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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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”