As Democrats gloat over their successes in getting Obama elected, and having won majorities in both houses of Congress, yesterday's stories about the arrest of Democrat Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reminded me of other "successes" the Democrats have had in 2008:
Representative Charlie Rangel (D-New York): 1) Paid his son $80,000 to design websites that should have cost less than $100; 2) used Congressional letterhead to solicit donations for a center bearing his name (often called Rangel's "Monument to Me",) using earmarks to start the financial ball rolling, then obtaining tax breaks for donors; 3) claimed five primary residences to receive tax breaks, 4) failed to claim $75,000 in income from his ownership of a Dominican resort. Charlie Rangel is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Representative William Jefferson (D-Louisiana): Loses his re-election bid for his seat in November. Jefferson has been under indictment for bribery, laundering money and misusing his congressional office since 2006.
Democrat Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick: Charged in March with official misconduct, perjury and obstruction of justice; went to jail in October for lying during a civil trial to conceal an extramarital affair. (Why does that last point sound familiar?)
Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson (Democrat, Sulfolk): Arrested in October on public corruption charges. This followed her arrest in 1997 for federal tax evasion, fines in 2001 and 2005 for ethics violations and a 2005 charge of perjury.
Pennsylvania State Representative and Democrat Whip Mike Veon and 11 other members of the Democrat caucus: Charged by prosecutors in July with theft and conflict of interest for running a massive political campaign machine out of government offices.
Florida Representative Tim Mahoney (D-Florida): Defeated for re-election in November. Mahoney won his seat in 2006 after the incumbent, Mark Foley (name sound familiar?) resigned after a sex scandal. In October, Mahoney was revealed to have agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him.
Ohio State Representative Matthew H. Barrett (D-Amherst): Forced to resign after a photo of a topless woman popped up during his lecture to a high school civics class.
Former US Senator (D-North Carolina) and former Democrat candidate for President John Edwards: Admitted in a statement and interview in August that he had an adulterous affair with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter, but denied he was the father of her child. A campaign aide, Andrew Young, claims that he, not Edwards, is the child's father. NBC reports that Edwards' former campaign consultant and many others raise the possibility of Young covering for Edwards.
Former Democrat mayor of Newark Sharpe James: Indicted on 33 counts of corruption in July.
Former Democrat Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer: Forced to resign in March after the New York Times revealed that Spitzer had spent as much as $80,000 on prostitutes. Spitzer is still under investigation over wrongdoing in his handling of travel records and for his involvement in the prostitution ring.
California State Senator Carole Midgen (Democrat, San Francisco): In March, Midgen was assessed the largest fine in the history of the California Political Fair Practices Commission -- $350,000 -- for 89 violations of the state’s campaign financing laws.
I'm stopping here simply out of exhaustion. Maybe sometime I can do "Year of the Democrat, Pt. 2." But 2008 was certainly a great year for Democrats, wasn't it? Let's see if Nancy Pelosi can get that "culture of corruption" slogan up and running again.