For those of you who are given to poo-pooing "conspiracy" theories, keep in mind the three most central facts of this story are easily verifiable through pubic records:
First, in 1953 Jim Hensley, Cindy McCain’s father and the man who has financed John McCain’s political career, went to prison for falsifying records for his employer United Liquor, despite being represented by future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rhenquist. When he came out of prison, Kemper Marley, the owner of United Liquor, gave Hensley the Budweiser beer distributorship that became the source of the McCain family fortune.
Second, in 1976, Gov. Raul Castro, a Democrat, appointed Kemper Marley, then a billionaire and the state’s richest man, to the state racing commission. Don Bolles, a reporter working for the Arizona Republic reported that Kemper Marley had connections to the Mafia. The revelations forced Marley to resign from the commission.
Third, on June 2, 1976, Bolles climbed into his car and was blown apart by a bomb under the driver’s seat.
(thanks for the intro, Doug).
The New York Times recently ran an article on a poll indicating that Americans believe the media is easier on John McCain than his opponents. Of course most of America hasn't seen the poll because most of media was, well, still being too easy on John McCain. Are the senator's barbecue ribs really so fabulous that they induce whole hordes of media professionals all across the country to shy away from the reporting the truth?
Of course not.
If reporters actually know that Americans distrust what's being reported about John McCain, then why won't they mend their ways? There are few things more important to them than the public trust. So why are they still mollycoddling the guy? It can't be because they think he might blow his stack when confronted with a tough question. Getting a politician to publicly embarrass himself has been an automatic boost for many a journalist. The list of former nobody newscritters now with careers from skewering Bill Clinton is longer than his arm.
But with the McCain camp, just rephrasing a question to pose it a second time could give nosy newsmen second thoughts over getting literally blown to bits.
The senator's hot temperament is obviously not what's stopping them, though. But how many in the media are constrained by the subtle threat of having their car "re-wired" by John McCain's shady Arizona supporters? How can they ignore the car-bomb contractor who cut short Arizona investigative reporter Dan Bolles' career for finding the "wrong" answers?
News outlets are editorializing that John McCain doesn't want to be seen in public with George W. Bush, pointing out the recent fundraiser in Phoenix Arizona where Bush's handlers suddenly closed it off from the press.
They missed a golden opportunity to publicize the smarmy story behind that particular event. While it's remotely possible that national news outlets might have been unaware of the Republican party's link to racketeering in Arizona, the local media had to have purposefully chosen not to report what was behind the GOP's sudden change in venue. There was, after all, the distinct porobability that McCain's mobbed-up supporters were planning to attend.
So could the slimy details of McCain's early financiers been left out because local reporters actually fear for their lives?
After all, if anyone would be aware of the prominent Republican ties to racketeering within Arizona's business community which supported McCain's first political efforts, it would be the editors of the Phoenix Business Journal. They'd also likely have realized that the senator's "friends" would naturally want to meet president Bush. So why would they not reflect on the old ties binding McCain to a past which he'd likely rather not be nationally exposed?
The choice not to dredge up the past could easily have been because of a looming threat to life and limb of locals who are just too "nosy".
Could that also be why the Phoenix Business Journal won't scoop the national media by pressing Cindy Hensley McCain for her tax returns? If incidents in the past are an indication of how things can play out in the future, anyone from Arizona attempting to link mob money to McCain's early political efforts might do well to check their car before starting it up.
It's a safe bet that savvy journalists all across the country won't soon forget how Arizona Republic investigative reporter Dan Bolles fell the victim to a gangland-style murder for hire right in McCain's home state. How can one know that they know? Surely those 30 journalists from the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) group who went to Phoenix to find out who was behind Dan Bolle's assassination have let their contemporaries know just how deadly the "family" business there is.
And how close-knit it is as well, because they apparently failed to get Bolles' murderer indicted.
Back when Senator McCain was running for the GOP presidential nomination against then Texas governor George Bush, the New York Times published some details of the senator McCain's political background, stopping far short of tying his campaign contributors to the mob.
Why wouldn't they dare dig as deeply into Arizona Republican connections to racketeers as Don Bolles had?
Blogger Eli Blake bravely provides a more fulsome historical recollection of racketeering money used to boost Republican John McCain's early success in Arizona. Blake brings us up to date in his brilliant and revealing blog entry Meet Mr. McCain pt.II (the Sopranos aren't finished yet)
It's just a damned shame that bloggers have to pick up the slack because national media "professionals" won't even speculate why Bush's handlers wouldn't let him be photographed shaking hands with McCain's contributors. But if Mr. Blake's Sopranos story truly connects Bugsy Siegel to Barry Goldwater and the hit-for-hire car bombing of Dan Bolles finally catches on across the broad blogosphere, then McCain's early supporters may end up hurting his entire party's popularity far worse than they could ever have boosted his own career.
In the end, it may be asking too much for members of today's media to risk reporting how Republican-supporting racketeers once bought themselves a car bomber and thus earned the media's omertà for their man McCain.
Lest you think I'm stretching past Arizona GOP ties to modern-day mob activities a bit too far, consider their report from Feb 22, 2008:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona.
A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Arizona accuses Renzi and two former business partners of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. The sale netted one of Renzi's former partners $4.5 million.
I don't know about you but extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges sure sounds like the GOP out there is still mobbed up to me.
Then there's this which I'll bet you never heard either...
Federal agents interviewed staffers for likely Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as part of their corruption case against Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) 5/27/08.
cross-posted at my WV BLUE diary here
and at rejectmccain.com here