WHO ARE THE NEXT 7 REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS HEADED FOR PRISON? TOM COBURN THINKS HE KNOWS.
Before we get into this story, it's important to know that Tom Coburn is widely considered-- on both sides of the aisle-- the absolutely craziest and most extremist nit in the entire U.S. Senate. He is startk-raving mad and so right-wing that he's off the measurable scale. You know how I tend to write a lot about "rubber-stamp Republicans?" Coburn isn't one of them; he's a Republican that needs to be safely put away in a room with rubber walls. A medical doctor, Coburn has the absolute worst record of any of the GOP nutcases in the Senate on health care issues. Pick any topic related to health care and he always rates an absolute zero-- issues related to aid to the chronically ill: zero; access to affordable drugs: zero; Medicare and Medicaid funding: zero; issues involving medical care for veterans and active military personnel and their families: zero; anything to do with stem cell research or family planning or women's choice: zero. Not that he's better on any issues-- labor rights, human rights, impartial justice, civil rights, education, housing... all zeros. You would be hard-pressed to find a worst U.S. Senator on the issues. (Maybe Brownback is as bad.)
That said, Coburn is also someone who runs his mouth uncontrollably; part of his general insanity. And Friday predicted to an Oklahoma newspaper, The Tulsa World, that at least six congressmen + a fellow senator (he was referring to Montana's most crooked politician Conrad Burns, not he didn't name him) would wind up in prison for involvement with Jack Abramoff and the Republican Culture of Corruption that pervades Washington, D.C.
When reporters in Wagoner, Oklahoma questioned him as to who the 7 solons are that will be heading off to join Randy "Duke" Cunningham in the federal prison system, Coburn said "if you've been keeping up with things, you've got a pretty good idea" but steadfastly refused to name names.
Here at DWT we very much have been paying attention to the investigations around the Abramoff/DeLay scandals (as well as around the Republican bribe scandals involving defense contractors) and, we are at a loss to come up with only 6 congressmen headed for prison. (Everyone agrees that Burns is the senator most likely to be indicted, found guilty and incarcerated, so let's leave the Senate out of this.) Obviously Bob Ney (R-OH), Tom DeLay (R-TX) and John Doolittle (R-CA) are on everyone's list of most-likely-to-serve-time, since they've already been named in several indictments. To come up with only 3 more is a bit of a problem since there are at least a dozen more who are egregiously guilty of serious criminality. But if you stick only to the Abramoff-related scandals-- so leaving off the defense contractor stuff that has already nabbed Cunningham and will soon see Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Virgil Goode, Jr (R-VA), Katherine Harris (R-FL), Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and several others indicted-- the most likely would have to be Don Young (R-AK), Richard Pombo (R-CA) and either J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) or Roy Blunt (R-MO), although it is difficult to imagine Tom Feeney (R-FL), Ernest Istook (R-OK), Pete Sessions (R-TX) or Eric Cantor (R-VA) getting off scott free either.
Coburn also-- appropriately-- lashed out at the corrupt Senate leadership of both pathetic parties for not crafting serious reform legislation.