Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Eight-term San Diego Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned from Congress on Monday, hours after pleading guilty to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes to help friends and campaign contributors win military contracts. Mr. Cunningham, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, tax evasion, wire fraud and mail fraud. He faces up to 10 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures. Prosecutors said he received cash, cars, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees, moving expenses and vacations from four unnamed co-conspirators in exchange for aid in winning military contracts. None of this income was reported to the Internal Revenue Service or on the congressman's financial disclosure forms, the government said.

This has been a brewing story that Josh Marshall pounded on at Talkingpointsmemo.com for months. And the story isn't over. Among the other elected officials who might be caught up in this are Reps. Kathrine Harris (R-FL) and Virgil Goode (R-VA). Add this to the Jack Abramoff corruption machine and get set for 2006 being the year of indictments. Investing in prison builders now might be a good idea. Make room for "Scooter" Libby, Karl Rove, Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Michael Scanlon and David Safavian. That's going to be some cell block.

The worst thing about all this is that it doesn't look that much different from the kleptocracies in Africa. Cunningham's bribery plea was on the front page of the New York Times and right next to it was a story about Nigerian corruption. The only difference it seemed was the scope of the official theft and that a Nigerian regional governor donned a dress and wig to escape money laundering charges in Britain. I wonder how DeLay would look in high heels?

Pop Quiz - Which of the following quotes are from the "Duke" Cunningham story and which are from the Nigeria story?

"Looting from the people is not a new thing. We are used to that. But for people who claim to be representatives of their own people to commit this barefaced robbery is shameful. Where is the rule of law?"

"This is what happens when you have leaders who are interested only in themselves."

"There is no real system of checks and balances."

Answer: They're all from the Nigerian story. They could all be from the "Duke" story. Corruption, Inc. Bringing corruption to you from around the world and around the block. Corrupticans. That's what they are. Corrupticans.


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

And of course MZM, the company that was paying off Cunningham, has been doing a substantial business with Bush. $140,000 worth of office furniture and about half a million worth of unspecified "security services"

I love the smell of corruption in the morning.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

"I love the smell of corruption in the morning."

You forgot the end of that quote, "Smells like, Republicans."

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a waste. $2.4 million could have bought him 24,000 bottles of Sam Adams Utopias. If only that many bottles were available. But given that only 3,000 bottles were brewed (and assuming that many of them probably have already been consumed), if I were Cunningham, I would have had to settle for 500 bottles of Utopias and 150,000 cases of other types of beer. A good time regardless.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Oh I don't think Republicans of the wealthy sort drink beer - they come out of their designer coffins at night and drink blood.

3:38 PM  

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