The fine, upstanding people who represent We The People in one capacity or another seem to be finding themselves in just a bit of hot water these days! And so close (62 days) to the all-important mid-term elections, too. Awwww …
Three in particular are facing charges or under investigation. The first …
Chris Collins is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of New York.
In January 2017, prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump, but after the 115th Congress had been seated, a firm push was made in Congress to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). I wrote a post, Who Needs Ethics Anyway?, questioning if there were reasons that we didn’t yet know for them making this attempt. Chris Collins is only one of the prime examples why this Congress was hoping to say “bye-bye” to the OCE.
In August 2016 Collins purchased 4 million shares in a pharmaceutical company, Innate Immunotherapeutics. He also allegedly convinced Tom Price, who would later become Secretary of Health and Human Services, to purchase a large number of shares in the company. Mr. Collins’ son also invested heavily. Why? Because Collins had ‘inside information’ that the company was on the verge of a breakthrough for a drug that would cure multiple sclerosis (MS). This experimental drug, still in the testing stages, was the only product of Innate Immunotherapeutics.
However, in the summer of 2017, while attending a function on the White House lawn, Mr. Collins received a disastrous phone call from Innate Immunotherapeutics … the test of the product had failed its scientific testing … the drug did not work … it was no good. The company had put all its eggs in a single basket and lost. Stockholders stood to lose every penny they had invested. But not Mr. Collins or his son! Within minutes, Collins called his son Cameron who immediately sold his stock, avoiding losses of more than $570,000. There is a name for it … it’s called ‘Insider Trading’ and it is illegal. It is what the infamous Martha Stewart went to jail for.
On August 8th, Collins was arrested for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, seven counts of securities fraud, and lying to the FBI. Last Wednesday, a federal indictment was handed down in New York, accusing Mr. Collins of insider trading and lying to federal agents. Chris Collins is running in the November mid-term elections. Any bets as to his odds?
The second …Ahhh … Duncan Hunter. Name sound familiar? It should, for I’ve written about him no less than three times between January 2017 and August 2018. If Chris Collins was one reason the republicans in Congress tried so hard to gut the OCE in January 2017, Duncan Hunter is the personification of why we need the OCE more than ever now. Hunter is just about as dishonest as they come.
His evils are many, including calling for the U.S. to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea a year ago, but the thing for which he is in trouble today, just two months from the mid-term elections, is using campaign funds to support his lavish lifestyle. But wait … do you want to hear the absolutely most gutless thing? Mr. Hunter has sought to blame his wife for the corruption charges, saying in a Fox News interview that she was responsible for the couple’s finances. “Whatever she did, that will be looked at, too, I’m sure. I didn’t do it. I didn’t spend any money illegally.” Oh … oh … oh oh oh … that is royal!!! What a sorry excuse for a ‘man’, yes? Mind you, it is true that his wife is complicit, but for him to say he did nothing wrong and it was all her fault???
In the interest of conserving space, I won’t go into Hunter’s many mis-uses of campaign funds, for I did so in my post titled The Face of Dishonesty and you can refresh your memory if you need to.
The federal indictment against Hunter is 47-pages long and outlines years of allegations that Mr. Hunter and his wife spent almost a quarter of a million dollars of campaign money on personal expenses, on everything from vacations to fast-food meals, even a plane ticket for their pet bunny.
Hunter says he is determined to stay on the November ballot. And in a heavily Republican district, running against a first-time Democratic opponent who is the son of an Arab father and Mexican mother, most agree that, despite the corruption charges he still maintains a strong chance of re-election. Welcome to the Era of Trump, 2018-style.
And finally …
You no doubt remember Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who served as the vice chairman of Trump’s short-lived presidential commission on voter fraud. Kobach has so many scandals in his past that he nearly defines the word. Most pertain to his imaginary claim of “massive” voter fraud. Kobach is running for Governor of Kansas in November.
The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a grand jury must be convened to investigate whether Secretary of State Kris Kobach intentionally botched voter registration in the state in the 2016 elections. The accusation that brought forth the suit accuses Kobach of “destroying, obstructing, or failing to deliver online voter registration” during the 2016 election. The petition also calls for an investigation into whether the office had fake or altered registration books that prevented people from voting or was “grossly neglectful with respect to their election duties.”
Kobach’s office claims the allegations are related to a period of time when certain online voter registrations malfunctioned. Hmmmm … right … blame it on the machines. I have long said that perhaps we should return to the days of a paper ballot …
Kobach’s history on voting rights make this case seem credible, for he has persuaded the Kansas legislature to enact “the nation’s most rigorous voting restrictions and to give him special authority to enforce them.” Just this past June, a federal judge struck down one of his restrictive voter ID laws that would have required voters to produce either a birth certificate or passport in order to register to vote.
So, there you have it folks … a sampling of the illustrious people from the Republican Party who are tasked with representing us. 62 more days until the mid-terms. Make sure your registration is up to date, so you can vote these fools out!!!