John McCain and the terrorist-loving Oregonian, Marylin Shannon

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

John McCain and Sarah Palin have been desperately trying to tie Barack Obama to William Ayres - a 60s radical who has since become a professor and Chicago "citizen of the year" nominee.

But if guilt-by-association is an acceptable standard for the McCain campaign, says MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, then what do we make of one of McCain's most stalwart supporters?

It's a story first reported by the Oregonian's Jeff Mapes (on his blog, back in April), and covered here at BlueOregon.

In 1993, John McCain was the keynote speaker at a banquet for the anti-gay hate group, the Oregon Citizens Alliance. Prior to his speech, Marylin Shannon offered a prayer in praise of a woman who shot a Navy veteran and doctor who happened to work at an abortion clinic. The judge who later sentenced the shooter for a string of clinic bombings made it very clear: "You are a terrorist."

As I wrote in April:

Let's check that again. Marilyn Shannon praises a terrorist who shot a doctor while introducing John McCain, and not only does he stay, he stands up and gives a fundraising address for these terrorist-lovers?

And yes, Marylin Shannon later became a state senator, a state GOP official, and a 2008 McCain delegate.

Here's Keith Olbermann's take, last night:


  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Kari, I remember the reporting of this incident well. It was shocking at the time. Shocking because McCain would do a fund raiser for this hate group. Most shocking because he said and did nothing in the presence of this organization's support for violence. His silence when these statements were made really expressed tacit support for domestic bombing of abortion clinics.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Kari, I'm glad you are drawing attention to this story and that Keith Olberman is. This anecdote would be a great one to bring up at the final debate to counter the stupid Ayers story and the McCain gambit of guilt by association. This story shows the actual moral cowardice and/or sympathies that McCain has towards right wing anti-abortion terrorists.

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    McCain's entire career for running for the presidency has been a case of compromise now, apologize once the consequences are gone. He's a very erratic man in more ways than one, and his obsessive focus on honor and integrity smacks as a case of "methinks the lady doth protest too much."

    As for Palin's bona fides as a "real" American, her husband is a former a member of a secessionist party, a party which she herself has flirted with. Sorry, but you don't get much worse in my book than that. If you've spoken to people attracted to secessionist parties, then you know the whole suite of behavior and the whole "the south shall rise again" mentality that goes along with them. The underlying message with secessionists is that there is a "right" kind of American and everybody else (forgetting for a moment that "everybody else" or "that one" is actually a majority.)

    It's truly galling to see McCain and Palin hold themselves up as paragons of virtue, let alone as patriots. (Same for most of the Republican establishment, really.) For not loving America and the Americans in it, they have no claim to patriotism or representative office.

  • Chris #12 (unverified)

    Not only was McCain affiliated with groups that supported terrorists in Nicaragua, he sent them his own money!

    Daily Kos story

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    If I remember correctly, McCain's friend and now advisor Senator Phil Gramm of Texas also raised money for the OCA, either with McCain or at a seprate event. They were representing the Republican National Senatorial COmmittee, and were in effect buying off the OCA so that they would not support Al Mobley or some other conservative 3rd party candidiate who might cost Packwood the '92 election. As part of the fudnraising deal, no OCA candidate ran, and Packwood defeated Les AuCoin by only 5%.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    @ Grant

    You just filled in the rest of my memory on that. I do recall that he made deal with the OCA, our home grown hate-group, to save Packwood. Fundraising for a hate group as part of a political deal, sitting in tacit approval and accepting silence, while an extremist praises a terrorist who shoots doctors. That's John McCain, moral coward. Makes for a great Ad and response to the phony Ayers attack.

  • mp97303 (unverified)

    I would love to ask Todd Palin how he feels having a son fighting for a country he doesn't believe in.

  • David Loitz (unverified)

    I am saddened today because McCain and Palin have given some Americans a place to direct their angry and frustration. I never believed that this shift would be easy, we are seeing the need for change in a lot of things on this planet. But we need to remember that there is still some underlining hatred and fear of this change out there, We need to stand up and say "change the subject back to the issues". To the future, not to fear mongering. I ask that if you are reading blogs or news articles or talking to friends etc. that you use your energy or voice for positive important issues. We are this change. Barack Obama might be the candidate we support but he is not the end all be all of this change. He has said many times that he is just one of the voices..... and that we as a whole are the reason he is running. So change the subject, change the need to get angry and realize the best way to change the mind of those who use fear is not to be afraid.

    I am sadden today, but know I can choice to not be. So I smiling now, thinking about the beginning of change to a more positive future.

    Smile it is coming soon.

  • ben (unverified)

    ...As much to the point, I believe this story-in-a-nutshell underscores something about Oregonian political culture and its social divides that needs to be resolved, the sooner the better.

    The mere fact that Oregon could nurture an organization like the OCA to a point of genuine relevance is... scary as hell. To see that fact pasted all over national television (artifact of history or not) makes me ashamed.

    I'm proud to call myself an Oregonian to a degree that would impress a Texan, because Oregonians build. They think before they act. They look to the future without neglecting the present.

    Well, most of us do, I guess. And just because polarization isn't running at quite the fever pitch of recent memory doesn't make it irrelevant.

    I believe we can do better. The question is: how?

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    I hope Track makes it out of Iraq okay... because his Mom would probably die of humiliation if "Dad" did what he truly believes in -- and buried his only son in Canada, where the reallt dead founderof the Alaska Independence PArty is buried and fogotten.

    Why does "Dad" Palin hate America so much? He's been riding his wifey's coattails since he knocked her up after her long, troubled, six-year stint stumbling through the Mediocre Colleges of The West conference.

  • johnnie (unverified)

    Ayers has "since become a professor?" He was always a professor, he just doesn't use bombs as a study aides anymore. Besides, what does he teach? Social Justice? Try revolutionary socialism? In 2004 he was with Chavez at an educational conference discussing throwing over capitalist societies. Keep soft peddling the "school reform" and "educational reform" talking point and the bottom will fall out when the public begins to fully understand what Ayer's considers "reform".

    Would any of you launch a political career in the living room of Ayers?

    Linking Olberman automatically disqualifies your argument. Olberman is as good or better at mental gymnastics than Hannity.

    Is Shannon the unrepentant terrorist? Did McCain hold a fund raiser in the living room of the terrorist? Did McCain serve on a board with that terrorist? Did McCain claim that terrorist is just a person in his neighborhood? Did McCain, say that he thought that that that terrorist was rehabilitated?

    Wow! You need to turn off MSNBC, and become more well read.

    For starters, read what Sen. Clinton had to say on the subject.

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    Back when McCain came to OCA's fundraiser, I organized the demonstration in front of the hotel where it was going on, along with Tommy Strong of ACT UP. Prior to McCain's arrival here I had worked with Arizona activists to reach McCain and get him to avoid the fundraiser. Instead, he came and spoke, knowing full well in advance that he was speaking to a hate group. He has not changed his stripes.

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