Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were among the more prominent names on a list of the “most corrupt” members of Congress released by a congressional watchdog group on Wednesday.
The report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) names 13 lawmakers in all — six Democrats and 11 Republicans — for allegedly breaking campaign laws or congressional ethics regulations. Six of the people named in the report, including McConnell, have been cited by CREW at least three times for possible violations.
“Why are we still talking about these six? If the Department of Justice (DOJ), the House and Senate ethics committees, and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) were doing their jobs, we wouldn’t be,” CREW said in a statement accompanying the annual report. “The glacial pace of investigations into misconduct means many cases have dragged on for years and some have been dropped entirely with no explanation, despite strong evidence.”
Bachmann, who announced in May 2013 she would not seek re-election, was named to CREW’s list as a result of ongoing investigations by the Federal Election Commission, House Ethics Committee, and Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly using funds from her superPAC to pay campaign staffers, a violation of campaign finance laws.
McConnell was named in the report for the fourth time following the discovery of secret audio from a February 2013 meeting in which members of his staff used official resources to put together research on prospective political opponents, which would break Senate rules.
Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Don Young (R-AK) were the other repeat members of the list. Also named in the report were Reps. Paul Broun (R-GA), Scott Desjarlais (R-TN) Michael Grimm (R-NY), Hal Rogers (R-KY) and David Valadao (R-CA), as well as Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Four other House members — Reps. Bill Owens (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Aaron Schock (R-IL), and John Tierney (D-MA) were given “dishonorable mention” status for allegedly using their office for personal gain.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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