Friday, December 22

Stocking Stuffers For Public Figures

While most people are heading home for the holidays, Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, decided to release some unwanted stocking stuffers for a few politicians. Here is the 2006 “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list:

1. Jack Abramoff, former lobbyist
Abramoff is at the center of a massive public corruption investigation by the Department of Justice

2. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
In January 2006, Hillary Clinton’s fundraising operation was fined $35,000 by the Federal Election Commission for failing to accurately report more than $700,000 in contributions to Clinton’s Senate 2000 campaign.

3. Former Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA)
In November 2005, Cunningham pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion.

4. Former Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)
Tom DeLay, who was forced to step down from his position as House Majority Leader and then resign from Congress, decided in 2006 not to run for re-election.

5. Former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL)
Foley left the House in disgrace after news broke that he had been sending predatory homosexual emails to a House page.

6. Representative Denny Hastert (R-IL)
In addition to mishandling the Foley scandal, outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert allowed House ethics process to ground to a halt on his watch.

7. Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Hastings is one of only six federal judges to be removed from office through impeachment and has accumulated staggering liabilities ranging from $2,130,006 to $7,350,000.

8. Representative William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D-LA)
Jefferson is alleged to have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to help broker high-tech business deals in Nigeria.

9. Former Representative Bob Ney (R-OH)
Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney resigned in early November 2006, three weeks after pleading guilty for accepting bribes from an Indian casino in exchange for legislative favors.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
Senator Reid came under fire in 2006 for failing to properly report to Congress a $700,000 land deal.

Judicial Watch has long maintained that public corruption is endemic to our nation’s capitol. To some degree, it is right. Many representatives arrive in Washington D.C. as average citizens and leave with the keys to newfound wealth.

For some, it stands to reason that serving in Congress will open doors of opportunity. After all, many companies look for skill sets that politicians acquire while in Washington. Others hope that partnering with or adding a sitting/former congressman will increase their company's credibility.

Still, what makes some, if not all, of these ten politicians a bit different is that they didn't wait for retirement to cash in or demonstrate any restraint or remorse when abusing public trust. Then again, sometimes the public gets what it asks for: Hillary Clinton still polls strong as a presidential hopeful and Senator Harry Reid will likely retain his seat in Nevada as long as he wants it.

That is the state of political affairs today, with Katie Rees, former Miss Nevada, being placed under more scrutiny for what she did five years ago than most folks, who are running the nation, might be doing right now. No, I am not saying all politicians are bad people or corrupt. Having worked in the political arena for about ten years, I can attest to the fact that there are some politicians who rise above the rest in terms of ethics. Thank goodness for them.

For those few honest politicians and anyone who reads this blog ... Merry Christmas ... Happy Holidays. Until our next.

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