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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
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”