Friday, March 03, 2006

Weeding Out the Bad Guys

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who collected $2.4 million in homes, yachts, antique furnishings and other bribes on a scale unparalleled in the history of Congress, was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in prison, the longest term meted out to a congressman in decades. Cunningham, who resigned from Congress in disgrace last year, was spared the 10-year maximum by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns. He also was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution for back taxes.
Good! Republicans can't be the good guys if they tolerate bad guys. One problem I have is that Congress has written laws so that even when they go to prison, they will still collect their pensions and benefits. Cunningham will get something like $40,000 a year.


Vigilis said...

Lone Ranger, you make an excellent point about an abuse long overdue for correction. As taxpayers one would think the power to make the correction resides with voters -and be correct, if not for complacency.

While the House would probably consent to denial of federal pensions for persons convicted of a felony while serving in a public office, the Senate (over 50% lawyers) would certainly block it.

It goes to the issue of "white collar" crimes (light sentencing for CEOs that steal billions from employees and shareholders, while bank robbers who steal $3,000 are sent away for 15+ years). In a nutshell: when we see 'white collar', we are reminded to translate that to what it actually means (crimes most likely to be committed by lawyers).

Lone Ranger said...

John Kerry is riding to the rescue. And you can bet he's going to make as much noise as he can while he reforms the system. He's already introduced the "Cunningham bill" to cut off payments to imprisoned politicos. He could have named the bill after one of several Democrats currently wearing unflattering orange, but chose not to, for some reason.