The nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington listed Tom Feeney as the third most corrupt member of Congress. (Of course, this was before Tom Delay was drummed out and Cunningham imprisoned, so I believe he can take his place as #1).
Yes, Seminole County’s favorite son really made a name for himself with the GOP culture of corruption. He has taken tens of thousands from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramhoff, who also took him on an extravagant golf outing to Scotland in direct violation of House rules that strictly forbid accepting travel expenses from “a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal." (House rule 26). I mention that rule because it was violated on several occasions with Feeney. Even when not breaking the law, most Congressmen had the good sense to at least temporarily stop taking trips paid for by private groups at the height of the Abramoff-GOP corruption scandal. Tom Feeney decided it was a good time to allow one of them to fly him to China.
He also ranked number one in the DeLay Rankings, which looked at several categories including how much DeLay’s tainted PAC donated to the rep, how much the member donated to DeLay’s legal fund, how often they voted with DeLay, etc. Feeney even defended DeLay after his indictment, and told the St. Pete Times: “He takes very good care of his members”. (OF that, I don’t have any doubt).
Feeney’s supporters counter that he was never indicted for any of his activities—which I guess passes as an accomplishment in Congress these days. But that is precicely the problem. Investigations are whitewashes when it involves their own members, and it will continue unless there is a change.
Remember the big cleanup we were promised by the GOP? They hoped America would forget—and they think they have.
Just today, they proposed their “reform” package, which won’t even make it through before the elections. The GOP proposal is an embarrasment. It doesn’t ban earmarks, doesn’t restrict lobbyists gifts to campaigns, doesn’t restrict private travel on corporate jets, and doesn’t do what most Dems want—form an INDEPENDENT ethics commission that will take over from Congress policing themselves.
Tom Feeney is not one to rock the boat. If this was truly a case of “good vs. evil”, as he says it is, then you would think his election strategy would be to promise to do better, return his tainted Abramoff money, and stop embarrasing our district with his unethical behavior. At least promise to move down on the “Most Corrupt” list.
No, his strategy for re-election is to smear his opponent, Clint Curtis, by calling him “The craziest man in America”.
Clint Curtis testified before Congress that Feeney requested him to create a vote fraud prototype to exploit the vulnerability of electronic voting systems. (Click here to see his testimony before the Conyers' Committee) In March of last year, he submitted to and passed a polygraph test, and then challenged Feeney to do the same. Feeney just says he’s crazy. Sure, that would never happen. After all, Feeney’s ethics are always above reproach.
No, crazy is re-electing the most corrupt member of Congress.