by David Safier
Thanks to the Blue Virginia blog, I found out about tonight's far-from-home private dinner/fundraiser for McCain in Virginia.
I'm sure McCain is more at home in, and familiar with, the D.C. environs than Arizona, so holding a fundraiser in his home away from home is nothing special.
But one of the co-hosts is something of a big deal: Fred Malek. Malek, who headed the campaign finance committee for McCain's 2008 presidential race, was part of the Nixon White House root-out-the-Jews brigade and since then was implicated in a scheme to bilk the Connecticut state pension funds.
He's also a huge Republican donor.
John "Mr. Clean" McCain, who claims he learned his lesson about hanging out with the wrong crowd when he was part of the Keating Five, clearly doesn't choose his friends, funders or finance committee chairs as wisely as he should.
Here are some details about Fred Malek.
Nixon was well known from his antisemitism, and Malek was Nixon's special assistant. From February to December, 1971, Malek was part of the push to identify members of the Jewish "cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Malek gave Nixon a list of people who had what he thought were Jewish surnames. These suspect people were described euphemistically as "ethnics."
Here's an example of his handiwork.
The memo [to H.R. Haldeman] includes the following annotation: "It is interesting that of the top 17 positions, 10 are ethnics." It was followed by Malek's typed initials: "FVM."
When the "Jew counting" came out in 1988, Malek first ducked and dodged, then partially admitted his involvement (more has come out in the past few weeks) and gave a half apology, which led to his resignation from the Republican National Committee.
But there's nothing like a steady flow of cash to rehabilitate a guy in the eyes of McCain and his fellow Republicans.
Thirteen times in the past decade, [Malek] has written checks to Republicans for more than $20,000 apiece, and his total contributions over the past two decades exceed $1.03 million.
On top of that, Malek is currently "chairman of the American Action Network, which has pledged to spend $25 million this year targeting Democratic members of Congress."
Along with being McCain's 2008 campaign finance committee chair, Malek was a Palin advisor. They love their sugar daddy.
Malek hasn't been exactly squeaky clean since his 1971 Jew-counting and his 1988 half-apology, however. In 2007, he and his firm, Thayer Capital Partners, had to pay $250,000 in a civil fraud lawsuit. Malek got off easy.
[Paul J. Silvester, Connecticut's state treasurer] was later sentenced to four years in jail after pleading guilty to federal charges that included racketeering and conspiracy to launder money, according to the Hartford Courant. Silvester was also working on deals with other investment companies.
Malek's Thayer Capital Partners hired William DiBella, former majority leader of the Connecticut Senate to do . . . nothing except assure that Thayer got a $75 million investment bundle from Connecticut's state pension funds. In return, DiBella got a percentage of the money invested — about $375,000.
What's a little fraud perpetrated on a state's pension fund between Republican friends? Certainly nothing to get you kicked out of the party's inner circle.
Fred Malek, McCain's buddy, benefactor and fundraiser co-host. Quite a guy.