. We don't need an old POW fighter pilot macho skirt chaser to lead America. We need him to get out of the way so we can fix America's problems.

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 22, 2008 2:07 AM | Report abuse

"SadAmerican" Ummm OK. McCain is not the same as Bush. Im not big on either, but at least I can call a spade a spade. They are very different. Anyway, how can McCain 'swiftboat' Obama? Obama has never served. Obama being swiftboated? It doesnt even make sense. The Obama comp is doing the "swiftboating" (whatever that is) by attacking McCain's record and captivity. Again, the left is soooo nice and those republicans are soooo mean... 'pout pout'. Lets stick to issues, character, family values, national security, economy, education, and immigration. Not in any order.

Posted by: Indiana Guy | August 22, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm not struggling to make ends meet. I drive a hundred thousand mile car, live in a five hundred a month apartment, and worked my way through school. I make about thirty thousand a year, have credit card debt and school loans. I am better off than I was five years ago because of putting myself through school. All this talk about a failing economy is a sham. Jobs are there, find one. Build a savings. Don't take out an enormous loan with an adjustable APR that you cannot afford! Get rid of the damn credit cards. Go back to school. Wages haven't gone down. Anybody without a job can find a job. Period. It may not be what you want, but it's a job. The economy has held pretty steady at 2-3 percent growth. GROWTH!!!!!!!! It's so sad that liberals and their BIG LABOR (unions) and other pals so mislead the people they "stand for". So sad that they actually believe you.

Posted by: Indiana Guy | August 22, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

I see Carl Rove & Dick Cheney are alive & still full of crap. If it's not those far right freaks that call themselves Christians, it's the old Swift Boat crew back in action. The Republican party should be so proud of John McCain it shouldn't have to crawl in pig slop again. Mr McCain has so many homes he forgets where he's sleeping most nights. As for his war record in Vietnam, he wasn't shot down, he landed at the wrong airport & it took him a month to realize it. Poor John must get tired of kissing Bush's fat A-- every day, but he can't make any decision without his masters approval. Yep, the Republican party should be happy as can be with old John at the helm. It's easy to see how secure they are.

Posted by: SadAmerican | August 22, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

"RealChange..." you're a little stretched there aren't you? McCain has mob ties, but Obama and Ayers is "playing the Ayers card"? I love how liberals always answer a question with a question. "Ya well, he did this....", it's laughable. However, I hope the story sticks and the ads play in more cities. The media is blatantly left so it wont get much play.
But hey, "RealChange" guy, you need to ease up. Don't hurt yourself. That was a book! Conservatives (Democrat and Republican) should not be timid about voicing their opinions on either candidate.
Im not that big on McCain but he is infinitely better for the country than Obama, Barak Hussein Obama. Oh, my, I said his middle name. That's it, Im a racist. Dang! I wonder why he gets so upset when someone says Barak Hussein Obama? Anyway, the faster it gets out how Obama bought his house with a sweet deal from a now convicted felon who's getting ready to be sentenced the better. Go out and buy "The Obama Nation" (Jerome Corsi) for a heavily notated and cited (slightly right leaning) account of Obama's past affairs. You can check the sources yourself. Quite unlike anything written by the left, even this "RealChange" website expects its readers to be jokers who do not know how to check resources. Pitty.

Posted by: Indiana Statesman | August 22, 2008 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Nuf' said...come Obama!!!!

Posted by: Keating 5 | August 22, 2008 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Democrats, you only need two words: Keating Five!

Get with the program!

Posted by: Jon | August 22, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

BParker:

There only needs to be ONE level of separation to comply with federal election laws. What part of "Independent Group" are you (and Obama's spokeshole) having trouble understanding?

Posted by: JakeD | August 22, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Mccain was apart of the Keaten 5, why didn't they mention that. Again Cindy Mccain and her wealth had interest in Mr. Keatens Real Estate, key word real estate has come back to haunt Mccain again. Lets face it. Mccain and cindy are totally out of touch with the millions of Americans struggling each day to make ends meet. Mccains plans prove that.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

"Republican-leaning"?? Come on, report whoever is behind this ad and you'll tell the whole story. Chances are, there will be fewer than six degrees of separation from McCain.

Posted by: BParker | August 22, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

katharine:

It would violate campaign finance laws for McCain to control or coordinate with this ad -- Obama did call this terrorist "mainstream" so maybe you are thinking of someone else he barely knows -- besides, you know, freedom of speech and all.

Posted by: JakeD | August 22, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't know where this "FOX won't run the ad" came from. I just saw the ad on FOX two hours ago.

Posted by: RoBoTech | August 21, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Even Fox wont run this ad because they know it is a lie. Obama isn't a 'friend' of Ayers- Ayers lives in Chicago. So does Obama. Ayers runs in political circles. So does Obama. End of story. If McCain wants to run with this, he can explain Keating to the American Public. Or Reed. Or any one of his lobbyist connections.

Posted by: katharine | August 21, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain is clueless about the economy, his wife steals cookie recipes, and steals from her own charity, the money that financed all this wealth came from Cindy's dad - a felon, with mob ties...
And they try to paint Obama as elitist?

I don't think so - if you believe the McCain campaign I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'll sell you - cheap.


MONEY! It's a blast...get your hands off Grampy McCain's stash...Sing Along Everyone!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7PfSEtiXPw

Posted by: GOP - The Angry Old Rich White Guy Party | August 21, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO!!!

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

The Haves, the Have Mores and John McCain


Eight years ago, then Governor George W. Bush revealingly joked about his backers at the 2000 Al Smith Dinner. "This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores," Bush said, adding, "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." With his own quip Saturday night that "$5 million" is his definition of "rich," John McCain made no mistake that he is Bush's natural heir.


Now, there is nothing wrong with being happily rich and utterly detached. Nothing, that is, unless you make criticizing your political opponent as "elitist" and "out of touch" a centerpiece of your campaign. Rick Davis, speaking on behalf of his $100 million man John McCain, earlier this month offered the latest formulation of Barack Obama as an effete, aloof denizen of the upper class:

"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand 'MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew - Black Forest Berry Honest Tea' and worry about the price of arugula."

Of course, Davis' "arugula war" is just another attempt at misdirection. After all, John McCain's $5 million threshold where "you move from middle class to rich" is just the latest episode of his enduring disconnect from the real lives of the American people.


For starters, McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.


In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.


*The $100 Million Man*
-Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.


*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
-While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.


*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
-As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.


*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
-Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.


*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt, Priceless*
-That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.


*Charity Begins at Home*
-As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:

Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.


*Private Jet Setters*
-As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."


*Help on the Homefront*
-In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."


*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
-If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."


And so it goes. John McCain proclaims $5 million finally makes you rich. Meanwhile, ABC's Charlie Gibson thinks a $200,000 income makes you middle class. And his colleague Cokie Roberts claims Barack Obama's vacation to his home state of Hawaii was "exotic."

Posted by: OHIOforOBAMA | August 21, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain thinks $3 million income is middle class:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8Qr3LjRUA
.


McCain, Founding Member of the Keating Five:
McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."


McCain Mafia ties:
In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.


McCain has been screwing over middle class and poor people for years.
http://www.realchange.org/mccain.htm

Posted by: Mccain is an out of touch elitist | August 21, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Of course not many networks will run it. It is a negative for Obama.
Quick, Cover it Up!

The media are acting as if this is a communist country and Obama is the Dictator.

Posted by: DEM now IND | August 21, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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