Thursday, December 01, 2005

Follow-up on Fortenberry's Filthy $4000

by Kyle Michaelis
Consider this one small step (a very small one, but a step nonetheless) for decency in Nebraska politics.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:
U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska said Wednesday that he would donate to charity the $4,000 his campaign received last year from disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California.

Fortenberry said he would give the money to the People's City Mission in Lincoln.

He made the announcement after Nebraska Democrats called for him to give up the "dirty dollars"....

"To help restore confidence in the institution of Congress, (Fortenberry) believes it is the right thing to do to donate the money," said Paul Webster, his chief of staff....

Cunningham resigned from Congress this week after admitting that he had accepted $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. He now faces jail time.

Democrats said the Cunningham scandal was an example of corruption within the Republican ranks.

"These campaign contributions are yet another chain linking Fortenberry to the culture of corruption in the Republican Party," said Steve Achelpohl, chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

If you look at the timeline, my own post calling for Fortenberry to donate this money wasn't even written until after he'd announced he would heed the Democratic Party's call. It hadn't been reported in the media yet, though, so I am happy to stand by my words on principle.

Moreover, their relevancy remains because, as Achelpohl of the NDP states, this issue is larger than a single contribution and a single act of Republican corruption.

In fact, the despicable Cunningham is not even the only connection Fortenberry has to those involved in this appalling bribery scandal. Those who stand accused of doing the bribing have also given a combined $85,000 to Tom DeLay's PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee - both from which Fortenberry has seen significant benefits of his own.

The $20,000 Fortenberry continues to sit-on from the indicted DeLay is especially troubling, demonstrating the fight to exorcise this corrupt influence has only just begun.

An anonymous response to my previous post on this matter suggests that I need to get information from more than Democratic Party press releases. I assure readers I've done my own research on this, with due thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics and their magnificent website.

With the Nebraska media so complacent and unquestioning, however, I'll admit Fortenberry's connection to Cunningham would likely have gone unnoticed without the Democratic Party's involvement. Thanks, again, to them (1) for doing their part to redeem this dirty money to the benefit of the People's City Mission and (2) for helping set a precedent that will hopefully see Fortenberry and others (don't think I've forgotten about you, Lee Terry) do the right thing with DeLay's dirty money as well.

Of course, some cancers can't be cured, and they say the same of addiction. The insatiable hunger for cash to fill campaign coffers likely qualifies as both and seems to hold the entire Republican Party in its grasp. Of course, corruption is not so confined to a single party - but its proven prevelance therein makes for one hell of a good place to start rooting it out.

And what better time than November 2006?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dale Gribble said...

What were there too many corrupt demoncrats on my comment block? by the way, I'd rather have Fortenberry taking dirty money from good ole AMERICAN defense contractors than evil little Chi-Coms ala Clinton-Gore. Also dont count your chickens until your good ole boy Ronnie Earl the Pearle in Austin figures out where the court room is where he will drop the case as soon as the jury show up to Delay boy on trial

12/02/2005  
Anonymous Cowpunk said...

Dale,

There is a strong push in the Democratic party to flush the corrupt influence peddlers who have sold out America's working class for corporate contributions. The Democratic grassroots overwhelmingly demanded the chairmanship of Howard Dean because of his strategy to bankroll the party with individual contributions instead of corporate cash. And despite what Limbaugh may have told you, it's working. What are Republicans doing about their own long list of scoundrels? Your comment says it all.

12/03/2005  

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