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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 05:46 AM
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Carl Lindner dead at 92

1998 Frontline Transcript on Carl Lindner / Political Contributions & Influence


As chairman and chief executive of American Financial Group, Lindner presides over business assets worth $14 billion by his own reckoning. He is a former part owner of The Cincinnati Enquirer. He controls, among other businesses, Chiquita Brands bananas. Lindner has made a name for himself on Wall Street as an astute investor. He has a reputation for bottom fishing that is, buying a financially troubled or undervalued company at a bargain price and transforming it into a profitable enterprise. He was an important customer of junk bond king Michael Milken, who worked for the now-defunct investment banking firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert. For years American Financial employed a Cincinnati lawyer, Charles Keating, as corporate counsel and executive vice president. Lindner and Keating parted company, and Keating moved to Phoenix and gained notoriety in the 1980s as the man behind the multibillion-dollar failure of Lincoln Savings & Loan.

Mild-mannered and shy, Lindner routinely refuses reporters requests for interviews. He has a habit of handing out little white cards with gold-embossed, folksy sayings on them. One reads: I like to do my giving while Im living so Im knowing where its going. He is a devout Baptist who says he does not smoke, drink or swear. In 1990, he led the opposition to a Cinncinnati exhibit of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. Later that year, he withheld his usual financial support to the arts fund he deemed responsible for the show. As a philanthropist, Lindner has been generous. He has estimated his contributions to various charities over the past 10 years at $60 million.

Lindner gives heavily to political campaigns. While his contributions in Cincinnati and Ohio heavily favor Republicans, in national races he gives generously to both sides. Since 1988, Lindner and his associates and companies have given $650,000 in soft money to the Democrats and $1.5 million to the Republicans, according to Common Cause, a Washington watchdog group. Lindner, his family, and business associates also make donations directly to politicians. Among them: $106,000 to George Bushs presidential campaigns in 1988 and 1992; and $172,500 to Senator Robert Dole since 1980. In a field of the top ten career patrons of Senator Dole, Lindner ranks seventh, reports the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan Washington public interest research group. Dole has also made frequent use of private jets owned by the Lindner family twelve flights in 1995 alone, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Chiquita brands is the current form of "The United Fruit Company".
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 06:46 AM
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1. McCain Backer's Firm Pleaded Guilty To Funding Terrorist Group In Colombia
McCain Backer's Firm Pleaded Guilty To Funding Terrorist Group In Colombia
July 2, 2008 03:07 AM

The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Carl H. Lindner Jr., the billionaire Cincinnati businessman, was CEO of Chiquita Brands International from 1984 to 2001, and remained on the company's board of directors until May 2002. Beginning under his tenure, Chiquita executives paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by the Spanish acronym AUC), which is described by George Washington University's National Security Archive as an "illegal right-wing anti-guerrilla group tied to many of the country's most notorious civilian massacres."

Following a Justice Department indictment last year, Chiquita admitted to illegally funding the paramilitaries and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. Chiquita's payments to the AUC began in 1997 and lasted seven years; roughly half of the funds came after the group was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in 2001.

According to the Justice Department, the payments "were reviewed and approved by senior executives" of Chiquita, who knew by no later than September 2000 "that the AUC was a violent, paramilitary organization."

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-18-11 09:54 AM
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2. good catch...eom
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 09:46 PM
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3. Once again.. insider trading and corruption.. only they call it ..."Free Trade"
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