In November 1989, then U.S. Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, was implicated in the so-called “Keating Five” scandal along with four other senators – John McCain, Alan Cranston, Dennis DiConcini, and Don Riegle. Glenn, an American hero of the early space program – memorialized in the movie, “The Right Stuff” — and a genuine no-nonsense senator, was accused of intervening to help Charles Keating, chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation. Keating in turn contributed $34,000 to Glenn’s campaign and another $200,000 was given to a related PAC.
In the end, Glenn and McCain were cleared of impropriety but were criticized for poor judgment. The other three senators finished their terms and did not run for re-election. However, the scandal remained a blemish on Glenn’s otherwise stellar image and political career.
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