Ruby is Best for Texas 6th Congressional District

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ethics issues confront Calif. politicians

By Erica Werner - Associated Press - June 9, 2007
WASHINGTON — Hollywood party girls don't have a monopoly on trouble in California. A disproportionate number of the state's congressional Republicans are facing ethics questions that threaten to sink their careers and their party's political fortunes too.
Of 201 House Republicans, at least six are known to have attracted the attention of federal investigators — and four are from California. Their woes come in the wake of the lurid corruption scandal that sent ex-GOP Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham of San Diego to prison last year for taking $2.4 million in bribes.
Although their situations have a few common threads, some analysts attribute the cluster of California cases to coincidence, plus the state's large size and district lines drawn to protect incumbents.
"When your seat is so safe that you're not concerned about perception, you become too wedded to Washington and you lose touch with your constituency, and you lose touch with your real purpose," said Karen Hanretty, a Republican strategist and former California Republican Party spokeswoman.
Rep. John Doolittle, a nine-term Northern California conservative under investigation in the influence-peddling scandal around jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has his own theory about why federal corruption investigations seem to be concentrated in California.
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