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Old 09-25-2005, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
CREWS '13 Most Corrupt' in Congress

My paper had a brief blurb on this and I went looking for the full article. CREWS, or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, claims that both ethics committees seem to be on hiatus and it is pressing for ethics investigations on 13 members of congress.

My interest in posting this is to find out if any of your state's representatives are on the list, and what your opinion is regarding the validity of the claim.

My state, Washington, didn't make the list and that kind of surprises me. Delay's problems spurred a review of our reps and some "discovered" that they had received lobbyist funding for trips. "Wildman" Jim McDermott was our personal champion in tax payer funded travel around the world, but he seems to have escaped notice.

You can find the full article here: http://www.citizensforethics.org/pre...p.php?view=672

Here are CREWS dirty baker's dozen:

Quote:
The 13 members of Congress recommended for investigation by the watchdog group are:

Sen. Bill Frist: The report accuses him of violating federal campaign finance laws in how he disclosed a campaign loan. It also calls for an inquiry over his recent sale of stock in HCA Inc., his family's hospital corporation. The sale has raised questions about possible insider dealing. Frist aides confirmed Friday that the SEC was investigating. They have denied claims of campaign finance violations.

Rep. Roy Blunt: The report criticizes him for trying to insert provisions into bills that would have benefited, in one case, a client of his lobbyist son and in another case, the employer of his lobbyist girlfriend, now his wife.


Sen. Conrad Burns: The report says that questions arose over $3 million in appropriations he earmarked for an Indian tribe in Michigan that was a client of lobbyist Abramoff. The senator received substantial campaign contributions from Abramoff and various clients.

"Sen. Burns did nothing wrong, and any accusation to the contrary is pure politics," said James Pendleton, his director of communications. He said Burns had earmarked the appropriation at the request of the Michigan congressional delegation.

Rep. Bob Ney: The report says the chairman of the House Administration Committee went on a golf outing to Scotland in 2002, arranged by Abramoff, at a time when the congressman was trying to insert a provision into legislation to benefit one of Abramoff's tribal clients.

Ney reported to the House that the trip was paid for entirely by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, which denied paying any of the costs. Ney has said he had been duped by Abramoff.

Rep. Tom Feeney: The report says he incorrectly reported that a golf trip to Scotland with Abramoff in 2003 was paid for by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which denied it. A Feeney aide said the congressman had been misled. Questions also have arisen about two other privately funded trips.

Rep. Richard W. Pombo: He paid his wife and brother $357,325 in campaign funds in the last four years, the report says. He also supported the wind-power industry before the Department of Interior without disclosing that his parents received hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from wind-power turbines on their ranch.

Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for Pombo, said that "each of the charges is baseless." He called the watchdog group "a Democratic attack group, and all of their charges should be taken with a grain of salt."

Rep. Maxine Waters: The report cites a December 2004 Los Angeles Times investigation disclosing how members of the congresswoman's family have made more than $1 million in the last eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that Waters has helped. Before publication of the Times investigation last year, Waters declined to be interviewed, but said of her family members: "They do their business, and I do mine."

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.): The report says he encountered controversy over disclosures that Pennsylvania taxpayers paid for his children's schooling while they lived in Virginia. Santorum maintained he did nothing wrong, and has pulled his children out of the school, according to reports.

Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and William J. Jefferson: Both congressional veterans are under federal investigation.

Cunningham, who has announced that he will not run for reelection, faces questions over his dealings with a defense contractor who allegedly overpaid him when he purchased Cunningham's house. Jefferson is under scrutiny for his role in an overseas business deal. Normally the House ethics committee does not hold inquiries while criminal investigations are underway.

Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.): The report says that questions have been raised about his private business interests, including a savings and loan in Asheville, N.C., and personal business interests in Russia.

Rep. Marilyn N. Musgrave (R-Colo.) and Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.): Both second-term House members encountered criticisms tied to campaign activities, the report says.

Musgrave was accused of misusing her congressional office for campaign purposes. Renzi was accused of financing portions of his 2002 campaign with improper loans.

Last edited by Elphaba; 09-25-2005 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 09-25-2005, 02:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cunningham is guilty as hell. His dishonesty was so blatant that the only explanation is that he decided he was bulletproof.

Maxine Waters--what a huge surprise to see HER there.
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvelous Marv
Cunningham is guilty as hell. His dishonesty was so blatant that the only explanation is that he decided he was bulletproof.

Maxine Waters--what a huge surprise to see HER there.
I only know that I have heard her name before, and I think it was in a positive manner. What's the scoop on Waters, MM?
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Old 09-26-2005, 07:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I first read this thread I thought I'd google up some examples of corruption, nepotism and unethical behaviour of our elected officials to add to the discussion.

After reading for about 2 hours a fraction the examples to be found, I gave up. With all the corruption taking place in our government, it is amazing to me that things work as well as they do or even at all. I'm afraid the CREWS list just scratches the surface.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bob Ney from Ohio is on the list, and that disappoints me. Although he is a Republican, he is very down to earth and fights for us here in East Central Ohio. He has backed the steel industry and the coal industry, which were the bread and butter of many people here in the area. He did try to get federal funding to tear down a bridge that is privately owned, maybe by this Abramoff fellow, but I'm pretty sure he backed off of that. I have known him for about 15 years, (I used to work with his sister), and while some of his staff, well, 1 member of his staff, was/is slimey, it never reflected on Bob here in the community.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba
I only know that I have heard her name before, and I think it was in a positive manner. What's the scoop on Waters, MM?
She's funneled millions of dollars from people she does (or has done) business with in an official capacity to her family members.

It was publicized widely around last December, but her race-baiting extortion (a la Jesse Jackson) has been going on even longer.
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was just reading through this thread and I saw that Roy Blunt made the top thirteen. Coincidentally, he was recently tapped to replace Delay as House Majority Leader. This seems like the wrong sort of message for the Republicans to be sending: shouldn't both parties at least avoid giving rewards to their most corrupt party members, if not actively discouraging and punishing them?
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Old 10-25-2005, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im from Colorado and Musgrave rubs everyone the wrong way for the sake of doing so. Her anti-homosexuality kick as well as this adds to the fact that she shouldnt return to her position next term.
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