According to Roll Call, the respected Capitol Hill newspaper, seventeen members of the 109th Congress are or have been under federal investigation. Add Rep. Katherine Harris to the list and you’ve got 18. No wonder only 16 percent of Americans approve of Congress!
The latest addition to the scandal-club is Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona. “US prosecutors in Arizona have opened a preliminary investigation into whether Renzi twice pressured landowners to buy a 480-acre parcel owned by his former business partner, a major backer of Renzi’s political campaign,” the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Renzi’s also been accused of introducing legislation that would directly benefit a company that employs his father. One Arizona blogger reported he’ll be indicted after the election.
Renzi twice has been named one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington. He’s in a tight re-election race against Democrat Ellen Simon, a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Renzi and national Republicans have run TV ads falsely attacking Simon as “the President of the ACLU”–a post she never held. It’s proof of how desperate Renzi is, and how, thanks to yet another scandal, one more safe GOP seat is now in play.