Beatty calls for investigation into Kerry’s dealings with AIG
U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Beatty has called for an investigation into Sen. John Kerry’s financial relationship with bailed out insurance giant AIG, charging that the senator’s $2 million in personal AIG stock holdings and the thousands of dollars he accepted in campaign contributions from the company may have influenced him to block government reform efforts that might have prevented the need to bail out AIG for $85 Billion.
At a press conference held yesterday at the State House, Beatty pointed to a 2004 Associated Press report detailing how Kerry aided AIG by killing a bill that would have cost the company millions. Sponsored by Sen. John McCain, the bill would have closed a loophole that provided AIG more than $100 million from Boston’s Big Dig.
Over the next two years, AP reported, AIG not only paid Kerry’s way to a speaking appearance in Vermont, but also donated $30,000 to a tax-exempt group Kerry used to set up his presidential campaign. AIG executives also donated $18,000 to Kerry’s senate and presidential campaigns.
“Massachusetts residents have every right to be outraged by John Kerry’s violation of the public trust,” said Beatty, who noted that during Kerry’s career, the junior senator has taken more than $19 million from the finance and insurance sector. “Instead of protecting his constituents and looking out for the people’s interests, John Kerry took tens of thousands of dollars and then acted in concert with the goals of a company that American taxpayers have just bailed out to the tune of $85 Billion.”
Noting that the $700 billion bailout packaged recently passed by Congress limits the areas into which the FBI has authority to investigate, Beatty called upon The Senate Ethics Committee and Justice Department to investigate Kerry’s dealings with AIG.
Beatty also repeated his month old demand that Kerry apply the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions he accepted from AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other bailout recipients to a fund that would provide assistance to Massachusetts homeowners facing foreclosure.
Beatty’s call for an investigation into Kerry’s ties to AIG comes amid reports that AIG executives knew of the company’s shaky financial underpinnings for some time, but concealed the information from auditors and investors. News reports also revealed that less than one week after the federal government committed $85 billion to rescue the company, AIG executives departed for a $440,000 retreat at a luxurious California resort, where company bigwigs dined, played golf, and enjoyed more than $23,000 in pampering spa treatments.
“You’d think that after receiving an $85 billion handout, Kerry’s AIG executive friends would show some humility and shame,” said Beatty, who opposed the bailout. “Instead, they’re living high off the hog, enjoying manicures and massages at the taxpayers’ expense. Such flagrant excess and unbridled greed is an insult to the millions of hardworking Americans who are struggling to pay their mortgages and energy bills.
“This behavior is a direct result of the elitist ‘anything goes’ atmosphere that has prevailed in Washington for far too long – and John Kerry is one of the worst offenders,” Beatty continued. “It is time for John Kerry to be held accountable for the role he has played in encouraging – and benefiting from – the corrosive influence of special-interest money that has corrupted our government, put every taxpayer on the hook for thousands of dollars as their share of the bailout, and brought America to the brink of financial collapse.”