FINALLY... THE END OF THE ROAD FOR REPUBLICAN CRIME BOSS JERRY LEWIS?
About an hour and 20 minutes after it was clear Randy "Duke" Cunningham was part of a pay-for-play scam on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and that he was enriching himself by helping corrupt Republican defense contractors get sweet contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars, it was also clear that Cunningham was merely a greedy, stupid pischer whose sloppiness was screwing things up for the far more corrupt chairmen of the two committees which had the power to make the deals turn into the flowing of tax-payer dollars: Duncan Hunter (still not charged) and Jerry Lewis (about to be indicted).
If you've been reading DWT for a while, you are already well aware that Jerry Lewis is one of the key crooks in the web known as the Republican Culture of Corruption. Today readers of the L.A. TIMES are discovering that the Inland Empire kingpin could soon be joining Cunningham in prison.
"Federal prosecutors have begun an investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis, the Californian who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, government officials and others said, signaling the spread of a San Diego corruption probe. The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles has issued subpoenas in an investigation into the relationship between Lewis (R-Redlands) and a Washington lobbyist linked to disgraced former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham (R-Rancho Santa Fe), three people familiar with the investigation said... 'For goodness sake, why would they be doing that?' Lewis asked."
Well, where does one begin? Lewis, the congressional king of earmarks, sucked up at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes-- more likely many millions-- from his criminal association with GOP lobbyist Bill Lowery. Lewis is directly responsible for the deaths of one in four American servicemen who died in Iraq, sabotaging armor for their vehicles and for their bodies, so that he could enrich the contractors who were bribing him, wasting taxpayer dollars on unwanted projects. Jail is too good for Lewis... far too good. He is a filthy traitor and a firing squad would be too easy for him.
Lewis was vacuuming up bribes from Brent Wilkes, Mitchell Wade, Bill Lowery and many other Republican lobbyists eager to direct millions and millions of taxpayer dollars towards their "generous" clients. "The government is looking into the connection between Lewis and his longtime friend Bill Lowery, the sources said. Lowery, a lobbyist, is a former congressman from San Diego. As chairman of the Appropriations panel, Lewis has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts for many of Lowery's clients, one of the sources said. Lewis said he knew Lowery well, having spent 12 years in Congress with him, but denied favoring earmarks for Lowery's clients."
Every single Republicrook who has been caught, from Cunningham to DeLay to Abramoff to Ney and the whole lot of them, have denied everything, professed their innocence and sworn they knew nothing... until they cut deals for shorter sentences , agreed to rat out their colleagues and pled guilty. (DeLay and Ney haven't pled guilty yet but probably will soon if the Feds allow them the chance.)
"According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan research organization, Lewis has earmarked at least $70 million in federal funds for a mapping software company in Redlands. The company, Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc., is one of Lowery's largest clients and has paid more than $320,000 in lobbying fees, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. Investigators are said to be particularly interested in the intermingling of Lewis' and Lowery's staffs and whether it led to favorable treatment for Lowery's clients in securing government contracts. Jeff Shockey, a key Lewis staffer, went to work for Lowery as a lobbyist in 1999 and then returned to Lewis' staff last year. According to a source familiar with the investigation, Shockey received $600,000 in severance payments from Lowery's firm before returning to Lewis to become the deputy staff director for the House Appropriations Committee — with an annual salary of $170,000. 'He is now the gatekeeper for more than $850 billion,' said Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, referring to the Appropriations Committee's role in disbursing government funds."
Louie Contreras, a first-time candidate, has been busy introducing himself to voters all over the sprawling district. It's a very Republican district but even the Inland Empire isn't likely to elect a congressman behind bars, a place Lewis is headed.