Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The most corrupt members of Congress

Pennsylvania has two of the 24 most corrupt members of Congress, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

Representing Pennsylvania on the list are Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat, and Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican.

Murtha, an 18-term member of Congress, represents the 12th Congressional District in western Pennsylvania. He rose to prominence in 2006 as the foaming-at-the-mouth, anti-Iraq War spokesman, but Murtha has a long and checkered history involving ethics violations, deals with lobbyists and pork spending. Murtha is a repeat offender from the 2006 list of most corrupt members of Congress.

Murtha was also singled out by another watchdog group this year for being one of the biggest offenders of pork projects in Congress. See previous post, John Murtha, King of Pork.

Murtha is also one of a dozen members of Congress subpoenaed in the trial of a defense contractor charged with bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Murphy is a third-term member of Congress, representing the 18th Congressional District, also in western Pennsylvania. "Rep. Murphy's ethics violations involve his misuse of official resources for political campaign activity," according to the watchdog group. Murphy currently is the target of a Department of Justice investigation, the group states.

The full report, "Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and two to watch)" is available at the group's Web site,

This is the third annual report released by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington documenting "the egregious, unethical and possibly illegal activities of the most tainted members of Congress."

Somehow, I get the feeling the group could have come up with more than just 24 corrupt members of Congress. Sixteen members of this year's most corrupt list have been replaced from last year's list of 25. And yes, Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA), the man found with $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer, did make the list.

California leads the way with five members of its Congressional delegation on the most corrupt list. Other states with more than one include New Mexico and Alaska, each with three and Louisiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, each with two.

Alaska has the dubious distinction of having both of its U.S. Senators -- Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski -- on the most corrupt list. That's pretty bad considering that only four members of the Senate made the list.

Twenty of the 24 members of Congress on the list are Republicans. Maybe Nancy Pelosi was right about "draining the swamp," but that doesn't explain why Murtha is such an influential member of the Democratic caucus.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington compiles its list based on "members' transgressions," analyzing them in light of federal laws and Congressional rules, according to the Web site.

The Web site offers short summaries of each member's transgressions as well as the full-length profiles and all accompanying exhibits.

Pennsylvania residents will have an opportunity to remove Murtha and Murphy from Congress next year. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for re-election in 2008.

1 comment:

Tina Boyer said...

Murtha is a total sleaze. I cannot understand why voters continue to return him to office.