Thursday, October 18, 2007



Prostitutes, a disloyal nephew, subpoenas refused by bribe-taking members of Congress... Brent Wilkes' trial is a peek inside the way the Republicans ran the United States government for the first 6 years of the Bush Regime. And the mundane details are sickening in as much as they point to untold millions-- perhaps more-- being distributed among GOP fat-cats in return for... a chance to win at poker and a little nooky. In the end Cunningham helped Wilkes get nearly $100 million worth of government contracts for around $700,000 in bribes. What a deal!
Joel Combs, a nephew of Wilkes who worked closely with him at Wilkes' ADCS company in Poway, testified Wednesday morning about another benefit Wilkes gave: He let Cunningham win at poker.

In a morning of testimony that was damaging to Wilkes, Combs revealed that at an expensive trip in Hawaii, Wilkes set up poker games for Cunningham and other people, including Combs. Wilkes gave Combs cash with some instructions.

“He gave me money to lose to Duke,” Combs said.

It was not the first time that happened, Combs said. He said Wilkes would often instruct ADCS employees who played cards with Cunningham to intentionally lose.

...He testified that Wilkes developed a close relationship with Cunningham over the next seven years, and that led to ADCS getting millions in contracts via Cunningham's influence and ability to earmark government funds for certain programs in the defense budget. He would also pressure Pentagon officials to award contracts from those programs to ADCS.

Wilkes often said he could rely on Cunningham. “He explained that Cunningham was basically willing to do anything,” Combs said.

When there were problems with government officials about the work, Combs said Wilkes would often respond that he would “get ahold of Duke” to resolve them. He said Cunningham was “our problem-solver.”

Although Wilkes' attorney tried to get the judge to rule that none of the prostitutes who were supplied to Cunningham and other Republican officials would be permitted, he was overruled and yesterday Donna Rosetta and Tammy McFadden told their tawdry stories.
Donna Rosetta said she was chauffeured to a private villa at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in Kamelua, Hawaii, in August 2003 by an escort service she worked for. Cunningham and Wilkes invited her and a second woman to undress and slide into a hot tub before Cunningham invited her upstairs, Rosetta said.

"They were smoking cigars and talking about some meeting they had earlier," Rosetta said.

She and Cunningham went to a bedroom, and he tipped her $50 to $80, she said.
The other woman, Tammy McFadden, testified that Wilkes and Cunningham appeared to be arguing about who would go upstairs with which woman.

"The one I ended up with was the one who was running the show," said McFadden, referring to Wilkes. She described Cunningham as "the boisterous one" and said he was overbearing.
Earlier in the day, Wilkes' nephew and employee Joel Combs testified that he found the escort service in the phone book on a $20,000 trip to Hawaii that also included catered meals and a diving trip captured on a video that was played for jurors.

Combs told jurors his uncle paid thousands of dollars for golf trips, private jet flights, Super Bowl box seats and boat navigation systems for Cunningham. In return, Combs testified, Wilkes had virtually unlimited access to the lawmaker.

Combs, the nephew, also testified that Wilkes also "communicated with" other sleazy politicians known to be hungry for bribes like Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and, of course, Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Denny Hastert (R-IL). He testified today-- just as Hastert let it be known he would be resigning from Congress-- that Wilkes had paid "to fly Cunningham and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert from a golf outing in Palm Springs to San Diego for a reception and then back to Washington on private jets." The media isn't making the connection to the testimony and Hastert's sudden decision to resign. CNN, for example, reported an aide saying "I think he is just done with being a member of Congress." I am anxiously awaiting for CNN to report Hastert's favorite cookie recipes.


Author Seth Hettena, whose book, Feasting on the Spoils-- The Life and Times of Randy Cunningham, History's Most Corrupt Congressman, certainly qualifies him to live blog the Brent Wilkes trial. It's a must, especially for everyone who's waiting impatiently for Wilkes to cop a plea and trade Jerry Lewis, Duncan Hunter and Denny Hastert in for a lighter sentence.

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At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of people decide not to run for re-election, but very few walk away before the end of the term. The lack of curiosity you describe sounds is simply the corporate media's deliberate strategy not to report on the substance of power in Washington but rather the "official story" of a government functioning as usual, albeit with its usual partisan conflicts.

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many many years ago I worked in The Office of the Secretary of HUD in a small seperate Office near the top of the pinnicle for the summer as an intern...ever since then....I have related how the sub-Secretary who ran the Office always won when he played cards... and how it seemed that the few women in the office had what seemed like non-office like work functions.... this has been rife for a looong time...


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