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McCain: poor judgment, questionable ethics


Last updated 3/20/2008 at Noon

Senator John McCain deserves respect for his military service, and he has accomplished much as a senator. But he lacks one thing absolutely essential to the presidency: good judgment.

Top-level officials often have to make decisions in the absence of adequate information, decisions that can have far-reaching impact. In these cases they must rely on exceptional judgment. The US president’s position represents the ultimate example.

McCain was a founding member of the Keating Five – “congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.”

McCain wasn’t charged with breaking any law, but the investigating committee’s 1991 report said, “Senator McCain exercised poor judgment…” (

Additionally, McCain reportedly sent an “unusually blunt letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commission, warning that he would try to overhaul the agency if it closed a broadcast ownership loophole that was ‘vitally important’ to one of his lobbyist friend’s clients.” (New York Times, 2/23/08)

And Newsweek (2/22/08) reported, “McCain took $20,000 from another company with business before his Commerce Committee and flew to campaign events on the company’s corporate jet at the same time he was sending ‘highly unusual’ letters on the company’s behalf to the FCC.” (

McCain is also showing poor judgment in shamelessly pandering to the evangelical ultra-right. To get their vote, he’s agreed to support their push to legislate morality.

We’ve had seven-plus years under a faith-based, science-ignorant president who has interjected his religious beliefs into federal policy, all but destroying our country’s position as world-leader in science and technology. We can’t afford four more years of the same.

John H. Terrell


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