Friday, October 24, 2003

Clark linked to Tyco, Clinton, Arkansas corruption, Republicans?
Okay, let's see if you can follow this one. First, congrats to Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph, one of the best political reporters in New England, for the story of the week on Wesley Clark: ["Clark’s possible link to Tyco questioned"]. As many of you know, Tyco International - up there with Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, etc. - is a sore spot for the working folks in New Hampshire. While others are pooh-poohing the guy's laryngitis, Landrigan is doing the digging. However, here is the key line to the story that starts the trail:

But last fall, Clark was managing director of merchant banking for the Stephens Group Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., when the company bought more than 50,000 shares of Tyco stock.
Stephens in Little Rock? Damn, that name sounds familiar.
So, I do a google and what is the first link that pops up?
"The Crimes of Mena: Worthen Bank"

NEW YORK TIMES February 5, 1992 "Wealthy Investment Family a Big Help to Clinton" by Jeff Gerth ...
... Among these Stephens associates is Curt Bradbury, a former employee of Stephens Inc., who is now the chief executive of Worthen National Bank of Arkansas and its parent, the Worthen Banking Corporation, in which the Stephens family own a 38 percent interest. Last month, the Worthen National Bank approved a credit line that allows the Clinton campaign to borrow up to $2 million ...
... Ties to Republicans. In the 1980's, there were few visible financial ties between Governor Clinton and the Stephens family. The Stephenses seemed more closely aligned with the Republicans. Stephens Inc. and its chairman, Jackson T. (Jack) Stephens, donated $100,000 to the national Republican Party both in 1988 and
1991. But beginning in 1990, the Stephenses started paying closer attention to the Democratic Governor. Mr. Clinton's Republican opponent that year was a critic of the Stephenses who wanted to reduce their financial dealings and their general influence in the state.

End of NYT story.

Comments from the poster, Larry:

"The money paid for a television ad blitz that saved Clinton' campaign. And the rest is history. Also note, it is illegal for a securities firm, like Stephens Inc., to own a bank, like Worthen National. The Stephens convinced regulators to circumvent the law by changing Worthen's charter from federal to state. Jackson Stephens loves a good bank deal. He assisted the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in its initial attempts to buy an American bank, something the Fed did not approve of. BCCI, of course, succeeded in buying First American Bankshares. Jackson Stephens also helped arrange a loan for George Bush, Jr. from a BCCI affiliate in Switzerland so he could buy a chunk of Harken Energy."

Pretty interesting how it all comes around. Here is the main Mena link from the site: "The Activities at Mena"

Zogby: Dean opens up 'huge lead' in New Hampshire
Super pollster John Zogby posted the latest results from N.H. this afternoon showing Howard Dean with 40 percent: "Zogby". Following Dean with 40 is John Kerry with 17, Clark and John Edwards are tied with 6 percent.

More polls
A Marist Poll from yesterday revealed Dean overtaking Joe Lieberman in New York, 18 to 16 percent, with Clark at 14 percent and Dick Gephardt at 10 percent.
On Wednesday, Zogby posted Gephardt retaking the lead in Iowa by 1 percent: Gephardt 22, Dean 21, Kerry at 9 percent, with Edwards and Clark posting 7 percent.
The Concord Monitor/Research 2000 published a poll Wednesday showing Dean with a solid lead of 33 percent. Kerry at 18 percent and Clark posted 14 percent. Lieberman had 6 percent with Edwards and Gephardt at 5 percent.
On Tuesday, Franklin Pierce posted similar results: Dean 33 percent, Kerry 19 percent, Clark 7 percent, with Edwards and Gephardt at 4 percent.

Political notes
The San Antonio Current has a pretty good piece on Dennis Kucinich's visit to the state: ["Damn the polls, full speed ahead"].
Kucinich has also sent letters to N.H. TV stations saying an ad by Dean distorts the anti-war records of both candidates: ["Kucinich Seeks to Stop Dean's N.H. TV Ads"].
The Lakeland Ledger says Florida should move its primary up: ["Move Presidential Primary Date"].
Delaware News Journal's Al Mascitti makes Lieberman's case for taking his state's primary seriously: ["In presidential primaries, Delaware remains an also-ran"].
Another reason why sometimes labor gets what they deserve: ["For Gephardt, loyalty to Big Labor isn't repaid"].
Arbiter Columnist Aubrey Salazar profiles the Rev. Al: ["Sharpton anything but boring"].