Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cornyn’s Out of Luck: Stanford Financial Benefactors Assets Seized

I mentioned this before, that Texas Senator John Cornyn was treated to a Delay-esque junket to a Caribbean paradise for 4 days just after the 2004 election, ostensibly to conduct a “fact-finding mission.” Treated to this boondoggle by Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford.

And also that three federal agencies were investigating R. Allen Stanford’s activity in his offshore banks on Antigua and Barbuba. Well, the chickens came home to roost today as the SEC has filed civil charges against Stanford Financial, freezing their assets in the bargain.

Holy Madoff.

It seems that in these times of 3% CD interest, Stanford’s two Caribbean banks were offering an 8.25% return on $8 billion worth of CDs, leading the feds to ask how the guy can possibly pay out on that.

Leading me to wonder what John Cornyn did, or didn’t do to deserve a free paid vacation. John Cornyn and his “undisclosed companion.” Because living here in the heart of Texas 22, a congressional district that returned wheeler/dealer Republican former Congressman Tom Delay for 10 terms, notions like this become second nature to you.

Maybe someday we will find out.

But today, I come to find that John Cornyn didn’t just lose a free meal ticket in the seizure of assets of Stanford Financial.

He lost a substantial source of lucre.

Last time I mentioned that R. Allen Stanford donated $2,000 to Cornyn’s campaign committee, this despite the fact that he donated to Democrats by a larger margin than to Republicans in the last cycle.

It gets better.

Because in total, between Stanford, Stanford’s executive team, and Stanford’s PAC, John Cornyn’s campaign received $19,700 from this business entity whose assets have now been frozen by the SEC.

You know, John Cornyn wasn’t even on the Banking Committee when he was given that trip. But now that he is, and into this group of people who are being accused of fraud to the tune of over $27,000, gee, I don’t know. Do you think Cornyn should return all that money? Return this money at least to give the illusion of propriety?

I’ll bet these guys could use the money right now to pay their lawyers.

Maybe buy an “Obama Effect” Glock.

And here is the bigger mystery. Most of these guys at OpenSecrets.org are big players in DC. Huge amounts of influence to be gotten here. Why then, oh why, among all of these heavy hitters do we find the name of Pete Olson? Pete Olson, who never served a day in elected office in his life, somehow rated receiving a total of $14,500 from this same sorry group of people and PAC.

$2300 of it came from Stanford, himself.

For Pete Olson.

Gee, could it be that they know Pete Olson? Could it be that they know Olson through his previous staff job in DC working for Senator Phil Gramm? The same Phil Gramm that engineered the financial meltdown that we are all experiencing?

So what about it? Do you think Pete Olson should return his lucre as well?


Anonymous said...

"...he donated to Democrats by a larger margin than to Republicans in the last cycle."

Not only is that an understatement, it is intellectually dishonest. In fact, since 2000, nearly eight out of every ten dollars Stanford contributed went to Democrats or Democrat causes. His single largest contribution in 2008? $25G's to Charlie Rangel (D-NY). And Rangel is the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and in some hot water himself - do you think he's going to give that $25K back? I didn't think so.

Hal said...

Let's be intellectually honest, Clark. The single largest 2008 contribution by Stanford was not to the Rangel Victory Fund (25K) it was to the National Republican Congressional Committee (28.5K).

Let's be clear. Stanford, while contributing to a whole host of Democratic causes in '08, did not do this because he agreed with them and supported them politically, that's nonsense. His contribution to the NRCC bears this out. He did this because he is a realist and a realist knows who was going to prevail in the '08 election.

In that sense, his contributions to Democratic causes should be viewed as cynical to the extreme. Bald-faced currying of favor. Paying to stay in the game. Democrats should take his money and use it against him. Republicans need to send it all back.

Anonymous said...

Nice Gordo, you got me on that one. I'll rephrase then - his largest single contribution to a candidate in 2008 went to Charlie Rangel. And taken together with his $2,300 contribution to Rangel's campaign in February 2008 would bring him over the $30,000 mark - just past the NRCC in total contributions.

And while we're being so transparent on the matter, let me clarify that I stated that since 2000 - not just the 2008 cycle - nearly eight of every ten dollars Stanford contributed went to Democrat or Democrat causes.

In this context, it is obvious where Stanford's political loyalties lie. I'll grant you that he's an opportunist; but he's a Democrat opportunist.

Anonymous said...

Let's call it like it is. They will give the money to any politician that will protect their interests regardless of affiliation. This is the problem with the national and local "pay to play" system that needs to be dismantled completely and that won't happen when crony capitalism has replaced our republic and only corporations matter, not individuals. Amazing how nothing changes.