Friday, February 24, 2006



News of a guilty plea from one of Duke Cunningham's main bribers, Mitchell Wade, broke early this morning. Cunningham was a relatively small fish in the scheme of things-- $2.4 million being relatively paltry compared to what big players like Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Roy Blunt have managed to extort from their parts in the Republican Culture of Corruption. But in classic prosecutorial style, one goes after the small fish who then point to a bigger fish who then implicate a bigger fish and so on until you finally see the (inter)national catharsis of all mankind-- except for unenlightened multimillionaires-- rejoicing-as-one watching George W. Bush lead away in leg-irons... weeping.

But there are quite a few fishes that need to be reeled in before that. And today, it was Wade Mitchell's turn. The Associated Press is reporting that Wade, former president of defense contractor MZM Inc. in Washington admitted paying over a million dollars in bribes to Republican congressmen charged with securing our nation from attack. He "also acknowledged making nearly $80,000 in illegal campaign contributions in the names of MZM employees and their spouses to two other members of Congress, who were not identified," but who, it turns out, were two of the biggest money-whores in the Congress, crooked Virginia scumbag Virgil Goode, Jr. and the monstrosity whose cheating in Florida vote counting in 2000 allowed George Bush to assume the presidency, Katherine Harris.

"Prosecutors also laid out a second, separate conspiracy in which Wade was alleged to have paid bribes to a Defense Department official and other employees in return for their help in awarding contracts to his company. Wade pleaded guilty to this scheme as well." Wade was another of those super-connected Republican "businessmen," wheeling and dealing with Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Jerry Lewis, Duncan Hunter, John Doolittle and other GOP hypocrites with their hands on the spigot of defense appropriations. The SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE is covering this story-- as they did the whole Cunningham sage-- in an exemplary way and today a story implies an interesting inconsistency in the spin on this scandal. The claim is being made that neither Goode nor Harris were aware that Wade was illegally contributing to their campaigns. And yet, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard R. Sklamberg's summation "Wade made about $80,000 in illegal campaign contributions in 2004 and 2006 to two members of Congress [Goode and Harris]. The lawmakers were targeted because they had the potential to steer federal contracts to MZM." Well, if they weren't aware of Wade's largesse, why would they steer anything his way? And steer they did-- as did Cunningham, Lewis (who was then chairman of the committee) and Hunter.

As Murshed pointed out, the ironically-named Goode figures prominently in Congresswomen Louise Slaughter's AMERICA FOR SALE: THE COST OF REPUBLICAN CORRUPTION. Here's the relevant excerpt:

"Since 2002, Representative Virgil Goode (R-VA) has received more campaign contributions from defense contractor MZM, Inc. and its employees – almost $90,000, or nearly 10% of all the money he raised – than from any other single source.  The former president of MZM is Mitchell Wade, one of the co-conspirators in the Duke Cunningham (R-CA) bribery scandal.  As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Goode inserted language creating or expanding MZM classified defense contracts in spending bills.  At one point, Goode added a $23 million dollar classified defense program for MZM that the Pentagon hadn't even requested.  In 2003, MZM-connected contributors gave Goode a total of $19,000 in the days surrounding the award of three Pentagon contracts to MZM.  In June 2005, the Pentagon revoked a $163 million MZM contract for work at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Goode's district, saying it should be open to competitive bids.  Local officials referred to this questionable project as 'Project Goode.'"


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Dr. Tex Nology said...

Thanks for a great article.
Is it possible that Katherine Harris and the word "justice" might finally occupy the same sentence?

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Dr. Tex Nology said...

Thanks for a great article.
Is it possible that Katherine Harris and the word "justice" might finally occupy the same sentence?

At 8:56 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Very exciting!

Ever since that magic day when our Duke, blubbering his fetid guts out, admitted for the cameras that he'd just been kidding with all those protestations of innocence, I've known what I want to see: every sorry sumbitch in, around or under the GOP's Capitol and White House Reigns of Horror similarly dissolved in what I now think of as--

Duke Cunningham Tears(R).

In fact, I'd like to see our Duke be able to experience the . . . er, not the "joy" . . . um, the EXPERIENCE of earning an honest buck. I say, Let him get a rakeoff . . . er, commission of, I don't know, a buck every time someone refers publicly to

Duke Cunningham Tears(R).

Those tears are his rightful property; he came by them honestly . . . okay, not "honestly," exactly . . . but at any rate it's something that came to him by some means other than bribery or extortion.

Assuming the Duke's persecutors . . . er, prosecutors are doing their job, this rivulet of dollar bills won't do more than make a dent in Ol' Puddlepuss's legal bills. However, it would point him toward the path of righteousness, and, most imporrtant, think of the pleasure of seeing all those other crooks in the throes of DCTs.


At 10:38 AM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

Keninny ... Mark Maron is back!
From Los Angeles ... 10-midnight pst. Time to rock!

At 5:56 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Thanks for the word, Tim. Now I have to find out what/when we're actually getting in New York. We've had a couple of on-air promotional teases over the last couple of months, but no actual news that it's happening.

Ah, the mighty Air America Radio promotion machine strikes again.



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