Republican Culture of Corruption: Gibbons Edition
Washington, DC - Although the American people broke the Republican Party's grip on Washington in November, the Republican Culture of Corruption and its repercussions are still being felt around the country. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the FBI's political corruption unit is investigating potential kickbacks to ex-GOP Congressman Jim Gibbons from a defense contractor. Gibbons is now Governor of Nevada. [Wall Street Journal, 2/15/07]
According to the report, Gibbons allegedly helped the contractor secure lucrative military contracts, possibly in exchange for cash and a trip to the Caribbean. Gibbons failed to disclose that cruise, as required by House of Representatives ethics rules, and later had the audacity to ask for an exemption but left office before any action was taken.
The investigation brings new attention to the Republican Party's culture of corruption, with the claims against Gibbons highlighting the same type of abuse of power surrounding the funding of secret government operations that got former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham convicted of bribery. In fact, earlier this week two new indictments were issued to a former CIA official, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, and contractor Brent Wilkes stemming from the ongoing FBI investigation into Cunningham and his associates.
Since the American people spoke in November, the new Democratic majority in Congress has enacted the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate, including prohibiting free lunches and free trips like the one Gibbons is reported to have taken.
"This new report is a disturbing reminder that the effects of the Republican culture of corruption still linger," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney. "The American people voted for a new direction in November and expect leaders who put the country's best interests ahead of their own gain. That's why Democrats in Congress are already implementing tough new ethics rules. It's also why Jim Gibbons owes the people of Nevada an explanation about whether or not he's bringing the same culture of corruption to the governor's office."
-- Democratic National Committee