- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In a time of economic peril for our nation and of evidence of abuse by people Americans trusted with their funds, your staff writers produce a front-page story with a quote from an ad for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (“McCain ad links Obama to old Chicago corruption,” Tuesday).

The first problem is that campaign ads are textbook demonstrations of distortion. However, even if the claims contain a modicum of truth, they pale alongside a true story that is directly related to the financial meltdown. It is a fact that Mr. McCain was one of those charged with abuse of power in what became known as the Keating Five scandal, wherein Mr. McCain used his congressional power in an effort to save Charles Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association from government action.

Mr. Keating was no ordinary constituent to Mr. McCain. On Oct. 8, 1989, the Arizona Republic revealed that Mr. McCain’s wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before Mr. McCain met with the regulators.

The paper also reported that the McCains, sometimes accompanied by their daughter and baby sitter, had made at least nine trips at Mr. Keating’s expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental Corp. jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Mr. Keating’s opulent Bahamas retreat.

Mr. McCain did not pay Mr. Keating for some of the trips until years after they were taken, after he learned that Mr. Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. Total cost: $13,433.

For The Washington Times to ignore the Keating Five scandal when it was an obvious precursor to the problems we face today is outrageous. Integrity and credibility are as important in our press as they are to good government. Shilling for the McCain campaign ought not be your mission.

JOAN SALEMI

West Springfield

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