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Your Government At Work

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Fenian_Bastard, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. (From The Hill today)

    Cunningham to be honored
    The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will hold a reception next week to honor a select group of lawmakers “for their hard work, service, time and the sacrifices made in upholding the office with which they were entrusted.”

    One of the people slated to receive such accolades is former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.).

    The disgraced ex-legislator, of course, can’t make the July 19 event or any other social gathering in the near future because he’s serving a prison term of eight-plus years for a bribery scandal you may have heard about.
  2. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    You're making that up.

    If not, we need to blow this government up and start again.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Somebody put this in their sig: I agree with poindexter 100 percent.
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    WASHINGTON – Four months after being sent to prison, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham is being honored for serving time – in Congress.

    Cunningham, who admitted to accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes, will be among 37 departing members of Congress honored for “hard work, service, time and sacrifices” by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society in a reception next week.

    The historical group debated whether Cunningham deserved to be among those feted but decided to honor the former San Diego County Republican because he resigned from Congress rather than being forced out by his colleagues.

    “The issue raised internal debate; everyone knows what he did,” said Ron Sarasin, president of the Capitol Historical Society. “I pretty much made the decision.”

    “Congress didn't make any distinction about (Cunningham),” Sarasin said. “They could have expelled him but didn't. It wasn't for us to rewrite history and pretend he didn't exist.”

    Obviously, Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe, won't be at Wednesday's reception at the Statuary Hall in the Capitol because he is serving an eight-year, four-month prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion.

    He also admitted to accepting payments for his Rancho Santa Fe mansion, a Rolls-Royce and a 65-foot yacht in exchange for helping contractors get millions of dollars in government largesse.

    The historical society didn't bother sending an invitation to Butner, N.C., where Cunningham, 64, is serving his sentence.

    But his name will be on the list of honorees.

    Among those honored with Cunningham will be former Rep. Tom Delay, R-Texas, who recently resigned from Congress amid several federal investigations of his dealings and an indictment over allegations of campaign money laundering in his home state.

    Some think the society's action is ridiculous.

    Keith Ashdown, vice president of policy and communications at Taxpayers For Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, said Cunningham wasn't just another retiring lawmaker.

    “I mean, the only thing historical about 'Duke' Cunningham is the size of the bribes he took from defense contractors,” Ashdown said. “Nobody we've seen has taken that amount of money, so abashedly wanting to take bribes.”

    The historical society, formed in the 1970s, is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to research and appreciation of the Capitol.

    During next week's ceremony honoring departing lawmakers, the scheduled hosts are among the top congressional leadership, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

    Sarasin said he had met Cunningham several times at events sponsored by the historical society but didn't know him well.

    Regardless, he said he was stunned by Cunningham's conduct.

    “I was shocked by what he did,” Sarasin said. “I can't imagine any member putting themselves in that position. It's totally out of the realm of what should be. This guy had his hand out. I think it's bizarre.”

    But Sarasin said he stands by the decision to allow Cunningham to be honored as a retiring member of Congress, although he concedes that the historical society has gotten some flak over it.

    Ultimately, Cunningham, who served 15 years in Congress, “is just another retiring member,” said Sarasin, a former congressman from Connecticut in the 1970s who has headed the historical society since 2000.

    “We know what happened. He did retire under a cloud,” he said.

    Cunningham's name is included on the invitation to honor the lawmakers “for their hard work, service, time and the sacrifices made in upholding the office with which they were entrusted.”

    As a convicted felon, Cunningham is not seen by many as someone who upheld his office.

    “He should be at the top of the (honored) list,” Tom Schatz, head of Citizens Against Government Waste jokingly said of Cunningham, when hearing of the Capitol Historical Society decision. “(Cunningham) serves as a fine example of our former members of Congress.”
  5. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    The U.S. Capitol Hill Historical Society -- what branch of the government is that located in?
    Executive? Legislative?
    I missed that on the flow chart.
    Man, FB -- there's a lot to blame on W. You sure you need to torture the truth badly enough to include this?
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I don't see where Fenian referenced Bush at all.

    I think this is more of a general disgust across both sides of the aisle kind of deal.
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    So it's the Capitol Historical Society and not the actual government, correct? Or are they one in the same?

    But, yes. Duke is a scumbag, as is the Democrat caught with wads of bribery cash in his freezer.
  8. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    he's claiming that the government is honoring cunningham. it's not. this group is. the group is not the government. it's a group of people.
  9. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    Pick up Vanity Fair this much for the full "Duke" story. I'm not sure if it breaks any new ground necessarily, but it sums up a lot of work done by Copley and the T-U. The depth of corruption is shocking, and if any group is thinking about honoring him, they should not be allowed to reserve any Capitol grounds for any purpose.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    After a brief bit of research, the Capitol Historical society is a non-profit group operated under a Congressional charter.

    Whether that makes it the government or not is up to y'all.

    I still can't believe anyone is honoring the Duke.
  11. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    The US Capital Historical Society is not part of the Federal government. One of the things they do is sell calendars with pictures of the Capitor, and I was once on a mailing list of a Congress member and received these calendars for several years. They really are nice calendars.

    It's an honorary, fund-raising sort of thing and I suppose it all depends on precedent. It might be the sort of thing where the association is constrained from making a judgment according to tradition or conduct. Even after Members of Congress are defeated and even if people really didn't like them, they usually say swell things about the person in respect for the office. In the Senate, it used to be tradition where people would make speaches about the departing Senator - sort of like the way you have a farewell party in your office when somebody leaves.

    Obviously, Cunningham's admitted actions speak about him. If you were the executive director of the organization, where do you draw the line. An indictment, a conviction, something not related to Congress, sleeping around, etc.
  12. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    As Gold said, it's just some self-important group -- which may get some funding from congress, don't know, don't care -- but theyprobably 'honor' EVERYONE who has been in congress when they leave. From scum like Cunningham, to one-term nonwonders.

    Stupid? Perhaps. Worth getting your panties in a wad? Not likely.
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