Asserting that "Democratic rogues" are "starting to stack up" against corrupt Republicans, ABC's Klein ignored several high-profile GOP cases
Research ››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND
In a post on ABCNews.com's The Note, Rick Klein asserted that "the emerging lineup of Democratic rogues is starting to stack up against" several Republicans accused of corruption and scandal, but in the slate of people he listed, he omitted numerous examples of high-profile Republicans embroiled in criminal or ethical scandals, such as Rep. Don Young, Sen. Ted Stevens, and Rep. Rick Renzi.
In the wake of the December 9 arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), ABC News senior political reporter Rick Klein asserted in a December 10 blog post on The Note that "the emerging lineup of Democratic rogues is starting to stack up against" several Republicans accused of corruption and scandal, but in the slate of people he listed, he omitted numerous examples of high-profile Republicans embroiled in criminal or ethical scandals. While Klein named "the GOP grouping of Abramoff/Foley/Tom DeLay/Bob Ney/Larry Craig/David Vitter," several investigated, indicted, convicted, or incarcerated Republican figures are notably absent:
- Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who, on October 27, was found "guilty on seven felony counts, each with a maximum penalty of five years in prison," as The Washington Post reported.
- Alaska Rep. Don Young, who, according to a July 25, 2007, Wall Street Journal report, is "under criminal investigation" for whether he "accepted bribes, illegal gratuities or unreported gifts from VECO Corp., Alaska's largest oil-field engineering firm." As recently as December 10, Roll Call reported (subscription required) that Young still "faces legal scrutiny for his relationship to an oil services company." Additionally, the Anchorage Daily News reported on December 9: "Since the beginning of 2007, Young has spent more than $1 million in campaign contributions on legal fees related to a Justice Department probe -- which includes an investigation into fundraising."
- Former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was found by the Alaska Legislative Council to have "abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so," according to an October 10 Anchorage Daily News article. Palin was later exonerated in the scandal, known as "Troopergate," by a state Personnel Board-sanctioned investigation, which found that she did not abuse her power. However, as the Associated Press pointed out on September 23, Personnel Board members are appointed -- and can be fired -- by the governor.
- Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi, who, as Roll Call reported (subscription required) on December 8, "faces trial in March on corruption charges." Renzi was indicted February 22 "on charges of federal conspiracy, fraud, extortion and money laundering related to a land-swap deal in his home state," according to a December 7 Congressional Quarterly Weekly article (accessed in the Nexis news database).
- Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who was indicted December 3 by a grand jury "on four counts of misappropriation and falsification of public records," The Hill reported.
- Former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiracy to accept bribes from defense contractors, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion, and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
- Former vice-presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to federal investigators in the Justice Department investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. President Bush commuted Libby's 30-month prison sentence on July 2, 2007.
Additionally, the title of Klein's post, "Democrats' 'Culture of Corruption,' " echoed what he reported is the Republicans' argument: that "the 'culture of corruption' tag belongs firmly on the other side of the aisle these days."