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McCain's Temper Caused his Keating Five Scandal
  by Faun Otter

John McCain believes that his actions in the Keating scandal were probably the worst thing 
he has ever done and "will probably be on my tombstone." (1)   So why has the press hardly 
mentioned this outrageous behavior? 

Maybe they don't think anyone cares that McCain accepted bribes and knowingly broke the law
as a result of one of his famous temper tantrums.

Here's what you need to know about McCain's Keating Five scandal. (2)

Charles Keating helped McCain's father-in-law buy McCain his seat in congress in 1982. 
Keating and Cindy McCain were partners in a shopping mall venture which McCain only cashed out
(at a million dollar profit) when Keating was jailed in the late 1990s. (3) Keating was obsessed with 
obliterating pornography while he was using his corporation's money for wild drunken parties, 
at least one of which McCain attended. 

McCain hid from Congress that he had taken 9 trips on Keating's jet. These included three vacations 
at Keating's mansion on Cat Cay in the Bahamas that McCain and his wife shared with Charlie Keating 
and his family. McCain got more money than any of the other four politicians at the heart of the Keating 
scandal. When asked if he was buying or influencing McCain with his gifts and money, Keating replied, 
"I want to say in the most forceful way I can, I certainly hope so!"

Charlie Keating was running a series of shell corporations to hide cash he moved illegally from Lincoln 
Savings and Loan. Lincoln became the largest S & L to collapse and cost US taxpayers thousands of 
millions of dollars for a bail out. When Federal bank regulators, led by Ed Gray, tried to limit Keating's 
worst excesses, Keating sent a letter to McCain describing the bank board (FHLBB) as a police state 
under a mad dog's leadership.

And then McCain had one of his melt downs.

This was the key moment in McCain's Keating Five scandal  and it occurred at  March 19 1987.

Keating asked McCain to pressure bank auditors not to enforce the law against Lincoln S&L.  
McCain told Keating he was uncomfortable strong arming the nation's financial regulators. Keating 
taunted him, "McCain's a wimp." At 1:30, in his senate office, McCain exploded into fury, "One thing 
I'm not is a coward." McCain screamed at Keating that he hadn't lived in a box for five years to have 
his courage questioned. McCain's aides were very surprised by McCain's tantrum and even Keating 
begged him to calm down. 

McCain didn't back off. He shouted that he knew it was not appropriate for him to negotiate on 
Keating's behalf with  regulators who were looking into the illegal activities at Lincoln Savings and Loan. 
Keating told McCain that he should not bother going to the meeting. McCain was still mad and replied, 
"No, I'm going to that meeting." 

Later that day, Keating boasted that he "knew how to get McCain's attention."

McCain met Ed Gray on April 2, 1987. Against all protocol, McCain didn't allow Gray to bring 
any staff or attorneys to the meeting and also excluded his own aides. He later said this was because 
he wanted to be able to deny everything. McCain tried to force Gray to ignore a banking regulation 
that affected Keating's Lincoln S&L.  McCain kept referring to Keating as, "my friend." 

Seven days later, bank regulators were summoned to the Senate for an unusual late night meeting. 
McCain wanted the auditors to let Lincoln continue making real estate loans without carrying out 
credit checks, a clear violation of the law. This is also the practice that has led to the current US 
economic crisis. When asked by his aides about the meeting, McCain whistled through his teeth 
rather than answer their questions.

Here it is in a nut shell:
In 1987, McCain tried to force bank regulators to ignore the law for his friend and benefactor, 
Charlie Keating. McCain knew this was improper but plunged recklessly into the meetings after 
Keating taunted him for being a coward. 

McCain almost destroyed his career by accepting bribes and letting mere words goad him into 
knowingly breaking the law. 

If he was President, what might else might McCain's temper destroy?

(2) Extracted from Trust Me: Charles Keating and the Missing Billions by Michael Binstein 
     and Charles Bowden, Random House 1993


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