In a story that is sure to rock the “Moral Majority” [ed- on second thought, they seem to pick and choose their morals] wing of the Republican Party, eight-term California Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges and tearfully resigned from office. From the Associated Press:
In a statement, prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations.
“He did the worst thing an elected official can do _ he enriched himself through his position and violated the trust of those who put him there,” U.S. Attorney Carol Lam said. The statement did not identify the conspirators.
The case began when authorities started investigating whether Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, used the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale to defense contractor Mitchell Wade to buy the $2.55 million mansion in Rancho Santa Fe. Wade put the Del Mar house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975,000 _ a loss of $700,000.
Actually, I don’t care what his political affiliation is, I just hope he ends up sharing a cell with former Ohio Rep. James Traficant.
Update: There might be something in the water down in San Diego that leads to corruption, as this is the 4th high-profile case of the year. Two city council members got swatted and the mayor pulled out all the stops when he was found guilty of corruption… his first day in office.
Another Update: Defense Tech has more details on his military accomplishments and that the Air Force (and their defense contractors) are losing a powerful ally.