Who is Ali Jawad?
As presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain touches down in Michigan today for a fund-raiser and town hall meeting in Oakland County, some leaders in metro Detroit's Arab- and Muslim-American community are demanding an apology from the Arizona senator.
The leaders said Monday that they are insulted that McCain's campaign severed ties with political activist and businessman Ali Jawad, the founder of the Lebanese American Heritage Club.
And who wants what?
A group of Arab-American and Muslim leaders said Monday they want John McCain's campaign to apologize for cutting ties with an Arab-American businessman serving on the GOP presidential candidate's Michigan finance committee. (emphasis mine)
What about it?
Schlussel said among her concerns about Jawad were two federal cases involving him and his company: He was convicted in 1997 in U.S. District Court in Detroit for insurance fraud and sentenced to probation. His company was convicted the same year of mail fraud and was ordered to pay more than $250,000 in fines and restitution.
She also alleges that he has met with Hezbollah leaders and Hezbollah-allied members of the Lebanese parliament on two trips to Lebanon.
"John McCain did the right thing by asking Ali Jawad to leave," she said.
For his part, Jawad said he wasn't forced into resigning. He asked to be removed from the committee after receiving two calls from the McCain campaign inquiring about the allegations and questioning his "integrity and loyalty to this country."
Ok...McCain should apologize...McCain did the right thing...BUT...Jawad wasn't forced to resign!
The story also says:
We do not want a president who makes a decision ... based on false information," said Osama Siblani, president of the Arab American Political Action Committee and publisher of the Arab American News. "This is an insult to every Arab-American and Muslim American in the country."
1) Schlussel has been involved in many political scuffles and anything she writes should be investigated (meaning both her sources and her content). If you take her word for an accusation such as this one - you might get hung out to dry.
2) Jawad is a convicted fraud.
3) If every political campaign weeded out all of the convicts (such as this one)...the political arena would be a much different place.
4) If there are suspected ties to Hezbollah, they should be investigated...if the ties are not there, act accordingly. If they are not, act accordingly.
5) If Jawad asked to be removed from the committee based on mere questioning...that does seem like a smoking gun.
6) Either way, he was not removed by McCain. He asked to be removed. Is an apology in order? If the questioning were only following up on rumors - no.
Following up on rumors like this one is what a responsible campaign does.