When it comes to top advisors, it’s good to see John “Dubya” McCain keeping up his streak of employing clapped-out old political whores like Phil Gramm and Trent Lott, not to mention a rich lobbyist who represent brutal foreign dictators. Yep, the man who doesn’t know Shiite from Shinola, never mind Sunni, is a real straight talker, just a regular guy like you and me, provided we are all ancient, amnesiac, and angry. (How ’bout that Iraq-Pakistan border, Johnnie?)
The most recent greed-monger exposed in McCain’s ranks is one of his top education advisors, Lisa Graham Keegan, who was outed by the TPMMuckraker site on July 17. This has the whiff of the Education Partnership debacle in the Biggest Little about it. According to reporter Andrew Tilghman, Keegan was CEO (at $235,000 a year) from 2001 to 2004 of the Education Leaders Council, a conservative nonprofit.
“With Keegan at the helm, the group began to prosper with money from Bush’s No Child Left Behind law,” wrote Tilghman. “The ELC raked in about $23.4 million in federal money, part of which it was later accused of mismanaging. An audit report from the Department of Education’s Inspector General ultimately recommended that the group give back about $500,000 in taxpayer dollars . . .
“The Department of Education eventually got involved and concluded that the groups books were a mess with ‘weak or non-existent internal controls’ that led to money spent on things not legally covered by the grant . . . included in the questioned amounts were costs for alcoholic beverages, advertising, fundraising, and interest(s) that are specifically unallowable under applicable cost principles.”
Party on, Lisa! Garrulous Senator Straight Talk had no comment.
No worries, Ms. Keegan — there’s an education job opening here in Rhode Island. Your husband doesn’t happen to be a newspaper columnist, does he?
Belo’s good vibrations
Our old buddy in the ad biz, DP, sent along this headline from the Urinal’s business section on belojo.com, which, needless to say, brightened our day:
Vibco Vibrators Inc. is a leader in the lean approach to keeping companies competitive
The text read, “Almost everyone at Vibco Vibrators Inc., a South County company in the Wyoming section of Richmond that makes industrial vibrators, has gotten lean.”
Since Andy Smith, a former BeloJo music writer, wrote this story about industrial strength vibrators, we figured that it must be about Madonna and their use in a new Kab-balah diet regime, but we were sadly mistaken. Still, with the Other Paper’s editors’ forthcoming women-based focus on their Web site, we can only look for more and more vibra-tor stories as time hums on.
Tidbits of the week
Driving around in our convertible Lamborghini the other day, working on our George Hamilton tans and dancing in our bucket seats while listening to “Mickey’s Monkey” on the oldies station, WPRV-AM, Phillipe + Jorge were thrown into an immediate funk when we heard the boast that the station is heard “by more by seniors and their families” than any other in the local market. Wow, thanks for reminding us. Pass the Grecian Formula, Flomax, and Viagra, please.