Monday, September 15, 2008

Cindy McCain's drug-related crimes

Radley Balko at The Agitator replies to Jennifer Rubin at Commentary about why the Washington Post's coverage of Cindy McCain's addiction to painkillers and commission of crimes to support it is newsworthy.

Balko gives two reasons:
  • John and Cindy McCain have touted her addiction an example in overcoming adversity. That presents quite the contrast to McCain’s legislative history as an ardent drug warrior. People accused of crimes similar to those Cindy McCain was accused of committing usually go to prison (even when they’re innocent). Her crimes haven’t been well-reported in the media. And they show how John McCain (who, by the way, is running for president) believes in one set of rules for the friends and family of powerful politicians, and a different set of rules for everyone else.
  • While Cindy McCain’s addiction and theft from her children’s charity to support that addiction were lightly covered at the time, there has yet to be much coverage of it at all during this campaign. And one aspect of the case that’s been covered even less is John and Cindy McCain’s attempt to railroad Tom Gosinski, the guy who blew the whistle on Cindy McCain’s theft from her children’s charity. The Post story is one of the first to get his version of what happened.

And Balko concludes:

So here we have a U.S. senator who tried to destroy the guy who blew the whistle on his wife’s crimes, who then used his political power to work out a sweetheart deal with prosecutors to get his wife a slap on the wrist for those crimes (which often send others to prison), and who has then spent his entire career fighting for longer sentences and less leniency for people who commit similar crimes. And he’s now running for president.

The Washington Post story is here. Phoenix's New Times covered the story of Cindy McCain's drug addiction and Tom Gosinski whistle-blowing back in 1994. The New Times story contains much more detail than the Post story, including lies told by Cindy McCain as part of the McCains handling of the unwanted media coverage of the story.

Amy Silverman of New Times, who has covered McCain in detail for many years, has a lengthy recent article about McCain here, which includes stories about McCain such as his sabotaging a hearing of Arizona Gov. Rose Mofford, Barry Goldwater's irritation with McCain, McCain's exploitation of the illness of Mo Udall for publicity, and more.

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