Billy Carters wild ride from Billy beer to Libyan oil cartels
A reporter asked Billy why he was involved with the Libyans and got more than he expected in return and possibly also a non-answer to his question. Billy sounded off: “The only thing I can say is there is a hell of a lot more Arabians than there is Jews,” adding that the “Jewish media [tore] up the Arab countries full-time.”
Carter on Ted Kennedy
Carter Blames Ted Kennedy For Delay In Passing Health Bill
Main Category: Health Insurance / Medical Insurance
Article Date: 20 Sep 2010
A decades old grudge between former president Jimmy Carter and the late senator Edward Kennedy was renewed again Thursday when Carter criticized Kennedy's stand on the former president's health care proposal. CBS "60 Minutes" quotes Carter as saying "that Kennedy delayed comprehensive coverage for Americans for decades. ... It was Kennedy's actions to kill Carter's own health care bill that made Americans wait more than 30 years for meaningful coverage, says Carter in an interview with '60 Minutes' correspondent Lesley Stahl. ... In a diary he kept during his presidency, Carter vents about Kennedy's attacks and criticizes Kennedy's own health care bill" (9/16).
CNN: "'The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed,' Carter told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl. 'It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill.' Carter proposed health care reform in the late 1970s but was unable to sign any legislation. He said Kennedy blocked the bill in Congress out of spite in advance of the Massachusetts senator's unusual, and ultimately unsuccessful 1980 bid to unseat him. 'He did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life,' Carter said" (Simon, 9/16).
Time magazine Billy Carter is not a buffoon
Nation: Billy Carter Is Not a Buffoon
Monday, Sep. 01, 1980
"I am just an ordinary citizen from a small Southern community," said the nervous, chain-smoking witness before a Senate subcommittee last week. But little was ordinary about the fact that Billy Carter had come to the ornate Senate Caucus Room, the famed site of the Teapot Dome, McCarthy and Watergate hearings. He was there to testify under oath about his controversial relations with the government of Libya. Soft-spoken and attired in a three-piece suit, he was no longer playing his old role as the Carter family clown. Indeed, in concluding a carefully crafted 27-page opening statement, he said, "I hope this testimony will show in common-sense fashion that Billy Carter is not a 'buffoon,' a 'boob' or a 'wacko,' as some public figures have described him."
In this, Billy appears to have succeeded. And although his judgment in choosing friends and business associates may remain open to question, he performed rather well in responding to the Senate panel's two main lines of questioning: 1) Had he used his position as the President's brother to influence U.S. policy toward Libya, a radical country with which Washington maintains subzero relations? 2) What were the details involving the $220,000 that he had received from a Libyan bank? In nine hours of testimony over two days, the Senators learned little that was new about either matter. Billy confirmed that he had visited Libya in 1978 and again the following year; he had played host, in turn, to a Libyan delegation to Georgia in January 1979; he had tried to arrange, without success, for the Charter Crude Oil Co. of Jacksonville to obtain Libyan crude oil; and he had received one check from the Libyans for $20,000 in December 1979 and another for $200,000 the following April 1.
Throughout the testimony, Billy insisted that there was nothing wrong with these transactions. He conceded that he probably "had been invited [to Libya] because I was the brother of the President," but he maintained that he made it very clear to his hosts that he "had absolutely no influence" on U.S. policies. To show how pointless any such effort would have been, Billy told the Senators that "when Jimmy was Governor of Georgia," the state "repaved the streets of Plains with one exception — the small portion of street in front of my house."
As for the $220,000 from Libya, Billy insisted that it was simply an advance on a $500,000 loan. Senators greeted this claim with understandable skepticism, especially since no loan papers were signed and there was no documentary evidence of collateral.
When Senators demanded proof that the money was indeed just a loan, Billy said that there was "just my word."
The one surprise at the hearings was the disclosure that two of Billy's acquaintances, Farmer George Belluomini and Financial Consultant Ronald Sprague, both of Bakersfield, Calif, are being investigated by the Treasury Department for possibly having laundered funds connected with a drug smuggling operation. Subcommittee Special Counsel Philip Tone, however, made it clear that "the Government has no information that Mr. [Billy] Carter was in any way involved."
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Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Billy's testimony was the extent to which he betrayed his deep sense of having suffered because his brother is in the White House. Because his brother's controlling interest in the Carter peanut warehouse was placed in a blind trust controlled by Atlanta Lawyer Charles Kirbo, Billy quit the business. Billy complained that Kirbo "made decisions I was unaware of and questioned every decision I made." And because Plains attracted hordes of tourists, including those who walked into his house without knocking, Billy decided to move 20 miles away to a new, $300,000 house in Buena Vista, Ga. Testified Billy: "I considered myself to be a private individual who had not been elected to public office and resented the attention of different Government agencies that I began to hear from almost as soon as Jimmy was sworn in." He has endured, he said, ten separate investigations, including several by the IRS, that have made public "most of my private and commercial business, and my private life." (The IRS apparently had some reason for its persistence; Billy has been found $130,000 in arrears on his taxes.)
Billy is also resentful of the negative publicity about his ties with Libya. He said that this made it impossible for him to continue the kind of public appearances that paid him as much as $500,000 a year in gross earnings. He told the Senators: "I was angry and bitter. My means of livelihood had vanished." As a result, he explained, "by the middle of February 1979, I began each day with four ounces of vodka. In January and February, I retained no food for 53 days."
Desperate for money, he turned to his new Libyan friends who, he said, "felt personally responsible" for his having lost his main source of income and wanted "to help me get back on my financial feet." The result was the oil negotiations on behalf of Charter. This could have involved up to 100,000 bbl. a day, for which Billy and his associates could have received as much as 55¢ per bbl. in commissions. To tide himself over until he would start receiving those fat fees, Billy asked Libya for a $500,000 loan.
Subcommittee Chairman Birch Bayh, the Indiana Democrat, inquired whether Billy had any qualms about associating with a regime that backs terrorists and is virulently anti-American. Asked the Senator: "Did you give any thought to what your presence would do in Libya, to how it would be used?" Billy made no apologies. But he did admit to having some second thoughts. Said he: "If I knew then what would happen, I'd never have made the trip [to Libya]. But hindsight ain't worth a damn."