Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Before I go any further, I need to say that I respect John McCain as a war hero–not because he was shot down, but because he chose to stay with his men when he had the opportunity to leave North Vietnam. However, some of his actions in the last twenty years or so are questionable at best. He has consistently aligned himself with those who oppose conservative values, and has made some really poor choices in recent years. The Daily Caller may have uncovered the reason for some of his recent behavior.
The article reports:
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2012 turned over nearly $9 million in unspent funds from his failed 2008 presidential campaign to a new foundation bearing his name, the McCain Institute for International Leadership.
The institute is intended to serve as a “legacy” for McCain and “is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom.” It is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation with assets valued at $8.1 million and associated with Arizona State University.
…Critics worry that the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive “Sedona Forum” bear an uncanny resemblance to the glitzy Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that annually co-mingled special interests and powerful political players in alleged pay-to-play schemes.
The institute has accepted contributions of as much as $100,000 from billionaire liberal activist-funder George Soros and from Teneo, a for-profit company co-founded by Doug Band, former President Bill Clinton’s “bag man.” Teneo has long helped enrich Clinton through lucrative speaking and business deals.
And Bloomberg reported in 2016 on a $1 million Saudi Arabian donation to the institute, a contribution the McCain group has refused to explain publicly.
The article goes on to remind us of some of the history of John McCain:
McCain and Soros reportedly became friends after the senator was exposed as a member of the “Keating Five” during the savings and loan (S&L) industry scandal during former President George H.W. Bush’s administration. As the S&L bank chairman, Charles Keating paid $1.3 million to bribe five members of Congress to interfere with government regulators on behalf of the savings bank.
The experience so scarred McCain that he became a vigorous advocate of campaign finance reform and in the process reportedly became friends with Soros.
McCain recently claimed no involvement with the institute, saying “I’m proud that the institute is named after me, but I have nothing to do with it.”
For whatever reason, many of the people the voters send to Washington to represent them forget why they are there. Many of our so-called representatives get entangled in the Washington political culture and forget the values they espoused during their campaign. Many of our representatives arrive in Washington as members of the middle class and leave thirty or forty years later as millionaires. That is simply not what our founding fathers intended. Representatives and Senators were supposed to serve one or two terms and go back and live under the laws they passed. Congress will never support term limits, but the voters should begin to vote out of office anyone who has been there too long and no longer represents the people who sent him there.