John McCain must explain his ties to felon Jim Hensley

Jim Hensley is a felon, Bill Ayers isn't

As conservative bloggers and mainstream media sources work overtime to try and force Barack Obama to explain, reexplain, and then again explain his relationship with former Weatherman Bill Ayers, John McCain still has questions to answer about his own relationship with a criminal.

The criminal in question is McCain's father-in-law, the late Jim Hensley. At the time of his death in 2000, Hensley was one of the richest men in Arizona and owner of one of the largest Anheuser-Bush Distributorships in the nation.

Hensley and daughter Cindy are well-established as the sponsors of McCain's political career and McCain has called Hensley a "role model." Ayers once contributed $200 to Obama, and the two have have worked together with a charity group and school reform group.

How else do Hensley and Ayers match up?

Jim Hensley vs. Bill Ayers

Felony Convictions: Hensley 1, Ayers 0.

Comment: In 1948, Hensley was given a six-month suspended sentence for falsifying liquor records to conceal illegal distribution of whiskey against post-war rationing regulations. Ayers has never been convicted of a felony.

Connections with Organized Crime: Hensley 2. Ayers 0.

Comment: Hensley and his brother were the owners of Ruidoso Downs racetrack, along with "silent partner" Clarence "Teak" Baldwin who had been banned from any ownership role due to illegal bookmaking activities. Long-time business associate Kemper Marley, Sr. was also connected with organized crime.

Illegally Acquired Liquor Licenses: Hensley 1, Ayers 0.

Comments: Hensley acquired a liquor license in Arizona despite the fact that he was not allowed to have one due to being a felon.

Killings Connected With: Hensley 21,000, Ayers 4.

While neither Hensley nor Ayers have personally murdered anyone, both were heavily involved with organizations that caused the deaths of others. For Ayers, that organization was the Weatherman. For Hensley that organization was Anheuser-Busch. In 2007, Arizona reported more than 700 alcohol-related deaths. Conservatively putting the average number of alcohol-related deaths in Arizona at 400, Hensley has been responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 Arizonans. And while Budweiser cannot be blamed for each death, it is clearly a gateway drug to harder types of alcohol, thus culpability is Hensley's.

Divorces: Hensley 1, Ayers 0.

Comments: Like his son-in-law, Hensley divorced his first wife after having an affair and remarrying. Ayers has been married to Bernardine Dohrn for nearly 40 years.

Abandoned Children: Hensley 1, Ayers -1

Comments: Hensley abandoned his first child, Kathleen Portalski. Ayers and Dohrn raised two of their own children and adopted a third.

As anyone can see from the plain facts, Jim Hensley was far more dangerous man than Ayers has ever been, and profited wildly from his illicit activities. It is time for John McCain to stand up and explain his ties with the felon Jim Hensley.


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