About Keating


At the completion of my investigation, I filed my report with the committee. I recommended that no further action be taken against Senators McCain and Glenn principally because once they learned that there was a criminal referral, they stopped aggressively doing Keating’s bidding with the regulators.


After reviewing my report, the committee voted on October 23, 1990, to hold a public adjudicatory fact-finding hearing in the matter as to all five senators. This was perhaps the first time the recommendation of a special counsel not to charge a senator was rejected. This was pure politics as the Democrats on the committee did not want to cut McCain loose so that only Democrats would remain in the proceedings. If Senator McCain was not going to be cut loose, in retaliation the Republicans were going to keep Senator Glenn in the proceedings. McCain was the victim of politics, and poor Glenn was held captive to the decision on McCain. So much for nonpartisanship.

— Democratic Keating Investigation Counsel Robert Bennett
In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington Lawyer

The committee ruled that Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, Donald Riegle of Michigan, and Alan Cranston of California “had acted improperly in interfering with the Federal Home Loan Banking Board’s investigation.”

Who do DeConcini and Riegle support for President?

Take a guess.

Former Senator Don Riegle Endorses Barack Obama
DeConcini backs Obama

Meanwhile Obama is frantically trying to say McCain can’t be trusted because the Keating deal was part of the S&L crisis of the 80s. But we are in a crisis TODAY, and who is to blame for that?

Plenty of Obama associates:

Just look to Penny Pritzker, Obama’s National Finance Chair and a long time supporter.

The Pritzker Family co-owned the Superior Bank FSB, which collapsed in 2001, resulting in a $460 million payment to federal regulators. Penny served as head of the Board from 1991-1994 and is a director of the bank’s holding company, Coast to Coast Financial Corp.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Superior Bank specialized in sub-prime lending, the kind Obama advocated for and the kind that has caused the current crisis.

Penny is now the Obama campaigns fundraising chair.

He associates with terrorists, criminals and racists. He allows people onto his team who helped cause the financial meltdown of today, and he wants to bring up a scandal that McCain was cleared of 20+ years ago?


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they are so corupt. they have to throw sones at mccain because boulders are gonna start rolling their diection and they are hoping to divert them. most people really don’t follow politics and i admit that i am newer to this also, but you have to research you candidate. you have to look back and see if there are red herrings or lies and ties to unsavory people. if you aren’t willing to do this you really shouldn’t be able to vote.

Sadly, luva, the uninformed kind make up about more than 75% of this country.

Plenty of Obama associates:

Including John Glenn. Heh.

It’s hard being ‘mavericky’ when you were a member of the Keating five, the term sort of wilts in the undecided voters ear.

So, today…

In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, John Dowd, the Washington lawyer who represented McCain during the Senate investigation, called the inquiry a “classic political smear job” by the Democrats running the Senate at the time, saying that they only included McCain to make sure that a Republican was among the targets. “John had not done anything wrong,” Dowd said.

Dowd’s point of view was amplified by Robert Bennett, the Washington lawyer and Democrat who served as special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee during the Keating Five investigation, which focused on whether McCain and other senators exercised improper political influence over the regulation of Keating’s failed Lincoln Savings & Loan.

In an interview, Bennett said McCain should never have been dragged into the ethics case to begin with. He said that after his own lengthy investigation, he came to the conclusion that the case against McCain and former Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) “should have been dropped” because the evidence suggested that once McCain understood that the Justice Department was investigating Keating, he backed off any involvement. Dowd noted that McCain threw Keating,once a strong supporter, out of his office after Keating pressed him to intervene in his case.

Bennett said former Sen. Howell Hefflin (D-Ala.) insisted that the two be included in the formal public inquiry because otherwise there would have been a month of public hearings “with no Republicans in the dock.” The other members of the Keating Five were Democrats.

“It was clear that McCain should not have been at the table nor should Glenn,” Bennett said. “I felt it was unfair for McCain to be included as part of the Keating Five.” Bennett stressed that he was not speaking as part of the campaign, though he noted he also represented McCain in his recent battles with the New York Times.


The piece goes on to note, accurately, that McCain has historically understood this affair to be the ‘worst decision’ of his life. So, now he’s changed his mind?

Ben at Politico says:

I’d always thought McCain’s great strength in defending the Keating affair was that he’d acknolwedged making a huge mistake, and spent his career repenting by recasting himself as a reformer.

