Susan Davis, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal poses this question:
Do Democrats Have a Corruption Problem?
Congressional Democrats swept into power in 2006 after a steady drumbeat of attacks against Republicans for allowing a systemic “culture of corruption” to define their majority.
It wasn’t a new charge, but it took a perfect storm of GOP scandals that year — lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham of California, and Florida Rep. Mark Foley of Florida — for it to register with the electorate.
Now, with solid Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, Republicans are echoing the same attacks of corruption among Democrats—and they may have a point.
Consider the following:
–Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: Is an explanation necessary? The former governor was impeached and thrown out of office for allegedly trying to sell President Barack Obama’s Senate seat for personal gain, among other corruption charges. The expletive-laden criminal complaint against him made for intrigue—and comedy—as he quickly became a target for Saturday Night Live and late-night talk shows. Blagojevich’s rambling defense before the Illinois senate and bizarre string of media appearances on “The View” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” proved that Illinois politics can not only be corrupt but also just plain weird.
–New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: Before tax problems tinged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or derailed Tom Daschle as health and human services secretary, Richardson was the first mini-scandal to hit the nascent—and still very popular—Obama administration. Tapped to serve as commerce secretary, Richardson withdrew his name because of an ongoing pay-to-play federal investigation in his home state. Richardson has not been charged with any wrongdoing, but the Associated Press reported over the weekend that a grand jury subpoenaed records from his office dating back to 2002.
–Mayors Gone Wild! From sea to shining sea, Democratic mayors have gotten nabbed in scandals recently from the inappropriate to the illegal. In Portland, newly elected Mayor Sam Adams is caught up in a sex scandal. In Hartford, Conn., Mayor Eddie Perez has been charged with bribery related to work done on his home. In Detroit, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was recently released after serving three months in jail on obstruction of justice charges. In Baltimore, Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted last month on charges of accepting illegal gifts.
–New York Rep. Charles Rangel: Congressional Republicans have focused the brunt of their corruption attacks on Rangel, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee after the New Yorker was hit by a series of stories ranging from his New York apartment dealings to his failure to pay certain taxes (a recurring theme for Democrats lately). Rangel has offered a spirited defense and refused any calls from his political opponents to relinquish his gavel while the House ethics committee—at his encouragement—sorts through his dealings. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stood by his side, and Democrats voted down a GOP resolution on Tuesday to force Rangel to step down temporarily from the chairmanship. When Pelosi was minority leader, she also used resolutions to force House votes on ethics issues—almost all of which failed on party line votes.
–The Appropriators: Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania has also been a top target for Republican attacks of corruption. The veteran lawmaker and appropriator has been the subject of several media reports questioning how he delivers federal money to benefit his district. But recent news reports suggest federal authorities could be interested in Murtha. Two Pennsylvania firms with close ties to the lawmaker were raided last month by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and our colleague Susan Schmidt reported Tuesday that another Virginia-based firm with ties to Murtha was raided late last year. The New York Times reported today that federal authorities are looking into a lobbyist who funneled contributions to Murtha and fellow appropriators Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and Peter Visclosky of Illinois. None of the lawmakers have been accused of any wrongdoing, but it’s highly unlikely the recent raids are the last we’ve heard of this story.
Is that a rhetorical question? Their Dear Leader B. Hussein Obama, is a product of a Chicago-based mafia-style political machine with a socialist influence to boot.
He’s the icing on the corruption cake.