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February 22, 2008
Arizona GOP Congressman indicted
Even stalwart party members have to be sickened by the breadth of corruption exhibited by GOP politicians. The latest to do the perp walk; Congressman Richard Renzi of Arizona, indicted on 35 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and official extortion stemming from land deals in his state:
The indictment stemmed from plans by Renzi and an associate, a real estate investor, to benefit from a land-exchange deal in Arizona in return for Renzi's support for necessary federal legislation, court documents said. The guy was such a crook that he stole from his crooked partner.
"It was an object of the conspiracy for Renzi to enrich (his associate) and personally benefit himself," according to the 26-page indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Phoenix that the Justice Department released in Washington.
It also accused Renzi, a three-term congressman who was a state co-chair for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, of embezzling premiums from clients of an insurance business to fund his congressional campaign.
Renzi, who maintained a solid conservative voting record since he was first elected to Congress in 2002, also was accused of concealing his receipt of more than $733,000 from the associate in 2005.
Other GOP lawmakers awaiting calls from prosecutors include long time senator Ted Stevens of Alaska whose dealings with a contractor are being investigated by the FBI and Rep. John Doolittle of California who has been caught up in the Abramoff scandal.