Saturday, February 14, 2009

John Cornyn, Barbuda Still My Friend?

My friend Susan has a little piece on her not-a-blog today, Valentine’s Day 2009, on our favorite US Senator, John Cornyn. Susan says that Cornyn is stepping in to fill the empty shoes left by Tom Delay, who is busy these days being an icon of rightwing uberpartisanship.

In November of 2004, it seems, John Cornyn along with an undisclosed companion, took up an offer by Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, Chairman of Stanford Financial Services to visit his operations on the Caribbean islands of Barbuda and Antiqua. As seen in the link provided by Susan, the 4-day trip was to conduct a

“Financial services industry fact-finding mission hosted by constituent company with substantial operations on site Notes Sen. Cornyn discloses expenses for himself and a companion, but does not disclose the identity of the companion. Total Cost $7,441.00”

Interesting and timely, I say, as Cornyn is certainly not hanging back staying hidden in the woodwork this time around. He finds himself in the news obstructing bills and visiting high roller contributors in New York rather than staying in DC to vote in this time of financial crisis.

But then I opened up today’s Chronicle and find that this is more interesting, and more timely, than I thought at first.

It seems that R. Allen Stanford has been under investigation by the SEC, the IRS and the FBI for awhile now. Investigators have been pretty closed mouth about what the matter is all about, other than to say that Stanford’s Caribbean banks are selling CDs that net the buyers higher than usual returns. From the Chron:

“The entire scope of the probe is unclear, but investigators are looking into the sale of certificates of deposit issued by the firm’s Stanford International Bank in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The CDs have yielded returns higher than the average.”

Wow. The very banks that Cornyn and a companion were asked to visit in 2004 as part of a “fact-finding mission” are being investigated for some questionable business practices by 3 federal agencies whose terrible combination of letters usually spell B-A-D N-E-W-S.

I also checked the FEC, and saw that Stanford had given $2000 to Cornyn’s campaign in 2007. Interesting, because Stanford and many of his highest ranking corporate officers at Stanford Financial Services had, for the most part, maxed out for Barack Obama in the last election.

Obviously, Stanford likes to win. And this is just okey-dokey as far as John Cornyn is concerned.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this to your site Hal. Very interesting how both sides are using the same rhetoric of spending while in power and the same attack strategies when out (that higher taxes and spending doesn't work in a bad economy). It would though be nice to get beyond the partisan rhetoric and to the peoples real concerns for a change rather than buying taxpayers off with borrowed money.

I say, the same as usual, flush all the cronies in D.C. and start fresh otherwise we will always end up with the same crap just repackaged and a different set squeezing the middle for futures to come.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the FEC is as lame as our TEC is with fines and actions against crooked politicians?