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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
Percentage of G.O.P. House and Senate members in an April 2006 poll who believed humans are causing climate change:
Bees can remember human faces, but only if they are tricked into thinking that we are strange flowers.
“All I saw,” said a 12-year-old neighbor of visits to the man’s house, “was just cats in little diapers.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”