More Abuse Of Power From The McCain-Palin Ticket

4 comments September 11th, 2008at 07:14am Posted by Eli

Yep, it’s not just Sarah Palin using her executive power to try to get her ex-brother-in-law fired, or hoovering up bogus “per-diem” reimbursements for the First Dude’s travel and her own staying at home; her sidekick has some skeletons of his own, and not just his membership in the Keating Five (y’all do remember that he was a member of the Keating Five, and that that’s not a good thing, right?):

[I]t appears that McCain used his Senate staff and resources to cover up Cindy’s drug use, and potentially to prevent the Drug Enforcement Agency from investigating his wife’s theft of illegal prescription drugs.  John McCain certainly used his political connections to begin a campaign of intimidation against [Tom] Gosinski, because at the time – this was after the Keating 5 scandal – another major scandal would have derailed his career.  Gosinski stayed quiet out of fear until today; a recent fight with cancer has strengthened his resolve.  As he told me today, if he can beat cancer, he can go on the record regarding how the McCain’s do business.

Gosinski was an employee of Cindy McCain who helped her run her charity, the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) in the early to mid-1990s.  At the time Gosinski worked for her, Cindy McCain was addicted to prescription painkillers, taking between 30-50 pills a day of Vicatem and/or Percocet.  She had doctors writing out prescriptions in other peoples’ names, including Gosinski.  When Gosinski found one of the prescription slips, he got angry, and Cindy had him fired.  This part of the story is just kind of sad, but not damning; Cindy McCain was a lonely and bored wife who turned to drugs in place of what was a loveless marriage full of fundraisers and in all likelihood, various infidelities (or so were the rumors Gosinski heard at the time).

…[Gosinski] sued the McCain’s for wrongful termination, and went to the Drug Enforcement Agency to find out the legal repercussions of having prescriptions for painkillers written in his name.  To retaliate, McCain then had his political ally, Rick Romley, open an extortion investigation against Gosinksi….

McCain’s Senate staff and Senate resources were intimately involved in Cindy’s work with the charity.  John McCain procured her a diplomatic passport, which meant that her bags were not searched by customs, and Mark Salter and Torie Clarke were both coordinating with Gosinski on logistics for the trips abroad….

The charity was supposed to conduct medical missions abroad, but Cindy was also stealing from the charity’s supply of drugs for her own personal use.  In August of 1994, the story was going to come out, and so John McCain came out with his side of the story.  He claimed he didn’t know that Cindy McCain was using drugs until 1994, a clear lie.  Cindy McCain overdosed in 1991, and John McCain went to the hospital in Sedona and told the hospital staff not to make the information about Cindy public….

There are lots of unanswered questions, but the basic contours of the story are clear.  John McCain used his position as a Senator to help his wife abuse illegal drugs and avoid being searched by customs, and somehow his wife managed to avoid any charges by the DEA or the state (which has mandatory minimums in cases like this) on drug charges despite ample evidence.  Did the DEA or the state not file charges against her because of political pressure?  Did they keep this on the Federal level to avoid mandatory minimums for Cindy McCain because of political pressure from McCain?  Did John McCain and/or his Senate staff tamper with a criminal investigation of his wife and her conspiracy to fraudulently obtain illegal drugs?

Whether illegal or not, and an investigation by Congress should happen, this is clearly a massive and overreaching case of both corruption on a personal sordid level and an abuse of power.  And you might be seeing Gosinski on mainstream media soon.

We need an investigation into what happened here.  What did McCain know about the investigation of his wife and did he use his power as a Senator to help her abuse drugs or avoid prosecution?  When he was one of a hundred Senators, it was of minor importance.  And now?  Well it would be nice to know if the next President is engaged in behavior more characteristic of an influence peddling mob boss than an upright politician.

If, through some miracle, this does become a big story, I know what the McCain/GOP response will be: They will present it as a horrible unjust meanspirited attack on Cindy, on John McCain’s FAMILY.  Which is, of course, off-limits and bad.  But the real question isn’t what Cindy was doing, it’s what Senator John McCain was doing.

Does America really want another 4-8 years of Bush/Cheney-style corruption and unaccountability?

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Palin,Republicans


  • 1. Cujo359  |  September 11th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I think that Cindy McCain’s drug problems should have been treated as a medical condition. It shouldn’t have been illegal for her to use those drugs if she chose. That’s one of the lessons we ought to draw from this – politicians are happy to prosecute the worthless “war on drugs”, because they know that their families and friends won’t be affected by its fallout.

    I hate to sound like an “independent” here, but I suspect that if you look closely enough you’ll find that there are a few Democratic Senators with similar stories. It shouldn’t be this way – legislators shouldn’t be insulated from the effects of their foolish legislative choices, but often they are.

  • 2. Eli  |  September 11th, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I really don’t dislike Cindy McCain the way I do, say, Laura Bush or Sarah Palin, and I hear from someone who knew her back in the day that she was actually very sweet.

    But the law is still the law, and McCain broke it. And yes, there could well be Democratic Senators with similar stories (although I hope not), but I don’t think any of them are running for President.

    All that being said, I don’t think this is going to hurt McCain much. The media (and probably the Obama campaign) will buy the spin that this is an attack on McCain’s family, plus 15-year-old scandals just don’t carry nearly as much weight as fresh ones, unless they’re about actual 15-year-olds.

  • 3. Cujo359  |  September 12th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I’m not trying to excuse or minimize McCain’s behavior. I don’t recall him being a big opponent of the “War On Drugs”, or any of the idiocy associated with it. That’s just the lesson I draw from this – they get to insulate themselves from the consequences of their own legislative misdeeds, and that’s a problem.

    And I wouldn’t wish a drug dependency on anyone.

  • 4. Eli  |  September 12th, 2008 at 7:35 am

    That’s pretty much the story of our government, innit. Always making decisions that they’ll never have to pay for.

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