One former member of Congress — Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican has already been sent to jail.
On Monday, federal agents raided Republican Senator Ted Stevens home in search of evidence about his relationship to a businessman who oversaw a remodeling project that almost doubled the size of the senator’s house.
All together twelve Congressmen, all but two Republicans, are under criminal investigation. The New York Times noted that it was hard to “recall a time when so many members of Congress had been caught up in so many financial scandals drawing the attention of the Justice Department. “ No wonder Congress’s approval ratings are even lower than President Bush’s.
So many Republicans are under investigation because they took their Party’s commitment to market fundamentalism literally –turning federal policy into a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit!
Their actions give new meaning to Republican efforts to privatize the public sector! Gone are the rationales of efficiency, increased productivity and lower costs. What we are left with is simply pure, naked greed.
One of their own, Jan Baran, a Republican lawyer who specializes in ethics law, put it succinctly:”..it was not surprising that most of the lawmakers under scrutiny were Republicans, given that their party controlled Congress until this year … ‘money follows power: those that don’t hold power are less susceptible to corruption, because they don’t have anything to sell.’”