Friday, July 30, 2010

Billionaire fraudsters/GOP donors indicted: Will AZGOP, McCain, Kyl, and Schweikert return donations?

From ABC News -
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged billionaire Samuel Wyly and his brother Charles with fraud for reaping more than $550 million of illicit gains by trading stock in four companies while they were serving as directors.

Samuel Wyly, 75, and Charles Wyly, 76, were accused of concocting a sham web of trusts and subsidiaries in the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands to conceal over a 13-year period more than $750 million of stock sales in Michaels Stores Inc, Sterling Commerce Inc, Sterling Software Inc and Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings Ltd.
The Wyly family (the brothers, their wives, and their children) have been huge GOP supporters over the years, giving millions to Republican candidates, committees, and front groups/PACs (like Swift Boat and Club for Growth).

Some of their largesse has reached into Arizona.

According to FEC records, they've given at least $5K to Jon Kyl's campaigns over the years, $3K to John McCain's Senate campaign since 1997 (and many thousands more to his PAC and presidential campaigns) and even $2300 in 2008 to David Schweikert's campaign in CD5 (that one was contributed by son Andrew, who hasn't been indicted as yet).

Also according to FEC records, Sam Wyly gave over $1100 directly to the Arizona Republican Party in 2004.

They really juicy stuff, however, was from a quick glance at the website of the Arizona Secretary of State - the Wylys gave over $700K to an Arizona-registered committee called "1648 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL STATE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE."

I'm assuming because of the name that's actually a federal soft-money committee that had to register in AZ because it expended money here, but appointed Secretary of State Ken Bennett has reduced the functionality of the SOS' website, so I wasn't able to look up the relevent reports (from 2000 and 2002).

That's still a LOT of money.

The AZGOP has been rather enthusiastic (occasionally justly so) in calling on AZ Democrats to return contributions from sources with tarnished reputations.

Now will they just as enthusiastically meet the standards that they hold Democrats to, or will they be hypocrites?

Note: that last is a rhetorical question.  I don't expect them to even blink over the Wyly money, much less express any regrets over accepting it.


BTW - this info was gathered in approximately 30 minutes of search time; somebody with more time could probably find evidence that the Wylys have contributed more money and exerted more influence over AZGOP politics than that which I've outlined here.

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