Friday, November 01, 2002
"They're All The Same" file: National Review's Deroy Murdock gives you the rest of the story when it comes to which major political party profits from the labor of American workers.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and his ilk on the left crow about Halliburton, Harken Energy and shady dealings by prominent Republicans that have resulted in financial loss for innocent investors. What the "paper of record" neglects to publicize is the fact that wealthy Democrats do much the same thing.
Now, I don't think Halliburton is a big scandal. The change in accounting was made is what a majority of construction companies use. It also paints a more accurate picture of the company's financial situation.
Harken Energy, on the other hand, is very comparable to the situation that Murdock recounts affecting DNC chairman Terry McAullife -- a big name profiting at the expense of the little guy.
Back in November 1990, McAuliffe contacted Jack Moore, then a leader of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Moore handled IBEW's $6 billion union pension fund. McAuliffe and Moore plowed some of that capital into a risky scheme involving Florida real estate.
As Byron York explained in the September 16 issue of National Review, McAuliffe's deal was sweeter than a sugar-cane plantation. Moore devoted $39 million of electrical workers' retirement assets to their partnership while McAuliffe allocated just $100. Despite this 390,000-to-one disparity in their respective financial commitments, their agreement let Moore and McAuliffe divide their profits 50-50 after IBEW earned 9.75 percent on its initial outlay.
This enterprise soon bought a shopping mall and five apartment buildings in central Florida. In 1992, the pension fund loaned McAuliffe $10 million to purchase Country Run, a parcel later split into lots for 500 single-family homes. For collateral, McAuliffe offered that acreage plus his $100, 50-percent share in the partnership.
Then McAuliffe moved on. The pension fund paid him $450,000 in June 1992 for 6.8 percent of his interest in the venture and $2 million in August 1993 for another 31.3 percent. (McAuliffe kept 11.9 percent of his share.) This $2.45 million jackpot on a $100 bet makes Hillary Clinton's notorious cattle-futures deal look like a municipal bond.
All of the sudden Bush's Harken Energy and the windfall from the sale of the Texas Rangers seem like small potatoes.
But you won't read about this sort of thing in The New York Times, The Washington Post or see it on CNN.