# Keating Five

Keating trial trivia answer

I forgot to post this yesterday.

The presiding judge in the trial of Charles Keating, Jr. (central figure in the 1980s savings and loan debacle) was Lance Ito, who later presided over O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Unfortunately, Ito messed up the jury instructions, allowing Keating to get his conviction overturned on appeal.

I also learned this good trivia from Keating’s wikipedia entry:

In 1985, Keating hired Alan Greenspan as an economic consultant, in an unsuccessful effort to convince an oversight agency to exempt Lincoln Savings from certain regulations. Greenspan delivered a favorable report, writing that Lincoln Savings was “a financially strong institution that presents no foreseeable risk to depositors or the government.” (Greenspan produced similar favorable reports on numerous other banks that also failed soon after.)

Obviously, that was before Greenspan replaced Paul Volcker as head of the Federal Reserve.

Anyone watch the Obama campaign’s documentary on John McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal? What did you think?  

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Obama on offense going into second debate with McCain

Tonight Barack Obama and John McCain will debate for the second time. If you were frustrated over the summer that Obama always seemed to be in reaction mode against Republican smears, you’ve got to be happy about the way the campaign is going now.

McCain isn’t leading Obama in a single state that went for John Kerry in 2004, and he has trailed in multiple polls in Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio. Obama is making it close in Missouri and Indiana as well. McCain and the Republican National Committee are working frantically to build up field operations in states where Obama’s staff and volunteers have worked for months. For instance, as McCain moves staff into Virginia, Obama has approximately 40 field offices open there.

Also in the swing states, the Obama campaign is sending out direct-mail pieces that attack McCain’s health care plan. That dovetails with television commercials and volunteer canvasses that focus voters’ attention on the health care issue.

On Monday, Obama’s campaign opened a new front of a attack by releasing a short documentary about “Keating Economics,” which recounts McCain’s role in the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s. You can watch it here or at www.keatingeconomics.com:

I am old enough to remember the Keating Five scandal. It was a big deal.

The mainstream media have been strangely quiet about that part of McCain’s biography, given the banking sector’s current problems.

Will the Keating Five come up in tonight’s debate? I have no idea. McCain and Sarah Palin have been trying to change the subject, taking Obama’s words out of context and falsely accusing him of “palling around with terrorists.”

Trivia question: without using google or wikipedia, can anyone tell me who the judge was in the Keating Five trial? (CORRECTION: I meant to write “the trial of Charles Keating.” The Keating Five senators were never tried.)

I will give the answer tomorrow.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall posted an amusing note from a reader regarding the mainstream media’s handling of the Keating Five:

I saw this on CNN early this morning. John Roberts was talking about the smear campaign, trying to do the equivalency dance, and actually said (I’m paraphrasing) “Obama is trying to tie McCain to the Keating Five”. Now, maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t that like saying John Lennon was “tied” to the Beatles? He was a Beatle! John McCain WAS one of the Keating Five.

I’m seeing other reporters do this too.

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