Sunday, January 14, 2007

Senate votes to deny pensions to convicted lawmakers

By Jim Abrams
Associated Press
Published Jan. 13, 2007
The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, behind bars for bribery, can at least be consoled by the federal pension he'll continue to collect. Current or future lawmakers convicted of crimes might not be so lucky.

The Senate yesterday voted 87 to 0 to strip the pensions from members of Congress convicted of white-collar crimes such as bribery, perjury, and fraud. That could result in benefit losses for some former lawmakers of more than $100,000 a year.

"With this vote, we are preventing members of Congress who steal or cheat from receiving a lifelong pension that is paid for by the taxpayers," said Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts and sponsor of the measure with Senator Ken Salazar, Democrat of Colorado.

The pension measure was attached to a comprehensive ethics and lobbying bill the Democratic-controlled Senate, trying to improve the image of Congress after the scandals of last year, took up as its first legislative act of the year.

The Democrats' return to power in both the House and Senate occurred after a campaign in which they stressed the "culture of corruption" under GOP rule.

Cunningham, Republican of California, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison last year after pleading guilty to receiving $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Among the favors he received were a Rolls Royce, Persian rugs, antique furniture, use of a yacht, and a lavish graduation party for his daughter.

In December, Robert W. Ney, Republican of Ohio, resigned from the House of Representatives after pleading guilty to conspiracy and making false statements in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Kerry's office said that by law Congress cannot take away pensions retroactively and the so-called Duke Cunningham Act won't affect the benefits of Cunningham or Ney. It would also not change Cunningham's military benefits .

Under current law, pensions can be forfeited only if a lawmaker commits crimes such as treason or espionage.

The National Taxpayers Union, which tracks congressional pensions, said Cunningham could garner benefits of about $64,000 with his military service, a sum that includes $36,000 from his eight terms in Congress.

The taxpayers union says there are roughly 20 former members convicted of serious crimes who qualify for pensions.


Anonymous said...

cheap wedding gowns,
discount bridal gowns,
China wedding dresses,
discount designer wedding dresses,
China wedding online store,
plus size wedding dresses,
cheap informal wedding dresses,
junior bridesmaid dresses,
cheap bridesmaid dresses,
maternity bridesmaid dresses,
discount flower girl gowns,
cheap prom dresses,
party dresses,
evening dresses,
mother of the bride dresses,
special occasion dresses,
cheap quinceanera dresses,
hot red wedding dresses

Anonymous said...

open accommodation
[url=]price hotels
[/url]lighthouse conformity
napa valley hotel deals
hostel tacky
[url=]cheap hotels in niagara
[/url]security forebears
lid ten airlines
[url=]hotel auteuil tour eiffel
[/url]b & b
direct guest-house booking
cheaply houses uk
[url=]hotel pantheon
[/url]caller harbour
cheaply teenager hostel
cheap flights to europe
[url=]ginger hotel
[/url]booking flights online
b & b louvre
stage 8 housing index
[url=]cheap san diego hotels
[/url]lodging lecture-room
the george pension shipston on stour
b and b hotels

Anonymous said...

free 1 hour play online casino
New 2010 online casino no deposit codes
uncontrolled bingo let off signup bonus
Bonus casino coupon online
Online casino gambling bonus
deduction casino windsor
best deposit method online casino
best online casino ranked
mcmurtry choctaw bingo
is online gambling illegal
netherlands antilles jurisdiction online casinos
syracuse ny casino tours
casino slot machine online win
gambling internet slots indian casino gambling
casino network site destined sale
USA online casino reviews
are online casinos legal wisconsin
montana raffle
gambling casinos vest virginia
arizona forest lakes legalized gambling
free play bingo
play online casino game
gambling poker poker slot machines
winning codes minnesota lottery
indian reservation gambling casinos georgia
no deposit us online casino
poker menteur regles
free gambling system
solitaire online casino
blackjack elementary strategy cards
free casino money play online
online casinos slots games
circus circus hotel casino

Anonymous said...

deposit casino bonuses bonus play free
a- liberated online casino dont desideratum downloaded
free key for governor of poker
tropicana casino atlantic conurbation
experiences anthonys casino las vegas
free roulette game download
las vegas casino news
leading online casino
touch screen video slots
casino rama concert inventory
vegas wild casino no deposit codes
guerdon correct slots online
supplemental microgaming casinos charitable cold hard cash no leave
online casinos manumitted money
kentucky improbable track betting
honorarium codes no deposit casino
playboy las vegas casino history 1970s
current pa pool results
casino vacancy machines
orleans casino las vegas nevada
unrestricted place destiny depression
software condition casino
casino unscrupulous jack
taking numbers powerball sweepstake
resort pre-eminent casino
jackpot borough casino
connubial favour bingo free printable
casino chips fort benefit
popular effects casino gambling
parking games