Bob Ney will be filing his petitions to run for re-election today, according to aides who talked with the NYTimes. Looks like Representative #1 is hoping for another term in the sweet seat.
Well, who doesn't like a nice gift now and then...and then and then...
Years before Ney came to Washington, however, he began accepting honorariums, in the form of personal checks, and travel from lobbyists and business interests when he served in the Ohio legislature in the 1980s and '90s.You may remember Representative #1 from such recent hits as the Scanlon Plea, the Abramoff Plea and the Kidan Plea. Or from his being asked to step down from his committee chairmanship by Denny Hastert because he was making the party look bad. (Quite a feat, considering he serves in Congress with Tom DeLay and so many others with ethics and legal problems these days, eh?)
On Capitol Hill, Ney has been tied to a string of favors from Abramoff, including the Scotland golf trip. He also traveled to England as the guest of a convicted swindler and businessman seeking government trade concessions, reported winning $34,000 at a London casino he visited with the ex-con's business partner, and made a personal deal with another Washington lobbyist to buy her family houseboat.
At the same time, financial questions have swirled around Ney. He paid down more than $30,000 in credit card debt in the same year he reported his casino winnings. He has paid his wife and son more than $125,000 out of his campaign funds.
And as was the case in his Ohio state legislator days, Ney allowed his House office to become a steppingstone for future lobbyists, who in turn helped fill his campaign coffers. One of those lobbyists went to work for Abramoff and is accused in the plea agreement of participating in Abramoff's schemes.
Oh yeah, what a guy. That's your new, improved Republican party at work, enriching themselves at the expense of the American public.
Do you have a favorite Republican up for re-election with a, shall we say, spotty history that you'd like to highlight? Let us know who, why and what district/state in the comments and we'll try to follow-up on as many as possible between now and November. If you have specific links to information, please provide them and we'll try to track down all the facts. And let the sun shine in -- all the way to a Democratically controlled Congress.
(Graphic via Mahalanobis.)