Judicial Watch has released its annual list of Washington’s 10 Most Corrupt Politicians. Unfortunately for us, and the United States, the scandals were so prevalent in 2011 that Judicial Watch couldn’t narrow the list to just 10. Here, in alphabetical order, are the 17. It starts with the Top 10, then the seven Dishonorable Mentions:
- Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Ala): He’s the face of the Congressional “insider trading” scandal that rocked the Washington establishment in late 2011. A 60 Minutes report based on the book, Throw Them All Out, outed a number of sleazy members of Congress who managed to benefit financially based on information they alone were privy to. The report also named Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, but as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Bachus “stood out for his remarkable ‘good fortune’ in shorting the stock market in 2008.”
- Former Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.): He was forced to resign from office in May 2011 over an ethics investigation that resulted from a sex scandal. In trying to cover up an affair with the wife of a staffer, Ensign allegedly offered the couple a bribe of lucrative gifts and political favors.
- Attorney General Eric Holder: For his involvement in and attempted cover-up of Operation Fast and Furious, refusing to defend the Constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, stonewalling the release of information about Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s participation in Obamacare discussions while she was solicitor general, the Black Panther voter intimidation scandal, conspiring with scandal-ridden Project Vote in voter fraud and other malfeasance.
- Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.): Impeached as a Federal judge in 1981 for taking a $150,000 bribe, Hastings is now caught up in a sex scandal. A female government employee claims Hastings sexually harassed her then engaged in a cruel campaign of retaliation when she rebuffed his advances. (Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Hastings on the woman’s behalf.) He is also under investigation for abusing his office by using government travel as a cover for sightseeing and by soliciting gifts and campaign contributions from Congressional staff.
- Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and the Blagojevich co-conspirators: The House Ethics Committee (oxymoron) is investigating allegations that Jackson or someone acting on his behalf offered to raise campaign cash for then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate appointment in 2008.
- President Barack Obama: It’s the President’s fifth appearance on this list. This time it’s over the Solyndra scandal and his efforts — and those of his staff — to ignore the Constitution and the rule of law.
- Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-Calif.): Accused of misusing her Congressional staff for personal and political gain.
- Congressman David Rivera (R-Fla.): He’s mired in numerous scandals stemming from charges of money laundering and tax evasion schemes initiated when he served in the Florida House of Representatives. He’s being investigated by the FBI, the IRS, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miami-Dade Police public corruption unit and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office.
- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.): Her alleged transgressions are too many to list, but they include House Ethics Committee (oxymoron) investigations over abuse of power and supporting legislation that financially benefited her husband and a company in which her family holds part ownership.
- Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska): The House Ethic Committee (oxymoron) cleared Young on charges of exceeding the limit on campaign donations to his legal defense fund — which was set up to defend him against an entirely different set of corruption charges. But Young nevertheless violated the rules, according to press reports. He is under investigation for taking bribes, illegal gratuities and unreported gifts from an Alaska company whose CEO pleaded guilty to bribing members of Alaska’s Legislature. He’s also linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s scandal and others.
Dishonorable mentions went to:
- Former Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.): Indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on six felony charges related to the cover-up of an affair with a staffer.
- Congressman Barney Frank: Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac scandals and abuse of office.
- Former House Speaker and Current GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich: Lying about his lobbying activities and his work for Fannie and Freddie, etc.
- Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano: Ignoring immigration laws and the U.S. Constitution.
- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): Abusing her office and insider trading.
- Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.): Convicted by the House Ethics Committee (oxymoron) of failing to pay taxes, failing to report income and errors and omissions.
- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Obamacare waivers to benefit favorable (to Obama) constituencies.
For Judicial Watch’s complete report on their Top Ten, go here.