The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, November 28, 2005

The significance of Cunningham's guilty plea

As I noted earlier, between Cunningham, Ohio Governor Taft, Jack Abramoff, and Tom DeLay, literally dozens of Republican officials could be involved in corruption scandals. Enter the White House, with obvious ties to the Oval Office.

Today, Duke Cunningham pled guilty to receiving over $2 million in bribes from Mitchell Wade and his company, MZM Inc., in exchange for legislative favors. It’s worth noting that MZM also did some unusual business with the White House:

[O]ver the past three years it [MZM Inc.] was also awarded several contracts, worth more than $600,000, by the Executive Office of the President. They include a $140,000 deal for office furniture in 2002 and several for unspecified “intelligence services.”

Why did the White House hire MZM, a “defense and intelligence firm,” to buy office furniture for the White House?

UPDATE: Some of the filthy lucre that Cunningham accepted during his days in office comes from the plea agreement he just filed.

• $200,000 toward the purchase of his Arlington, Va., condominium.

• $140,000 to a third party for the "Duke-Stir" yacht, which was moved to his boat slip for his use.

• $16,867.13 to a marine services company for repairs to his own yacht, the "Kelly C."

• $12,000 paid to an antique store for three night stands, a leaded glass cabinet, a washstand, a buffet and four armoires.

• $6,632 paid to a furniture store for a leather sofa and a sleigh-style bed.

• $7,200 paid to an antique store for a circa 1850 Louis Phillipe period commode and a circa 1830 Restoration period commode.

• $13,500 toward the purchase of a Rolls-Royce.

• $17,889.96 for repairs to the Rolls-Royce.

• $11,393.56 paid to a moving company to ship his belongings from his Arlington condominium to his San Diego-area home.

• $2,081.30 paid to a Washington, D.C., hotel for his daughter's graduation party.

• $9,200 paid to a manufacturer for two Laser Shot shooting simulators.

• $10,000 paid to various hotels, resorts and restaurants for his meals and entertainment expenses.

• Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to him and a company he controlled.