Corruption: Are Pubs Worse than Dems?

My friend Steve can’t resist taking a somewhat tangential jab at me regarding corruption: Dems versus Pubs.

For those who aren’t in the know, he and I have had this conversation already, and after looking at his evidence, I found myself hard-pressed to argue that in the legislative branch, over decades, the Pubs are necessarily worse than the Dems. Republicans have just been especially bad in the last decade or two. (By Steve’s reasoning, because they held the power, as the Dems did in past decades.)

But the other point I made, which he’s never replied to: in the executive branch over three decades, the Republicans are consistently far more corrupt, even when the Dems control congress.

He had pointed to four cases under Clinton. (Obviously, not much to find under Carter…the kind of squeaky clean politician that could never get anywhere in the Republican party.)

My reply:

Cisneros was indicted cause he lied about his mistress(Hmmm. Sounds familiar.), and paying her to keep quiet. No charges of political corruption.Espy refused to plea bargain and was acquitted of all 30 criminal charges in his trial.

Hubbell: Pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges in connection with his handling of billing at the Rose Law Firm. Sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment. Wait a minute–you’re actually raising Whitewater? Speechless. Short story, the Hubbell charges never even went to trial–they were thrown out by a district judge. (Appealed repeatedly and confirmed by the Supreme Court.) (Updated: See comment by RH. This makes the score Clinton: 1, Reagan, 21.)

Babbitt was cleared of wrongdoing by the special prosecutor.

I pointed to thirteen cases under Reagan alone–with thirteen convictions/guilty pleas. Even if you discount the four Iran/Contra figures–they were not rent seekers, but zealots (though zealots are arguably far more dangerous)–you’ve still got nine for nine.

(This adapted from a Wikipedia article whose purpose was to correct a DailyKos post that lists 21 cases. The other eight go uncontested.)

And you know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Elliott Abrams, Reagan’s appointee to head the State Department’s Latin American Bureau, cooperated with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guiltyto two charges that were reduced to misdemeanors. He was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service but was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.Deborah Gore Dean, executive assistant to HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce – convicted on twelve counts, three counts of conspiracy to defraud the federal government, one count of having accepted an illegal gratuity, four counts of perjury, and four counts of engaging in a scheme to conceal material facts.

Michael Deaver, Reagan’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff from January 1981 until May 1985, convicted of perjury before a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury regarding his lobbying activities after leaving the White House.

Thomas Demery, Reagan’s HUD Assistant Secretary, pled guilty to steering HUD subsidies to politically connected donors.

Alan D. Fiers, Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force, and a career civil servant, pled guilty to two counts of withholding information from the Congress about Oliver North’s activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Contras, and was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

Clair George, Chief of the CIA’s Division of Covert Operations, and a career civil servant, was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in connection with the
Iran-Contra investigations, but was pardoned by President George H.W.

Rita Lavelle, Reagan-appointed assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was convicted of lying to the Congress in connection with Sewergate investigations and served three months of a six-month prison sentence.

Robert C. McFarlane, Reagan’s National Security Advisor, pled guilty to four misdemeanors regarding withholding of information from Congress as part of Sewergate, and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service and fined $20,000. He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.

Lyn Nofziger, Reagan’s White House Press Secretary, who was convicted on charges of illegal lobbying after leaving office, as part of the Wedtech scandal.

Joseph A. Strauss, Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD, convicted for accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers in receiving HUD funding.

James G. Watt, Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, was indicted on 41 felony counts for using his connections, after he left office, at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist his clients seek federal funds for housing projects, and sentenced to five years probation and 500 hours of community service.

Philip Winn, Reagan’s Assistant HUD Secretary, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to give illegal gratuities and was sentenced to two years’ probation and a fine of $981,975. Winn was pardoned without explanation by President Bill Clinton in 2000.

John Poindexter was convicted in 1990 on five felony charges of conspiracy, making false statements to Congress and obstructing congressional inquiries. Along with Oliver North, an appellate court overturned these convictions and Poindexter’s six month prison term in 1991 due to their receiving immunity from prosecution.

It starts at the top…


One response to “Corruption: Are Pubs Worse than Dems?”

  1. RW Avatar

    Dude, Web Hubbell spent 16 months in the slammer. That you don’t have a memory for this is absolutely amazing.
    Try google. Type: web hubbell prison

    BTW, Bill Clinton paid a $25K fine before Judge Wright, and it wasn’t for a parking ticket.