SEC Charges Bigtime GOP Contributors Wyly Brothers With Fraud
After Democratic congressman Charles Rangel’s woes, it is Charles Wyly and his brother Sam Wyly who are in trouble, as SEC has charged the billionaire Texas brothers with fraud, after years of investigation.
Wylys are famous for their life long political contribution to conservative political causes. They have given to over 200 Republican candidates, including two former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. In 2000, they financed Republicans for Clean Air, a group that launched a television advertisement supporting George W. Bush against his chief opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during GOP presidential primaries. Later that year, they donated $200,000 to Bush's inaugural festivities fund.
SEC maintains that the brothers created a secretive network of accounts and companies on the Isle of Man and in the Cayman Islands. Then they used these accounts to generate more than $550 million in profit through illegal stock trades. According to SEC, in one specific case the Wylys traded on insider information and profited $32 million, similar kind of charge for which Martha Steward went to jail.
After six years of painstaking scrutiny, the SEC came out with these allegations against the Wyly brothers. A deputy director of SEC enforcement, Lorin L. Reisner said on Thursday, “The cloak of secrecy has been lifted from the complex web of foreign structures used by the Wylys to evade the securities laws.”
Among the Wyly brothers famous contributions are funding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, in their effort to ran TV ads attacking the military record of Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), that eventually sank his candidacy.
Speaking for nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Dave Levinthal, said, “It’s almost hard to find prominent Republicans who haven’t been a beneficiary of their financial largess. They’ve definitely been very kind, financially speaking, to a number of Republicans.” That list includes the three Texas Republicans, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, NRC Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, former House Republican leader Richard K. Armey, the current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, among others.
This case demonstrates once more, how badly the nation needs campaign finance reform. The day a politician begins his term he starts worrying how to raise fund for his reelection. Unless public financing is made available to the candidates, Wylys will continue to milk the system for their ungainly influence in our national politics, and stifle voice of the silent majority.