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The Odor From Capitol Hill--It Ain't Sweet!

Updated on May 2, 2011

Tom DeLay--the smiling exterminator

DeLay is awaiting trial
DeLay is awaiting trial

Jack Abramoff--GOP Lobbyist in jail for corruption

Democrat Congressman from New Orleans, William Jefferson

Congressman William Jefferson--$100k in cash found in his home freezer, under investigation, not charged.
Congressman William Jefferson--$100k in cash found in his home freezer, under investigation, not charged.

GOP Speaker of the House, Dennis the Menace Hastert

Dennis Hastert may get the broom for protecting congressman Foley
Dennis Hastert may get the broom for protecting congressman Foley

Congressman Bob Ney, bribed by Jack Abramoff, still on the House Payroll

OHIO GOP Congressman Bob Ney, pled guilty to corruption charges
OHIO GOP Congressman Bob Ney, pled guilty to corruption charges

"The Dukester"

Randy "Duke" Cunningham in jail for accepting bribes from military contractors
Randy "Duke" Cunningham in jail for accepting bribes from military contractors

The Washington Culture of Corruption--Pre-election Scandal Smorgasbord

"As predicaments go for champions of family values, few can top the embarrassment suffered by Representative Curt Weldon when federal agents raided the home of his daughter, a Washington lobbyist, in search of evidence that the powerful lawmaker helped her with lucrative clients. The grand jury is still out on the investigation, and Mr. Weldon, a Pennslyvania Republican, says he is innocent. But with each fresh scandal, the tattooing of the G.O.P.-run 109th Congress continues in pre-election polls.

Voters had not sooner adjusted to the shock of seeing Representative Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, disgraced from office by his come-ons to Congressional pages than Bob Ney took his turn on the pre-election scandal smorgasbord. Representative Ney, Republican of Ohio, pleaded guilty to being a principal in the quid-pro-quo insiders' market run by Jack Abramoff, the corrupt Republican lobbyist who is cooperating with investigators about his ties to Congress and the White House. Another Republican, former Representative Randy Cunningham of California, is already doing time. He sold his office in steering $70 million in contracts to companies that offered bribes ranging from a Rolls-Royce to a carpet emblazoned "Global War on Terror."

"It should be remembered that Speaker Dennis Hastert, now under fire in the Foley scandal, helped dampen any chance of in-House ethical controls in his failed attempt to save the career of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, an Abramoff ally who is accused of political money laundering and is awaiting trial. The sight of the ossified ethics comnmittee forced back to life by the Foley scandal is more pathethic than heartening. It's small woner that lawmakers feel empowered to make ethical stretches--like Representative John Doolittle's boosting his won family's value by having his wife designated a consultant and paying her a 15 percent commission off the top of his campaign kitty.

"The hustings ring with Democrats' vows to restore ethical spine. But the minority has its own problem in Representative William Jefferson of Louisiana, who is accused of taking bribe money and hiding it in his home freezer. And Democrats are not helped when their Senate leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, amends his ethics filings to better report a real estate windfall, and misuses campaign money to pay helpers at his Washington condo.

"The G.O.P. leaders have themselves to blame for their multiple millstones. If they had passed actual ethics reform, instead of deep-sixing it in bromides, there could have been a believable independent corruption office to take some of the heat off their current plight as compromised self-investigatiors. (One of the compromised reforms would have denied pensions to lawmakers convicted of official abuses. Instead, Messrs. Cunningham and Ney are likely to keep collecting behind bars.)

"Congressmen caught in wrongdoing at this time of year like to complain that they're the victims of election-eve politics. If the looming elections inspire whistleblower, we say bravo. The prospect of voting day fills the vacuum created by the absence of an actual set of enforceable ethics rules in Congress."

[Top NYTimes editorial, October 18, 2006,]


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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Congratulations for at least putting your money where your mouth is and actually suggesting what you propose should be cut! What about cutting off or reducing the money for the war in Afghanistan? And the huge amounts wasted by the Pentagon on weapons some of which are not necessary and/or are excessively costly?

    • RunEmOffTheHill profile image


      9 years ago

      When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers.

      The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.

      Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of

      directors gives him a big bonus.

      I feel our government should not be immune from similar risks. I therefore am recommending the following

      cuts to be implemented by the next president elect.

      Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from

      100 to 50 (one per State). Also reduce remaining staff by 25%. Accomplish this over the next 8 years.

      (two steps / two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

      Some yearly monetary gains include:

      $44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

      $97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member

      of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

      $240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

      $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members who's jobs are gone.

      Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr)

      The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies.

      It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

      We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well.

      It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

      Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of

      representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

      Note: Congress did not hesitate to jump on a train for home this week when it was a holiday, when the

      nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing

      their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay.

      These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress.

      Summary of opportunity:

      $ 44,108,400 reduction of members.

      $282,100,000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

      $150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

      $ 59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

      $ 37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

      $ 7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

      $ 8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings.

      Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

      IF you are happy with how our government is right now, just delete this message.

      IF you are not happy, I assume you know what to do.

    • profile image 

      10 years ago

      thanks for posthing this hub. the little picture on the bottom made me chukle.

    • livingtwist profile image


      12 years ago from Sulphur

      We did need house cleaning in Washinton, just hope that we did get pickup new one with same old thing we have seen over and over.


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