Letters September 18


Bailing Out

Dear Editor:

Senator John McCain’s son, Andrew, resigned abruptly from the failing “Silver State Bancorp” at the end of July for “personal reasons”. This was followed by a spate of high-ranking resignations including that of its President/CEO and Chairman at Silver State Bank, its wholly owned subsidiary.

The bank also reported a devastating $62.7 million in second quarter losses when Andrew McCain served on its board and its Audit Committee. As a result, the stock “which had already lost 85% of its value since McCain joined the board on April 1st” has lost even more since his leaving. (It was worth just 47 cents on 8/21/08) — Why has The New York Times, Newsday, The Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, and assorted (and useless) talking heads not reported on this? Will they be reporting on this? Or, remain studiously mum? Hmmm.

John McCain’s son, Andrew, is also one of his “top fundraisers.”

Is this history repeating? Given that, during the Savings & Loans meltdown of the late ‘80’s, early ‘90’s McCain was rebuked by the Senate for trying to keep Federal regulators from a failed bank owned by his pal, Charles Keating, a top fundraiser and a business partner of wife, Cindy, and, his father-in-law. Remember, McCain was one of the “Keating Five.”

Will this be a “Silverado” redux? Where Papa Bush—on the day he took office—saved his son, Neil Bush, from jail and dunned we taxpayers for over $2 billion to bail out his youngest son for his sleazy bank debacle?

Meanwhile, John McCain—by his own admission, none too good with economics—is relying on, and, taking advice on Housing and Energy from his old pal, former Senator Phil Gramm, a key player in the “subprime crisis” and our rising gas prices (with its “Enron Loophole”). Over these last eight years Phil Gramm’s fingerprints are on major legislation deregulating the banking and energy industries, even lobbying on behalf of one of the biggest banks in the subprime mortgage crisis, while a part of McCain’s campaign.

Gramm sponsored legislation that increased risky investments in the banking industry by eliminating the wall of important regulations between commercial and investment banking by repealing the Glass-Steagel Act, which separated well-regulated commercial banks from unregulated investment banks.

Gramm has also been a staunch opponent of the Democrats anti-predatory lending legislation just to keep the greedy fat-cats happy. In 2001, when Gramm was Senate Banking Committee Chairman, he refused to schedule hearings on predatory lending. In 2005 and 2006, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about mortgage issues. During those years, the mortgage industry pressed the Republican controlled Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

The reptilian Phil Gramm is the face of the rapacious, unscrupulous, and usurious financial industry that has taken us over the cliff (with a bottom still dropping out) and indentured us as slaves for years to come to pay for the bailouts of these purveyors of financial chicanery (think Bear Stearns). This is John McCain’s advisor. Along with his fundraising son from the failing bank. They mirror John McCain’s values, make no mistake about it. Government give-aways for the rich and connected and pain for all the rest of us. God help us.

(Postscript: I wrote this letter on August 23rd. On Friday, Sept 5, the FDIC shut down Silver State Bank. A FDIC spokesperson said the bank tanked because of “poor-quality loans primarily related to real estate development.” From my perspective, the speculative, explosive, and unrealistic growth that I saw there in southern Nevada whenever I visited seemed bound to crash and burn; especially as the land is marginal desert with no inherent value.)

Julie Penny, Noyac

Thanks for Support

Dear Editor,

In the wake of last week’s primaries I write to thank the Independence, Conservative and Working Families voters who made their way to the polls despite the wind and rain.  I am honored by the show of support that permits me to proceed to the General Election on the Independence and Working Families lines, and I vow to maintain the high professional standards and commitment to cost-effective administration of Southampton’s Court system that earned these initial nominations for me, and the Conservative Nomination despite the loss of that line.  Lastly I thank my wonderful committee, the Chairs, Alex Gregor, Jim Malone, Joe Berry and Mike Anthony, and their committees for their hard work on my campaign.


Andrea Schiavoni, Sag Harbor

An Invitation to the Sag Harbor Community

Dear Editor,

The John Jermain Memorial Library is committed to community outreach. As its new program coordinator, I want to send a message to the community that one of my priorities is to schedule programs that reflect our patrons’ wide range of gifts and interests. My new responsibilities as program coordinator began in August. I have worked at the John Jermain Memorial Library circulation desk for two years and have had the opportunity to meet the amazing people who use our library. The library is a place where people can find the books, films and music that inspire them. It is also a place where the people who live in our community can inspire each other.

Our library has some wonderful spaces that are available to the community. Local artists, photographers and poets have displayed their work on the walls next to the stairway leading to the rotunda. The literary voices of our community have been heard in the beautiful reading room on the third floor. The echoes of poems, stories, songs, essays and memoirs still fill this space.

Please contact me if you are interested in proposing an idea for a community program or exhibit at the library.

Martha T. Potter

Program Coordinator, John Jermain Memorial Library