Top congressional corruption miscreants exposed, and guess which party dominates
It's that time of year again. Not just Santa, but for the press, lists, lots of lists, including a clickable one on a think-tank's assessment of who the most corrupt members of Congress were this year.
According to the Daily Caller:
A conservative-leaning watchdog group says House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the biggest congressional scofflaws of 2018, for their anemic handling of the settlement slush fund that used an unlimited pot of taxpayer money to pay off congressional staff in exchange for signing legal papers barring them from taking public their claims of sexual harassment and other mistreatment by their congressional employers.
Yes, agree, that was bad, and why the heck were they protecting the largely Democrats who engaged in this despicable behavior? The only reason why that doesn't quite resonate with a lot of us is because there were so many things guys like Ryan and McConnell did not do – such as get rid of Obamacare, scrap DACA, and build the wall, for starters. Ryan's out of a job for it, and McConnell's only saving grace has been his stellar performance in rebalancing the court system to reflect the values of the American people. In other words, he got conservative judges through – important, given that the judicial system would otherwise be a liberal monolith tag-teaming with lefty activists. Good riddance to Ryan.
What does resonate is the kind and quality of corruption that was on display in Congress this year from the list that followed from the think-tank that created the list, known as FACT. Here are the names:
- Former Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut. Democrat, of course. Covered up for a sexually abusive staffer and then gave him a golden parachute. One hand washes the other, right?
- Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, who illegally tried to rake in buku bucks as a direct result of their Senate activities harassing blameless Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Never let a crisis go to waste, right?
- Harris can get an honorable mention note from me for not owning up to the fact that one of her closest aides was a pervert who forced a $400,000 sex harassment payoff to another staffer.
- Then there's former congressional candidate Russell Taub, who operated a fake PAC, raised $1.5 million for it, and didn't ship the money where he said he would ship it: to GOP candidates. Not exactly a Republican, it seems, but OK, here's the one Republican famous for stiffing his fellow Republicans. Quite a guy.
- Next up, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who said the Russkis were tampering with voting machines. FACT says he either lied about that or else was disclosing classified information for his own political benefit. Creepy if true.
- Then there's this one, who stands out: Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York. A huge part of her office budget went missing in a theft scheme involving her chief of staff and I.T. aide, Abid Awan. You know, that guy who got named in the scandal (but not charged) after the Democratic Party's emails were hacked. One of his cohorts, also named Awan – what a coincidence – skipped the country. Clarke's chief of staff, whose last name also is Clarke (nepotism?), signed off on fake invoices and then went to the House inventory to erase items signed off for to suggest that they never existed. Clarke is one of the Congressional Black Caucus members who holds a committee seat that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to be hankering for. Such a lovely bunch we shall see come January.
What is most noteworthy about this list? The high presence of Democrats and the culture of impunity that allows them to go unpunished over and over. There it is, on display, and we haven't even heard any reports yet about the ones who "suddenly" found themselves millionaires on their congressional salaries after insider stock trading and other machinations described by Peter Schweizer in his superb book, Throw Them All Out.
Seriously, it's five of the six on the list, while the GOP leadership and the ex-candidate have corruption of other categories. These people are cover-up artists, pocket-liners, and political opportunists.
Is there any reason to expect these types of scandals to diminish now that the Democrats are taking power?