Here’s a challenge. Try to find the most corrupt member of Congress. Yeah, I know, trying to identify the most corrupt member of the House or Senate is like trying to determine how many women Bill Clinton screwed in the White House. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is certainly a leading candidate. Money laundering, fraud, abuse of campaign laws, payoffs from lobbyists whose legislation he supported. DeLay’s list of crimes goes on and on. But DeLay is an amateur when it comes to the antics of Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla), a real piece of work who has left business partners holding the bag for her misdeeds, eluded creditors, filed false financial disclosure reports and lied to the Internal Revenue Service.
The House leadership forced out the Ethics Committee chairman, Rep. Joel Heffley of Colorado, an exemplar of the Republican right but, alas, too independent-minded to suit the leadership. They changed the rules to make it easier to block ethics investigations. And, for good measure, they installed two close DeLay allies on the panel, Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who raise big money for DeLay’s political action and legal defense funds.