by CalWatchdog Staff | January 3, 2013 7:40 am
Jan. 3, 2013
By Katy Grimes
It’s always interesting to see which politicians make the Judicial Watch Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list for the previous year. More interesting to note is that not only are these people elected to public office to serve, no one ever gets fired for the corruption.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, released its 2012 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
Dishonorable Mentions for 2012 include:
A few special Judicial Watch notes on some of the “corrupt:”
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Florida: In July 2012, the House Ethics Committee, after a haphazard investigation, reported that Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) had omitted information on his financial disclosure forms over four years. In his disclosure statements for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Buchanan failed to report all of his positions or ownership interests in six entities and income received from the entities. And Buchanan wasn’t done there. In a separate matter, the committee continues to investigate findings of the Office of Congressional Ethics, Congress’s independent ethics review board, that there is “substantial reason to believe that Representative Buchanan attempted to influence the testimony of a witness in a proceeding before the FEC [Federal Election Commission].”
“Mr. Solyndra,” Secretary of Energy Steven Chu:
“The final decisions on Solyndra were mine,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, over his decision to pour $528 million tax dollars into a failing green energy boondoggle that went belly-up in 2011 is indefensible and corrupt, especially in light of the fact that Solyndra’s key investor (Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser) also happens to be a major Obama campaign donor.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ:
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joins the Judicial Watch’s list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2012” in what might be considered a sort of “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
As far back as 2007, Sen. Menendez was investigated by a federal grand jury for illegally steering lobbying business to his former chief of staff Kay LiCausi, with whom he was also romantically linked. In just a few years, her firm reported $1.3 million in business with nearly $300,000 coming from a New Jersey medical center that was later awarded government funding thanks to a push from her former boss and lover.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-IL:
On November 21, 2012, Rep. Jesse Jackson resigned from Congress in disgrace, acknowledging in his statement that he had made his “share of mistakes.” This may well be the understatement of year. Jackson has been under federal investigation for alleged campaign finance improprieties, including reportedly using donor dollars to remodel his home and purchase personal gifts, a potential criminal violation. Add to that the fact that Jackson was one of the major figures implicated in the massive scandal involving jailed former Illinois Governor Rod “Blago” Blagojevich, who was brought to justice in 2011 for a number of crimes, including his efforts to “sell” President Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. The evidence strongly suggests Jackson was one of those bidders.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV:
A July 30, 2012, headline in the Las Vegas Review-Journal alerted Nevadans to Sen. Harry Reid’s latest influence-peddling scandal – this one involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” client of the Nevada law firm of which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.
As Reuter’s reported on August 31, 2012, “Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada. His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.”
Rep. David Rivera, R-FL:
On October 24, 2012, the Florida ethics commission found “probable cause” that Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) had committed 11 violations of state ethics laws during his time in the Florida legislature. This comes amidst reports that Rivera remains under federal investigation over his personal and campaign finances. And, in a separate matter, the congressman is under investigation by the FBI for secretly funding the campaign of Justin Lamar Sternad, a candidate running against Joe Garcia in the Democratic primary earlier this year. Garcia defeated Rivera in the November election.
and a dishonorable mention goes to…
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA:
In early December, Democrats chose the scandal-plagued Rep. Maxine Waters to be the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee despite her many transgressions over the years. The influential congresswoman has helped family members make more than $1 million through business ventures with companies and causes that she has helped, according to her hometown newspaper.
Read the entire list at Judicial Watch
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