Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cornyn, Stanford, and Antigua

Zachary Roth at Josh Marshall's TPMMuckraker has it:

So we already knew that Allen Stanford -- the Texas banker charged by the SEC today with running an $8 billion "fraud of shocking magnitude" -- had some pretty impressive political contacts with both parties.

But it looks like his relationship with one of his home-state senators, Republican John Cornyn, may have been especially cozy.

According to Cornyn's Senate disclosure reports -- posted on the site Legistorm.com, which tracks privately financed trips by members of Congress -- the Stanford Financial Group paid for the Texas senator and an unnamed companion to take a November 2004 trip down to Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny Carribean nation where the company has its headquarters.

The three day trip is described by Legistorm as a "financial services industry fact-finding mission hosted by constituent company with substantial operations on site."

The site adds:

Sen. Cornyn discloses expenses for himself and a companion, but does not disclose the identity of the companion.

The total cost of the trip: $7,441.00

Stanford Financial was selling CDs with an 8.25% rate of return (not FDIC-insured, of course). Allen Stanford was a big donor to Texas Republicans, particularly John Cornyn and Pete Sessions, but as Roth notes, his contributions were bipartisan.

As for Cornyn's traveling companion, I frankly don't give a shit if he took a box turtle with him down to the Caribbean.

Cornyn is as god-damned corrupt as Tom DeLay, and to think we could have been rid of him four months ago is just too big a missed opportunity to be reminded of.

Update: Rick Dunham at Texas on the Potomac has more, including a smattering of the usual "Democrats did it too/the Chronicle has a liberal bias" reaction from the locals.

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