The Mob : Did John McCain Play Piano in a Bordello?


‘Perhaps McCain was untainted by the mob and corruption, but one wonders if he could have been that successful had he not somehow made his peace with that situation.’
By Sherman De Brosse
/ The Rag Blog / October 15, 2008

This is the second in a series by Rag Blog contributor Sherman De Brosse on John McCain and his shady involvements, past and present.

John McCain retired from the Navy in 1981 and moved to Phoenix with Cindy, his second bride. He quickly threw himself into politics, and was twice elected to the United States House of Representatives before the voters sent him to the Senate in 1986. Before 1981, he had no prior involvement with the state. No doubt, his celebrity status as a war hero had a great deal to do with his political success. The solid backing Duke Tully, publisher of The Arizona Republic, and a lot of special interest money also account for his extraordinary success. The Phoenix 40 was the closest thing to a political machine in Arizona, and this machine got behind John McCain.

Duke Tully claimed he was a fighter pilot like Mc Cain. Eventually it came out that the man had never been in the military. Old Arizona hands say McCain must have had that figured out, but said nothing.

Arizona politics then was shot through with corruption and mob influence. Perhaps McCain was untainted by the mob and corruption, but one wonders if he could have been that successful had he not somehow made his peace with that situation. It might be a bit like the fellow who played the piano in the bordello but had no idea what went on up-stairs.

The big fish in the Arizona pond was Kemper Marley (d.1990), a billionaire liquor magnate and rancher. He was the protégé of Sam Bronfman, a close friend of Al Capone and Meyer Lansky, who visited Arizona in his company. He was also very close to Gus Greenbaum, a Lansky aide and Phoenix gambler.

Gene Hensley, McCain’s father-in-law, became Marley’s chief henchman.

Greenbaum and his wife were slain in 1948, setting off a mob war that Marley won. Marley became the state’s only billionaire. In 1948, Marley escaped prison while 52 of his prisoners went were incarcerated including henchman James Willis Hensley, who would become John McCain’s father-in-law. Marley’s attorney was William Rehnquist. Hensley was general manager of Marley’s United Liquor. Hensley’s brother, Eugene, was a bootlegger and was also convicted. They both served very short sentences. The court said Hensley must never get into the liquor business again, but when he got out he received a big Budweiser distributorship. Hensley also made money in dog racing, but sold his track to the Jacobs family of Buffalo. They were also linked to the Bronfman booze empire of Canada and the Lansky interests.

Marley headed the Valley National Bank, which lent Meyer Lansky’s man, Bugsy Siegal, the money to build the Flamingo casino . Siegel was killed for stealing from his bosses, and his nationwide gambling wire was turned over to Marley.

Marley (d. 1990) was very generous with the Republican party and also controlled the Arizona Democrats. Many in major office there owed their jobs to him. Marley’s men included Dennis De Concini, a Democrat, and John McCain. Captain John McCain, married to Hensley’s beauty queen daughter Cindy Lou since May, in 1980, became a rising star in Arizona politics, and Marley did nothing to block him Mc Cain worked for his father-in-law. John Mc Cain said Cindy’s father was a “role model.” He soon went into politics.

Kemper Marley Sr. Is Dead at 83; Name Arose in ’76 Slaying Inquiry / New York Times / June 28, 1990

THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE ARIZONA TIES; A Beer Baron and a Powerful Publisher Put McCain on a Political Path /

Source / David Icke Articles

For McCains, a Public Path but Private Wealth / by David M. Halbfinger / New York Times / August 23, 2008

John McCain Calls Convicted Felon with Ties to the Mob a “Role Model” / Wikio News / August 25, 2008

The murder of an investigative reporter in Phoenix set off an important investigation of the influence of the mob in Phoenix.

Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles was killed in a 1976 car bombing. He had investigated crooked land deals that were tied to many of the rich and powerful and had also looked into Marley’s service on state commissions. This led to a 36 member team of investigative reporters coming to Arizona. It produced The Arizona Project: How a Team of Investigative Reporters Got Revenge on Deadline. They believed but could not prove that the Marley gang was behind the murder of Bolles. But they produced a great deal of information on the mob in Arizona.

Astonishingly Bolles lived for eleven days after the explosion and said: “They finally got me. The Mafia. Emprise. Find John (Harvey) Adamson.” There was no effort to find out who hired the man who gave Adamson the contract. Anderson, who was convicted of the car bombing, said the Marley gang also wanted Attorney General Bruce Babbitt killed because he wanted anti-trust action against them.

John McCain married mob heiress Cindy Hensley. From the time of his arrival in Phoenix in 1979, the Hensley family sponsored his political career. He received a $50,000 a year salary in 1982 to tour the state as a PR man for the family Budweiser distributorship, but of course he was beginning a Congressional campaign. Anheuser-Bush lobbyist Richard Scheffel said that Hensley used McCain as a channel to move money to politicians.

Ayers? Let’s look at the Marley-Hensley murder of Don Bolles / Political Inquirer / Sept. 23, 2008

John McCain, Married to the Mob / US Message Board / Feb. 21, 2008

John McCain: Married to the Mob / by Bob Fertig / Democrats.com / Feb. 26, 2008

McCain Top Aide Linked To Suspected Russian Mob-King, Arranged Meeting With Senator / Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon / The Huffington Post / Jan. 25, 2008

McCain does not seem to have done anything for the mob, but he must know it was their money that fueled his career. He refrains from voting on liquor issues, but liquor interests remain near the top of the list of McCain contributors. But as chairman of the Commerce Committee he knew how to scuttle proposals detrimental to the liquor industry by declining to hold hearings. Among them were measures dealing with recyclable bottles, advertising, and safety.

In 1995, Senator McCain sent “Happy Birthday” wishes to Joseph Bonanno, the head of the New York Bonanno mob who had retired in Arizona. Five members of the Bonanno family have made large contributions to the McCain presidential campaign. In 2005, Rick Davis arranged for McCain to meet Oleg Deripaska, Russian mob figure and aluminum magnate, in Switzerland. It should be noted that earlier McCain did only a little damage to the Russian mob by exposing some of Jack Abramoff’s mistreatment of Indians running casinos.(There was some Russian mob money in some Abramoff connected casinos.) He did not dig very deep. McCain celebrated his 70th birthday aboard a yacht with convicted felon Raffaello Follieri, along with his girlfriend actress Ann Hathaway . Follieri posed as someone with close Vatican ties to bilk people of their money. McCain is also close to Rep. Rick Renzi, who has been indicted for wire fraud, extortion, and money laundering.

The bottom line is that there is a great deal we need to know about John Mc Cain before we send him to the White House.

John McCain: Married to the Mob / by Bob Fertig / Democrats.com / Feb. 26, 2008

McCain Top Aide Linked To Suspected Russian Mob-King, Arranged Meeting With Senator / Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon / The Huffington Post / Jan. 25, 2008

Haunted by Spirits / by John Dougherty, Amy Silverman / Phoenix New Times / Feb. 17, 2008

[Sherman De Brosse, the pseudonym for a retired history professor, is a contributor to The Rag Blog and also blogs at Sherm Says and on DailyKos.]

The Rag Blog

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