Washington Babylon — July 9, 2008, 9:31 am

Oregon Fraudster Backing McCain

From Willamette Week:

Former Oregon Republican Party chairman and one-time gubernatorial candidate Craig Berkman owes millions to some of Portland’s wealthiest investors—but that hasn’t stopped him from making generous political contributions to Sen. John McCain and others. Last month, in Multnomah County Circuit Court, a jury found that Berkman had defrauded local investors…and a large British Columbian public pension fund. Jurors concluded Berkman, 66, defrauded investors and must pay them a total of $28 million for using their money as his own and lying to them about the failure of various companies in which he invested…

But despite his personal indebtedness of $12 million, Berkman opened his wallet often in this election year from his adopted 12,000-square-foot lakefront home in Florida…The biggest individual beneficiary was McCain, a campaign finance reform advocate in the years after he was caught up in the “Keating Five” scandal in 1989. Berkman maxed out his donations to McCain, the eventual Republican presidential nominee. Records show he gave McCain $2,300 in July 2007 for the primary and another $2,300 in March 2008 for the general election. He also gave $4,600 to McCain’s “compliance” funds in 2008 for a total investment of $9,200.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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