A former California congressman named Randy “Duke” Cunningham is in a federal prison in Arizona for his involvement in a 2005 federal bribery scandal in which he pled guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion.
His positions in Congress, from 1991 to 2005, were what you’d expect from a Republican with rabies. From Wikipedia:
he had a very conservative voting record. He was often compared by liberal interest groups to former congressman Bob Dornan, with some justification; both are ardent conservatives, both are former military pilots, and both have become infamous for outbursts against perceived enemies. In 1992, Cunningham, along with Dornan and fellow San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter, challenged the patriotism of then-Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton before a near-empty House chamber, but still viewed by C-Span viewers.
In September 1996 Cunningham criticized President Clinton for appointing judges who were “soft on crime”. “We must get tough on drug dealers,” he said, adding that “those who peddle destruction on our children must pay dearly.” He favored stiff drug penalties and voted for the death penalty for major drug dealers.
Four months later, his son Todd was arrested for helping to transport 400 pounds of marijuana from Massachusetts to California. Todd Cunningham pleaded guilty to possession and conspiracy to sell marijuana. At his son’s sentencing hearing, Cunningham fought back tears as he begged the judge for leniency (Todd was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, in part because he tested positive for cocaine three times while on bail). Cunningham’s press secretary responded to accusations of double standards with: “The sentence Todd got had nothing to do with who Duke is. Duke has always been tough on drugs and remains tough on drugs.”
A typical corrupt hypocrite who should be forgotten while he spends his 100 months in jail out of public view.
But unfortunately, he’s in the news. Wait a minute, maybe “unfortunately” is the wrong word:
Cunningham tells Gingrich in an electronic message he says he sent to the candidate last month that his fellow prisoners, and their families, support Gingrich:
“Newt, a voice out of the past. Down but not out and still fighting. First I do not want anything from you but have been watching the debates. I have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will.” …
In the message, Cunningham says he wants to help Gingrich with prison and justice reform if Gingrich becomes president, something Cunningham has advocated in letters to the media over the past year.
I heard about this last night on the Professional Left Podcast, in which an excellent point was made. This is going to be a fascinating presidential election, because there’s no way anyone can claim to be undecided about making a choice between the two parties.