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Cliff Stearns (R-FL) - CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress

Cliff Stearns (R-FL) - CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress

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Published by CREW
CREW’s eighth report on congressional corruption names 20 members of Congress – 12 members who engaged in serious misconduct and 8 members whose misdeeds earned them a dishonorable mention. Most members on CREW’s list violated the law and all flagrantly ignored the rules. For the majority, there have been few consequences.

There was no shortage of candidates for CREW’s list this year, and 11 of the 20 members are joining it for the first time. In addition, one member, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), has been under investigation by no fewer than six separate authorities – quite the rap sheet for a freshman. Others, including Reps. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Greg Meeks (D-NY), and Vern Buchanan (R- FL), are also fending off inquiries on multiple fronts. Nine members violated campaign finance or personal financial disclosure rules.

At least 14 members apparently are or have been under investigation either by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the House or Senate ethics committees, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), or law enforcement agencies. Members on the list have steered campaign donations and taxpayer money to themselves and their families, concealed the source of campaign funds, traded campaign contributions for official action, and abused their positions.

The 2012 list arrives as Americans’ contempt for Congress appears to be reaching all- time highs. A July 2012 Gallup poll found reducing corruption in the federal government was the second-highest priority for the next president to address. It followed only creating good jobs, and ranked higher than other significant concerns such as reducing the deficit and dealing with terrorism. Meanwhile, the lack of ethics enforcement is fueling a loss of confidence as voters grow weary of seemingly endless scandals. By highlighting congressional misdeeds, CREW hopes to bring about change and help rebuild the public trust.

These problems are not new, but they are urgent. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has unleashed an unprecedented flood of money into politics, providing new opportunities for corruption, and the investigative bodies responsible for making sure government acts in the best interests of the public must do a better job. The president needs to nominate new commissioners to the FEC and make sure they’re willing to enforce the law. Further, the House should retain the OCE and Congress must reform its ethics process, rendering it more transparent and accountable to the people. Until then, CREW will continue to hold members of Congress accountable – and call for change.
CREW’s eighth report on congressional corruption names 20 members of Congress – 12 members who engaged in serious misconduct and 8 members whose misdeeds earned them a dishonorable mention. Most members on CREW’s list violated the law and all flagrantly ignored the rules. For the majority, there have been few consequences.

There was no shortage of candidates for CREW’s list this year, and 11 of the 20 members are joining it for the first time. In addition, one member, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), has been under investigation by no fewer than six separate authorities – quite the rap sheet for a freshman. Others, including Reps. Michael Grimm (R-NY), Greg Meeks (D-NY), and Vern Buchanan (R- FL), are also fending off inquiries on multiple fronts. Nine members violated campaign finance or personal financial disclosure rules.

At least 14 members apparently are or have been under investigation either by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), the House or Senate ethics committees, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), or law enforcement agencies. Members on the list have steered campaign donations and taxpayer money to themselves and their families, concealed the source of campaign funds, traded campaign contributions for official action, and abused their positions.

The 2012 list arrives as Americans’ contempt for Congress appears to be reaching all- time highs. A July 2012 Gallup poll found reducing corruption in the federal government was the second-highest priority for the next president to address. It followed only creating good jobs, and ranked higher than other significant concerns such as reducing the deficit and dealing with terrorism. Meanwhile, the lack of ethics enforcement is fueling a loss of confidence as voters grow weary of seemingly endless scandals. By highlighting congressional misdeeds, CREW hopes to bring about change and help rebuild the public trust.

These problems are not new, but they are urgent. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has unleashed an unprecedented flood of money into politics, providing new opportunities for corruption, and the investigative bodies responsible for making sure government acts in the best interests of the public must do a better job. The president needs to nominate new commissioners to the FEC and make sure they’re willing to enforce the law. Further, the House should retain the OCE and Congress must reform its ethics process, rendering it more transparent and accountable to the people. Until then, CREW will continue to hold members of Congress accountable – and call for change.

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Published by: CREW on Sep 10, 2012
Copyright:Public Domain

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