Thursday, April 13, 2006

Scandals: Dems vs. GOPs

Y'know, it's easy to forget that Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) was once actually Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee:
It was 1994. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski was indicted on corruption charges and stepped down as chairman of the prominent House Ways and Means Committee.
The Illinois Democrat lost his congressional seat that November, when the Republican Revolution gained favor with voters who'd grown tired of a culture of
corruption in Washington. ...

But Democratic voters have no shame in supporting their disgraced scoundrels, whatever their sordid record of crime and scandal, and notoriously corrupt Dems are just lovable rogues to the media:
Despite the fact that he spent 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud charges, Rostenkowski, like many of his colleagues who have left Congress under an ethics cloud, is now doing just fine.
"The people in my district didn't think I was guilty of anything," Rostenkowski said Friday, explaining that it was easy for him to make the transition back to Chicago power player. In a way, he'd never left. He said his supporters never left either. ...


These days, Rostenkowski is an occasional columnist in the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the newspapers that aggressively investigated his congressional misdeeds. His congressional pension is worth more than $100,000 a year, despite his felony conviction. He's a frequent presence at Chicago steakhouse Gene & Georgetti's, where he's dined with Illinois Democratic powerbrokers such as Sen. Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Richard
M. Daley
and Rep. Rahm Emmanuel.
A few years ago, Rostenkowski formed his own consulting company, DanRoss Associations. He's taught courses at Loyola University Chicago. He's paid more than $15,000 a speech.
"You shouldn't feel sorry for them is the bottom line," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, of Congress' fallen members. "When you walk out that door, even if you can't walk right back in, it multiplies your pay significantly."
That's the Austin American-Statesman and, no it's not a feature about DONKEY CONS, it's about ... Tom Delay. Heh. (Wonder if the Statesman will let The Hammer write occasional op-ed columns if he ends up convicted of a federal crime. Y'think?)
I found this article while looking for information on Florida's most ethical Democrat, Rep. Alcee Hastings:
Even if DeLay is convicted, that's not necessarily the end of the story, said Stan Brand, an ethics attorney with Brand & Frulla in Washington.
"Alcee Hastings was a federal judge who was indicted and impeached, and is now a member of Congress," Frulla said of the Florida Democrat. As a judge, Hastings was impeached from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 1989 by Congress on charges of corruption and perjury.
Carter said a conviction — which he thinks is unlikely — could alter DeLay's influence on the Hill.
"It could be a problem at that point," Carter said.
As explained here nearly three months ago, there is no GOP equivalent to an Alcee Hastings. And it's unlikely that DeLay will go on to anything like the fates of Hastings, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton: Democrats implicated in major scandals who not only survive, but prosper.

-- McCAIN

DONKEY CONS: Buy it
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DONKEY CONS: About the book