So when his campaign puts his lawyer on the line with reporters to contest the details of a congressional inquiry that, largely, let McCain off the hook, doesn’t that cloud the sin-confession-atonement dynamic a bit?

In Halperin’s account, McCain lawyer John Dowd described McCain’s “former relationship with Charles Keating as ‘social friends,'” and called the situation a “classic political smear job on John.”

Dowd also “thinks that the committee went too far in suggesting that McCain’s intervention with regulators was poor judgment,” Halperin writes.

But if so, what’s this giant mistake that transformed McCain into a reformer?

Exactly!!! The Keating 5 episode is at the core of McCain being a Maverick …it was the spring board that brought about his ‘rebirth’, as the Maverick.’

Stranger still, this leaves open, bare for all eyes to witness, a McCain tradition of apologizing for the affair– when in reality it was a ‘witch hunt’ ( yet he’s still ‘mavericky’).

——–This is a huge FLIP-FLOP——-!

post in the wash

Isn’t this rich, Obama has one fifth of the Keating 5 out campaigning for him.

“When the astronaut made way for the Boss on the Oval, 10,000 people roared in unison, “Bruuuuce!”

“You don’t get introduced by John Glenn every day,” Bruce Springsteen said, breaking into an impromptu version of Mr. Spaceman.

The Ohio State University campus was in a festive mood yesterday as the rock legend performed a seven-song, solo acoustic set on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.”

@doug1: Didn’t you repeat this somewhere else before?

And besides, like we said, it’s already cleared up. At least McCain admitted to making a big mistake, and spent time to fix it. He’s not denying it. Has Obama admitted to anything wrong that he did, including his involvement with Fannie and Freddie? Rezko? Ayers? The way he would have voted on the war if he were able to go back in time and vote again?

This isn’t a flip-flop, doug. Nice try.

Nope, never did, Leah. I suggest reading it closer. He IS “denying it”.

I agree with Jason that it was a mistake for the Obama campaign to release its 13-minute Keating Five mini-doc today, but I’m not sure the McCain camp’s immediate response was any less a mistake. McCain’s attorney during the Keating scandal, John Dowd, took part in a conference call in which he described the Keating scandal as a “classic political smear job on John” and argued “I think what [McCain] did was perfectly appropriate.”


post in the drink, again.

Doug… so let me get this straight…

You recognize that McCain’s involvement in the Keating 5 was a political witch hunt. But you condemn him because he apologized?? You label the Keating 5 as a “flip flop”at worst? McCain was honest enough to apologize for the perceived impropiety to the public…. And you hold this against him?


You have to understand, Keating was a personal friend of McCain for years before this. He really did nothing wrong, and you can investigate and/or sue anyone and ruin their reputation. Witness the damage the press and lawyers did to the Duke LaCrosse players.

Well, all I can say is, if the public sees the Keating 5 affair as merely a flip flop like you, then McCain’s got no worries.

Like I said… I’d like McCain to beat Obama to the punch and do a “hit job” ad on himself to get the story out in the open…. AGAIN.

doug: It doesn’t change the fact that it’s already been cleared. It doesn’t change the fact that McCain isn’t involved in anything of the sort right now, and it sure as hell doesn’t change the fact Obama’s done much worse. Once again, nice try.

Doug and Dave are trying the “Oh look….shiny” routine on us by trying to make Keating bigger and Ayers smaller.

Anyone foolish enough to fall for that?

“Not I, said the little red hen….”

Naw, MH, I’m saying today McCain flip-flopped —on his own past contrition, and basically used the time-honored political trick in describing an investigation as a “witch hunt.”

I guess we can now say both McCain and Palin, and their camp, all share a group paranoia over their investigations.

Obama and Biden have been left out of such a group psychosis.

4 posts out of 13 in this thread by Doug. That was fast for me to read since I skipped all of is comments… lol
I guess he must be starting to worry, otherwise, why so many comments?…lol

McCain is a clean guy, he has integrity and Obama has none. That’s it, that’s all there is to say.

Odd you say that, Doug. I just finished listening to the investigator for the Keating 5 on the Mark Levin show. He said that it was obvious in the first day that McCain did nothing wrong. He also commented on the abuse of prosecutorial power exercised.

And there is good reason to be wary of Senate investigations… or the fox investigating the fox that rummaged the hen house. Can you say the McCarthy era?

And I’m sure that the DNC majority, investigating the failures of Fannie/Freddie, will be sure to cover all their tracks as well.

