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Politics

Still Fighting the Cold War

11:23 AM EDT on August 10, 2010

Kevin Calvey is linked to the Russians!

Who cares?  The 5th District congressional candidate could be photographed in a ushanka, drinking Smirnoff, eating borscht, while playing with nesting dolls in front of the Kremlin with Boris Yeltsin, and it would be no big deal.  Despite hundreds of Hollywood films depicting the Russians as public enemy #1, the Cold War is over.  The Rooskies are now greedy capitalists, the U.S. won, and they are now our allies.

You know who does care?  The Oklahoman, which may have dropped the "Daily" from its name to modernize, but otherwise still thinks it's the 1980's.  How else can you explain a paper that typically avoids doing any kind of digging doing a shocking expose in the lead up to the 5th District Republican run-off.

Here are the facts as laid out on NewsOK.com:

  • Kevin Calvey has a brother named Michael
  • Michael founded a company with a man named Vadim Bakatin
  • Bakatin was the last director of the KGB of the Soviet Union
  • Bakatin was the first director of the capitalist Russian intelligence agency
  • Add it all together and Kevin Calvey, potential U.S. Representative from Oklahoma is a closet communist

That last part may have been conjecture, but the fact of the matter is that the articles run in The Oklahoman, a paper I think everyone can agree is usually very kind to Republicans, is certainly framing the Russian aspect of this story as pretty damning.

If this were 1982, with Ronald Reagan cheerleading anti-communist sentiment while Gorbachev manufactured nuclear weapons that were pointed at Washington D.C. as soon as they came off the assembly line--and newspapers were still relevant and profitable--such an expose would be entirely relevant.  Or at least that aspect of the expose would make sense.

Buried in the lede of Soviet paranoia is that Calvey's campaign funding really is kind of sketchy.  Michael, who made the maximum allowable campaign donation to Kevin Calvey for Congress, also gave his brother an ownership share of the Russian Private Equity Fund.  And when I say gave, I mean it was a gift.  Kevin didn't pay a ruble or dime for any piece of the company.  Of course, when he sold his share, he earned $270K.

To keep his campaign afloat, Kevin loaned $250K from his personal funds.  Those numbers are fairly close, don't you think.

In fairness, The Oklahoman did a much better job of relaying these facts in a second article that spends more time explaining the way the Calvey brothers went around campaign finance law and other ways in which foreign entities infused cash.

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