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And Another...

Oh, not again...

Yet another member of the Congressional Black Caucus has been caught up in an ethics scandal. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting representative of the District of Columbia, has been caught trying to shake down lobbyists for contributions. And in a stunning display of arrogance, she left the shakedown on a voice mail message.

Apparently she's never heard the old advice: never write when you can speak, never speak when you can nod, never nod when you can wink. When you're doing something corrupt, minimize the evidence and maintain deniability. And leaving a recorded message is pretty much the same as writing it down: it's physical evidence of the attempt.

So, let's run down the current members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have or have had ethical challenges:

Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): Appointed to succeed President Obama by Governor Rod Blagojevich, who attempted to sell the seat to the highest bidder.

Representative John Conyers (D-MI): used his House office staff to work on campaigns, as well as baby-sitting and chauffeuring his children. Further, his wife has just been sentenced to federal prison for soliciting bribes while on the Detroit City Council.

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MI): No, simply being the first Muslim to serve in Congress isn't enough to get on my list. But his flirtations with elements of radical Islam and lackadaisical attitude towards certain laws do.

Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL):
A former federal judge who was impeached and removed from office for taking bribes.

Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL): Pursued the Obama Senate seat with Blagojevich, but the deal wasn't concluded before the scandal broke.

Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX): steered Congressional Black Caucus scholarships to relatives of herself and her staff, in direct contravention of scholarship rules and House ethics rules. Also asked that the scholarship funds be paid directly to the students, and not the schools in question -- on Congressional letterhead.

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI): She's kept her nose clean, but her son is former Detroit mayor and convicted felon Kwame Kilpatrick.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): Apparently not corrupt. I suspect, though, it's not a testament to her character, but her being too stupid and crazy for anyone to risk doing illicit business with her.

Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI): Like Kilpatrick, she's kept clean, but her son has run afoul of political crime: he was one of the Democratic party operatives who slashed the tires of vehicles the Republicans had rented for "get out the vote" use on election day, 2004.

Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY): Do I really need to bring up the litany on this old thief?

Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA): Can't seem to manage her own finances.

Representative David Scott (D-GA): has made his political campaigns the major client of his family's advertising agency, as well as employing quite a few relatives.

Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MI): Loves to travel on others' dimes, including Jack Abramoff's, but mainly ours.

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA): Funneled federal contracts to benefit her relatives, and pressured federal banking regulators to bail out OneUnited Bank, where her husband was a director and major stockholder.

That's fourteen of forty-two -- a perfect third. And even if we discount Kilpatrick, Lee, and Moore, that's still over a quarter.

Coincidence? Perhaps. After all, we are talking about Congress here, once famously called "the largest collection of unhanged rascals." Plus, they're all Democrats, and that also speaks volumes.

But there might be something to the theory that the Congressional Black Caucus might be benefiting from "the race card." They've stood by their members, regardless of the charges against them -- Representative William "Cold Cash" Jefferson Clinton(D-LA) (no, that never grows old) enjoyed their backing right up until he was voted out of office and convicted of bribery.

I suspect that the members have enjoyed a bit of "extra" protection from scrutiny, as would-be accusers tend to be sensitive about accusations of racism.

It certainly goes a long way towards explaining Rangel's years of ignoring the tax laws he largely writes, Jefferson's ability to nearly trigger a Constitutional crisis, and Waters' personal profiteering from her position.


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Comments (22)

Completely Busted Coven... (Below threshold)

Completely Busted Coven

Jay, on the road to full eq... (Below threshold)
Joe Miller:

Jay, on the road to full equality, wouldn't this be a good sign?

Not too fond of listing peo... (Below threshold)

Not too fond of listing people because their father, son or cousin has been caught or convicted...
Impartially it looks like you are padding the list, ala Media Matters. To an impartial observer it looks worse.
Not that anyone here ever cites one example to shoot down a thesis while ignoring the other 99...

SCSI, I thought about that,... (Below threshold)

SCSI, I thought about that, but including 'em made the numbers do damned elegant (14/42, or 1/3), I had to do it. But I did toss in the disclaimer at the end, taking it down to 11/42, or just over 1/4.

I'm SUCH a sucker for nice, simple numbers...


Responding to SCSIwuzzy... (Below threshold)

Responding to SCSIwuzzy

The post is perfectly clear on "sons" and other relatives so your comment raises a question. Are you a member of the CBC or just a brain-dead supporter?

You just don't UNDERSTAND J... (Below threshold)

You just don't UNDERSTAND JT. Like Rangel and Waters, Norton is ENTITLED.

"William "Cold Cash" Jeffer... (Below threshold)

"William "Cold Cash" Jefferson Clinton(D-LA"

LOL.."Clinton" was a coffee spitter. Me loves morning humor, sprinkled with a dash of truth!

Frank,You must be ne... (Below threshold)

You must be new here. Welcome.

The difference, as you point out, between Media Matters is that he pointed out from the beginning that they are just relatives of crooks.

Just pointing out that he was leaving troll bait out and it didn't seem to be the trigger for a trap.

The narrative is supposed t... (Below threshold)

The narrative is supposed to be about the witch running in Delaware, not this.

Lets face it Dane and Galoo... (Below threshold)

Lets face it Dane and Galoob, the DFL Afro-American elite are all corrupt money pilfering crooks.

Not that the lack of convic... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Not that the lack of convictions or known ongoing investigations means the others are innocent or honest.

Thanks for the backup, Fran... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the backup, Frank, but SCSI is an old friend of the site. I knew immediately that it was purely a "hey, pal, heads up here!" to head off the trolls, and appreciated SCSI's thought.

As I also appreciate your concern, Frank.


RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!... (Below threshold)


RAAACIIIIISSSTTTT!!!!!!!!!!... (Below threshold)


/sighSo many 'enti... (Below threshold)


So many 'entitled' CBC crooks, so few prosecutions.

And before any smart asses point out that there have been prosecutions AND convictions let me state for the record "There haven't been ENOUGH."

Peace to all!!!... (Below threshold)

Peace to all!!!

I am sure that there are mo... (Below threshold)

I am sure that there are more of those cockroaches lurking under the kitchen cabinets and the light of day hasn't touched them yet. As sure as I am sitting here, there will be another popping up next week. Oh yeah, how come the state controlled media isn't on the case? Oh I forgot, they are part of the problem and the people concerned didn't have an R behind their names.

Damn. I've been promoted f... (Below threshold)

Damn. I've been promoted from Gruff to Friend.
I am not sure how to feel about that... ;)

SCSI, there's an opening fo... (Below threshold)

SCSI, there's an opening for "pain in the ass," if you'd like to put in for it...


Did you just suggest I fill... (Below threshold)

Did you just suggest I fill an ass opening?
I'll leave that to others, TYVM.

Though I did pass by a certain show in Tijuana and nearly went in... but then realized that I was not that drunk.

Luckily today, 20 years later, I can go to DU or Kos and see the online equivalent.

"SCSI, there's an openin... (Below threshold)

"SCSI, there's an opening for "pain in the ass," if you'd like to put in for it..."

I will NOT be dethroned!

Then there's "tip over John... (Below threshold)

Then there's "tip over Johnson" who deserves inclusion simply for being dumb as an ox. All men created equal yes, civilized, not so much..






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