The Congressional Leadership (in 1992) "ought to be lined up and shot"
About protesters against the war in Vietnam, "I would have no hesitation about lining them up and shooting them," he said. "Those people should be shot for what they did to us over there."
Bill Clinton was a KGB dupe
Some members of Congress "will tell you openly that they're both Communist supporters and socialist supporters" who want "your kids and my kids ... to fall under a socialist, Communist regime".
Now, via Talking Points Memo, I find that Rep. Cunningham seems to have some ethics problems above and beyond those revealed in the quotes I just cited. From an article in the San Diego Union Tribune:
"A defense contractor with ties to Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham took a $700,000 loss on the purchase of the congressman's Del Mar house while the congressman, a member of the influential defense appropriations subcommittee, was supporting the contractor's efforts to get tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Pentagon.
Mitchell Wade bought the San Diego Republican's house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and put it back on the market almost immediately for roughly the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for 261 days before selling for $975,000.
Meanwhile, Cunningham used the proceeds of the $1,675,000 sale to buy a $2.55 million house in Rancho Santa Fe. And Wade, who had been suffering through a flat period in winning Pentagon contracts, was on a tear – reeling in tens of millions of dollars in defense and intelligence-related contracts. (...)
Congressional and political watchdog organizations expressed concerns, saying the circumstances raise questions about whether the transaction might constitute an illegal campaign contribution or even an official bribe.
"This doesn't look good at all," said Larry Noble, director of the Center for Responsive Politics. "It doesn't look like something that was on the up and up."
"The potential conflicts here are enormous," added Brad White, director of investigations for Public Citizen's Congress Watch. (...)
Asked if he and Wade were friends, Cunningham answered, "No more than I am with (Qualcomm founder) Irwin Jacobs or (Titan Corp. founder) Gene Ray or any of the other CEOs."
Nobody would equate MZM, which is headquartered in the trendy Dupont Circle area in Washington, with San Diego-based giants Qualcomm and Titan. Nor would anyone equate Wade with Jacobs or Ray. Wade was a Pentagon program manager before launching MZM in 1993, and he struggled to get contracts as recently as three years ago.
But in 2003 and 2004, roughly around the time of the house transaction, MZM's fortunes began to soar. In fiscal year 2003, it received $41 million in defense contracts. Since then, MZM has added tens of millions of dollars in additional contracts, including a $5 million sole source contract to provide interpreters in Iraq.
In 2004, MZM had $66 million in revenues, according to Washington Technology magazine, which put the relative corporate newcomer on its 2005 list of "Top 100 Federal Prime Contractors." "
So: a struggling defense contractor buys the home of an influential member of the House Appropriations Committee's Defense Subcommittee, almost immediately puts it back on the market at the same price, and takes a $700,000 loss. By an amazing coincidence, he begins to get lucrative defense contracts at the very same time. Chalk another one up to synchronicity!
Personally, I think Rep. Cunningham should have been voted out of office years ago, on the grounds that anyone who thinks it's OK to say that his political opponents should be lined up and shot has no place in our government. But if this accomplishes the same thing, I won't complain. I will, however, note that it is just wrong to give defense contracts out for any reason other than the quality and pricing of the contractor, especially in time of war. We really need the best interpreters we can find to support our troops in Iraq, and anyone who would seek to influence such a contract for personal gain has done something much worse than giving, say, a highway contract to his brother-in-law.
Note (added a bit after posting this): since I reproduced some of the links from my old post, I should probably reproduce this bit as well:
"Note on sources: Many of the quotes I cited are taken from a website that links to transcribed articles from various papers in the San Diego area. I don't have the ability to check these transcripts for accuracy myself, but I have contacted people who can, and they tell me that the transcripts check out. (The transcribed articles are from the dark days before newspapers became available on the web.) This seemed important since the site itself is pretty clearly anti-Cunningham."