Okay folks, I don't care who you are or what your agenda is; go sign this petition now.
Nebraska's First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, a freshman Republican, received $4000 last year from Republican Congressman and national disgrace Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
Cunningham, a 15-year Congressional veteran from California, resigned on Monday after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million dollars in outright bribes from defense contractors, qualifying him as one of the most disgusting violators of the public trust in recent memory.
And guess what - that dirty money, stained with the blood of our democracy - found its way into Nebraska thanks to Fortenberry and the unprincipled, win-at-any-cost fundraising of the Republican Party.
Cunningham's $4000 went to Fortenberry through his personal money-funneling operation, the American Prosperity PAC. In 2004, this PAC donated to 38 Republicans running for Congress, but Cunningham must have seen something he particularly liked about Fortenberry since "Fort" was one of the Top 6 recipients of his tainted money.
Back in June, I declared Fortenberry Nebraska's PAC-man for his disturbing ability to rake-in campaign cash through these operations, and he has continued to live up to the title. By September 30th, he had already received $328,000 in PAC contributions for his 2006 campaign.
But today we're talking about only $4,000 of Fortenberry's fortune donated by a man who betrayed his oath, his office, and his country. The Nebraska Democratic Party has properly called on Fortenberry to donate this dirty money to charity that at least something good might come of it. Their petition asks that he follow in the footsteps of fellow Republican Jim Nussle of Iowa who has already promised the $1000 he received from Cunningham to a local charity.
The very least Fortenberry should do is follow suit, though voters truly deserve far more in the way of accountability in light of Cunningham's actions and the general wave of corruption that has engulfed Republican politics in the last several months.
This is not the first instance of Fortenberry's thirst for campaign cash inviting corruption into our state. He received $20,000 from the PAC of indicted former House Republican leader Tom DeLay, with whom Fortenberry has subsequently voted with a loyalty proving he was worth every penny of the investment.
Fortenberry has shown no remorse or hesitation about keeping DeLay's dirty money, suggesting it won't be easy to make him part with the corrupt and now-convicted Cunningham's cash. Thank you to the Nebraska Democratic Party for keeping up the pressure on Fortenberry to cleanse this blight from Nebraska politics, where we expect better.
In other words, this isn't Louisiana, Mr. Fortenberry...or shall I call you "Kingfish"?