Judicial Watch released its 2010 list of Washington's “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” While there may be some surprises, readers will note that neither political party has a monopoly on political corruption. Special thanks to Judicial Watch's Jill Farrell for providing the Law Enforcement Examiner with a comprehensive list of men and women deserving of recognition for their corrupt ways or illegal activities.
Here’s the list of most corrupt politicians from an industrious public-interest group whose sole mission is to investigate and prosecute government corruption wherever it is discovered:
1. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.
But it appears she still needs an ethics lesson.
Boxer presided over a year-long investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee into whether two of her Senate colleagues, Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), received preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial as part of the company’s “VIP” program.
Boxer failed to mention (or disclose on her official Senate Financial Disclosure documents) that she and her husband have signed no less than seven mortgages with Countrywide. The evidence clearly showed that Dodd and Conrad knew they were receiving preferential treatment despite repeated denials.
2. Rahm Emanuel
Former Obama White House Chief of Staff
Didn’t earn the nickname “Rahmbo” for being a mild-mannered shrinking violet.
He served as Bill Clinton’s chief money-man at a time when the Clinton campaign was corrupted by foreign money. He defended the “worst of the worst” Clinton scandals, and, in fact, earned his reputation as a ruthless political combatant by fiercely defending President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. (Notably, Emanuel also served on the board of Freddie Mac when the company was involved in fraudulent activity.)
The bottom line is that when the Clintons’ dirty work needed to be done, Emanuel did it and apparently without question. That didn’t change under Obama. Remember when the Obama White House wanted to manipulate Democratic primaries in 2010?
Emanuel teamed with his then-Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina to allegedly interfere with Senate elections in Pennsylvania and Colorado by offering federal appointments to Rep. Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff. Sestak and Romanoff were not Obama’s favored candidates, so Emanuel and Messina apparently attempted to unlawfully persuade them to abandon their campaigns.
Emanuel left the White House under an ethical cloud and has decided to throw his hat in the ring for Mayor of Chicago, where he again stands accused of ignoring the rules and violating the law regarding candidate residency requirements.
3. Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
In a scandal that first broke in 2009, Senator Ensign publicly admitted to an affair with the wife of a long-time staffer.
And the evidence indicates Ensign then tried to cover up his sexual shenanigans by bribing the couple with lucrative gifts and political favors.
Payments of $96,000 to the Hamptons also were made by Senator Ensign’s parents, who insist this was a gift, not hush money. Once a lobbying job was secured, Senator Ensign and his chief of staff continued to help Mr. Hampton, advocating his clients’ cases directly with federal agencies.”
Nonetheless, on December 1, 2010, the Obama Justice Department announced it will file no criminal charges against Ensign, while the Federal Election Commission has also dismissed a related ethics complaint.
4. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
In a story that continued to mushroom throughout 2010, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) improperly intervened for Maxine Waters (D-CA) on behalf of his home-state OneUnited Bank to obtain Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds.
When asked about the scandal, the Massachusetts Democrat admitted he spoke to a “federal regulator” but, according to The Wall Street Journal he didn’t remember which federal regulator he spoke with.” According to explosive Treasury Department emails uncovered by Judicial Watch in 2010, however, it appears this nameless bureaucrat was none other than then-Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson.
To this day, Barney Frank continues to defend his role in the meltdown of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying he was just as blindsided as the rest of America when the two government sponsored enterprises collapsed, triggering the financial crisis.
5. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
This year’s trial of scandal-ridden former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich ended with “Blago” being convicted of only 1 of 24 charges related to the scheme to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.” How much cash? The Chicago Sun Times put that figure at $1.5 million in its initial reports.
But according to Jackson’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, the Illinois Congressman asked him to offer not $1.5 million, but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat!