AUGUST 24, 2006
As the crucial midterm elections approach, allegations of criminal wrongdoing and ethics violations have dogged various competitive House and Senate races across the country. Both parties have been plagued by scandal recently though Democrats and Republicans alike have tried to blame each other for a “culture of corruption.”
Case in point; House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the liberal Californian who has represented San Francisco since 1987, recently implied that Democrats are corruption-free by claiming that voting for the party’s candidates would restore honesty to the “People’s House.”
The fact is, that Pelosi herself has been under fire for violating federal election law by operating two leadership political action committees in order to circumvent contribution limits and for accepting hefty campaign contributions from the president of a transportation research organization after she helped it secure millions of dollars in Federal Transit Administration money.
And who could forget the eight-term Democrat congressman from Louisiana who recently got busted on an FBI tape accepting $100,00 in cash bribes that he later stored in a freezer? William Jefferson was a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and he took bribes for promoting business opportunities in Africa. Like a good politician he has denied any wrongdoing and has yet to explain the cash in the freezer.
Republicans have lots to be proud off as well. There is indicted Texas Speaker of the House Tom Delay and his well-known money-laundering scheme, disgraced California Congressman Randy Cunningham, in jail for taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and Ohio Congressman Bob Ney who recently abandoned his reelection bid amid a corruption scandal.
This kind of bipartisan corruption will certainly make the midterm elections quite interesting. It’s doubtful, however, that Democrats can magically restore honesty to the people’s house as Pelosi guarantees. Just remember Bill Clinton.
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