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November 28, 2005

They got Al Capone on tax charges. Now they've got California Congresscritter Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Mr. Cunningham pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego today. The tax charges are really bribery charges; they cover his failure to report payments from defense contractors.

A defense contractor paid $1,676,000 for the congressman's Del Mar, California house, and resold it a year later for $975,000. The guilty plea shows that Mr. Cunningham's real estate savvy wasn't entirely responsible for this shrewd deal.

The congressman resigned today. He faces up to 10 years in prison on conspiracy and tax evasion charges.

His congressional website is still up. His "Defense" page boasts:

In 1997, he secured a seat on the House Appropriations Committee,and because of his military background, was honored with an unprecedented first term assignment to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Recognized as one of the leading spokesman on joint service tactical aviation issues, Cunningham has also been a major advocate for preservation of the domestic shipbuilding industrial base, stabilization of critical equipment repair and maintenance accounts, and key military personnel and retiree pay and benefits. (TU: his own, especially). He has worked tirelessly to ensure that our troops have the most effective systems technology will allow; he wants to ensure that our troops always have the edge against any foreign competitor. Although his primary role as a member of this Subcommittee is to craft the annual defense spending bill, Cunningham still works closely with his colleague Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Duncan Hunter on national and local defense policy matters.

No doubt Duncan Hunter is just thrilled to be associated with Mr. Cunningham.

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Hmmm, I always wondered what happened to Richie's older brother...

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