Your blind faith in Congressional investigations is just breathtaking, Doug. I got a bridge to no where to sell…. wanna buy it?

Nope. But i will wager my dollar on the repentant tradition that McCain laid for himself with his own meme of it being “the worst decision of my life”.

Therefore, even barring senate investigations (which usually let the fox get away with the chicken, the McCarthy investigation was a unusually national high-water marker in investigations, and hence, in national and congressional insanity) his own record, his bio of this personal short-coming is the big event he regrets, and he wore it as a scarlet letter.

Yet now he wants to paper over this past history.

This Mark Levin, right?:

Remember the Keating Five?
McCain’s own standards would have hung him.

Mr. Levin is also president of the Landmark Legal Foundation.
April 5, 2001 9:15 a.m.

For too long, McCain has been given a free pass by the media, which promotes campaign-finance reform to silence other voices, and by his Republican colleagues, who are concerned about alienating McCain given the GOP’s tenuous majority in the Senate.

In John McCain’s America, any politician who accepts a large contribution or gift from a donor, and then takes steps consistent with the donor’s interests — even though there is no legal quid pro quo — is corrupt. Well, then, by his own standard, McCain is corrupt.

McCain was one of the so-called “Keating Five” senators. He was investigated by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics in 1991 regarding the acceptance of favors from Lincoln Savings & Loan Association (Lincoln) and its owner, Charles H. Keating, Jr. Simply put, the issue was whether McCain and the other senators used their official positions to attempt to pressure Federal Home Loan Bank Board officials to go easy on the troubled institution. Eventually Lincoln went bust, costing depositors and taxpayers millions.

In its final report (November 20, 1991), here is what the Senate Select Committee on Ethics concluded about McCain’s conduct:

“Mr. Keating, his associates, and his friends contributed $56,000 for Senator McCain’s two House races in 1982 and 1984, and $54,000 for his 1986 Senate race. Mr. Keating also provided his corporate plane and/or arranged for payment for the use of commercial or private aircraft on several occasions for travel by Senator McCain and his family, for which Senator McCain ultimately provided reimbursement when called upon to do so. Mr. Keating also allowed Senator McCain and his family to vacation with Mr. Keating and his family, at a home provided by Mr. Keating in the Bahamas, in each of the calendar years 1983 through 1986.

“…[F]rom 1984 to 1987, Senator McCain took actions on Mr. Keating’s behalf or at his request. The Committee finds that Senator McCain had a basis for each of these actions independent of the contributions and benefits he received from Mr. Keating, his associates and friends.

“Based on the evidence available to it, the Committee has given consideration to Senator McCain’s actions on behalf of Lincoln. The Committee concludes that, given the personal benefits and campaign contributions he had received from Mr. Keating, Senator McCain exercised poor judgment in intervening with the regulators without first inquiring as to the Bank Board’s position in the case in a more routine manner. The Committee concludes that Senator McCain’s actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him. The Committee finds that Senator McCain took no further action after the April 9, 1987 meeting when he learned of a criminal referral.

“The Committee reaffirms its prior decision that it does not have jurisdiction to determine the issues of disclosure or reimbursement pertaining to flights provided by American Continental Corporation while Senator McCain was a Member of the House of Representatives. The Committee did consider the effect of such on his state of mind and judgment in taking steps to assist Lincoln.

“Senator McCain has violated no law of the United States or specific Rule of the United States Senate; therefore, the Committee concludes that no further action is warranted with respect to Senator McCain on the matters investigated during the preliminary inquiry.”

McCain was the only Republican implicated in the Keating Five scandal, yet today he lectures his party and his president about “the corrupting influence” of money in politics. He rails against the so-called “wealthy special interests” and their ability to buy access to elected officials, yet this is precisely what the Keating Five scandal was all about. And, of course, under McCain’s current standard, a politician who takes a principled position that may benefit a donor is corrupt, even if no law has been violated.

The John McCain of old should be thankful that his political fate wasn’t determined by John McCain the reformer.

Well, then, doug, can you say he learned from his mistakes? You know that one principle our mothers and fathers taught us to do? Now you’re blaming McCain for learning from his past mistakes and coming clean?

The Keating 5 thing still pales in comparison to Obama’s gaffe of “not knowing Ayers’ history”. I think you’ve dragged this on for one thread too many, and it’s obvious that this is leading you to nowhere. My suggestion: quit while you’re behind.