Saturday, June 18, 2005

DeLay: Alone no more

When the FBI announces it is "very interested" in some of your business activities, you know you've royally screwed up. The last time the FBI opened an investigation into a sitting Congressman, um, well, it was Jim Traficant.

The main allegation facing U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) is that he sold his California home to a defense contractor for $700,000 more than what it's worth. Did I mention that Duke is a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and has helped the contractor's company win millions of dollars in Pentagon contracts?

Cunningham defends the sale of the house as being "aboveboard" by claiming the sales price was reasonable. Rep. Cunningham points out that the sales price was reasonable based on comparative estimated sales price of surrounding homes in his area that was independently calculated and provided to the defense contractor. However, the sales price calculations were made by a woman who had long been a significant and longtime campaign contributor of Cunningham's. Furthermore, Duke hired the woman to be his realtor in the subsequent purchase of a $2M home (nice commission.)

The defense contractor later sold the home at $700k less than what he had paid for it, and every realty expert consulted has concluded that the purchase price initially paid was inflated. Maybe Duke's defense would be better if he simply said he learned to make such deals from this guy.

Duke is accused of living on the defense contractor's D.C.-docked yacht without paying reasonable value (he claims he is gathering the necessary documentation showing otherwise).

When Duke lived on his own yacht in D.C., he used his Congressional committee position to earmark $3M to refurbish the waterfront where he lived. Oh, and he once gave a WWII vet the finger at a speech of prostrate cancer patients.

So how did the Congressman respond to the allegation that he has made himself too influenced by this defense contractor?:

Cunningham denied that he is a particularly good friend of MZM owner Mitchell Wade, saying last week, "No more than I am with (Qualcomm founder) Irwin Jacobs or (Titan Corp. founder) Gene Ray or any of the other CEOs."

Here's a lil' advice for the ol' Duke-

Having more than one John doesn't make you any less of a whore.

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