Wyly coyotes

A vivid memory I have of covering the 2000 presidential election was spending the final weekend going into Super Tuesday between George W. Bush and John McCain cris-crossing New York State. The Bush camp was worried that McCain would do well with moderate Republicans -- who still existed in 2000 -- but it destroyed their Arizona rival by saturating the state with TV ads that attacked McCain -- and again, this would never happen in a GOP primary today -- for being weak on helping the environment!

Who paid for this negative ad blitz? Two Texas billionaires, the Wyly brothers. Four years later, they were high rollers in the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth.

Now, follow the money:

WASHINGTON — Samuel and Charles Wyly, the billionaire brothers from Dallas who are large donors to philanthropies and to conservative causes, were charged Thursday with conducting an extensive securities fraud that the Securities and Exchange Commission said reaped $550 million in undisclosed gains.

The brothers, who founded Sterling Software, a business software and services company that they sold for $4 billion in stock to the software company CA in 2000, were also charged with insider trading violations from which they profited by more than $31 million, the S.E.C. said

Can these Swift Boat Veterans handle the truth? You'll have extra time to discuss it, because I'm off for a long weekend. See you on Tuesday.

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