Thursday, December 28, 2006
In the Public Interest
Top 10 Corrupt Politicians for 2006
December 23, 2006 02:00 PM EST
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2006 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
1. Jack Abramoff, Former Lobbyist – Abramoff is at the center of a massive public corruption investigation by the Department of Justice that, in the end, could involve as many as a dozen members of Congress. Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and a host of other charges on January 3, 2006, and was sent to prison in November to serve a five-year, 10-month sentence for defrauding banks of $23 million in Florida in 2000.
2. Sen. 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. New information also surfaced in 2006 raising more questions about Hillary and her brother Anthony Rodham’s connection to the Clinton Pardongate scandal, where presidential pardons were allegedly traded in exchange for cash and other favors.
3. Former Rep. 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. He was sentenced to 8 years, four months in prison and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution in March 2006.
4. Former Rep. 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. Congressman DeLay has been embroiled in a series of scandals from bribery to influence peddling, and was indicted twice by grand juries in Texas.
5. Former Rep. 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. A recent House Ethics Committee report indicated that Republican leaders knew about Foley’s dangerous behavior, but failed to take action. Democrats, meanwhile, shopped the story to the press to influence the elections. Outrageously, the Committee recommended no punishment for those involved.
6. Rep. 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. Gary Condit, Cynthia McKinney, William Jefferson, John Conyers, Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, Jim McDermott, Patrick Kennedy are examples of alleged wrongdoers who faced little-to-no ethics enforcement in the House.
7. Rep. 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. Hastings was “next in line” for Chairmanship of the House Select Committee on Intelligence until a wave of protest forced Nancy Pelosi to select another candidate. Nonetheless, Hastings is expected to continue to serve on the Intelligence Committee.
8. Rep. 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. According to press reports, he was also caught on tape discussing the deals, while an FBI search of his home uncovered $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer.
9. Former Rep. 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. Ney was the first congressman to be convicted of a crime in the web of scandals involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and is expected to serve a jail sentence.
10. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) – Senator Reid came under fire in 2006 for failing to properly report to Congress a $700,000 land deal. Reid also accepted more than $30,000 of Abramoff-tainted money allegedly in return for his ''cooperation'' in matters related Nevada Indian gaming.