Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lawmakers in corruption spotlight

With the Lazarus like rising of Congresses House Ethics Committee come a flow of names of those facing investigation now or in the near future.
Full-blown investigations have been announced into Representatives Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and William Jefferson, D-La.
After a technology company executive has pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and a former Jefferson aide has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting bribery of the congressman.
There is a preliminary inquiry into whether other House members were bribed by the defense contractors who corrupted former Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California.
Authorities want to know whether Representative Alan B. Mollohan, a West Virginia Democrat and Appropriations Committee member, used his clout to hand government contracts to nonprofit groups run by his friends; whether disgraced former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff bribed Representative Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio; and whether the House Appropriations Committee chairman, Jerry Lewis of California, also a Republican, improperly awarded contracts sought by a lobbyist who has been linked to Cunningham.
Rep. Katherine Harris received $32,000 in campaign funds from Mitchell Wade, court documents say. Virgil Goode of Virginia has also been implicated in the Wade saga.
There is no indication that Harris or Goode are targets in the investigation, but when asked whether it was safe to presume that Goode's statement confirms that he's one of the unnamed congressmen mentioned in the Wade charges, a Goode aide who furnished the statement said, “I don't feel comfortable answering that.” Neither, it appears to federal prosecutors, is the House ethics committee.
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.) stepped down as the ethics committee's ranking Democrat after his business dealings with recipients of federal funds that he appropriated became the subject of a federal investigation.

A report, entitled "Beyond DeLay: The 13 Most Corrupt Members of Congress", was released in September 2005 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says in its report that the 13 members, among them Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), might have violated a variety of congressional ethics rules.The bipartisan list includes three Californians: Reps. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy), Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe).Others on the list include:Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), and Reps. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).
The Ethics committee, it seems, has just scratched the surface of an issue which cannot possibly be addressed before the November elections.


reality-based educator said...

Crooks. Just crooks. It's time to clean the cesspool up. I know we can't clean it up for good, but at least we can send some of these fuckers to jail for a while.

Cartledge said...

We can only hope.