Borosage: Rep. Ney May Be Gone, But Public Corruption Lives On

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges in disgrace, following House Republican leader Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif.

“Bob Ney and Tom DeLay may be gone, but the corrupt system they built lives on” said Robert Borosage, director of the Campaign for America’s Future. “Bob Ney gambled big and lost big. He chose to serve the lobbyists who paid for his pleasures instead of serving his constituents.  He is an emblem of what is perhaps the most corrupt Congress in our history.”

The Campaign for America’s Future was actively involved in exposing the corruption of Rep. Ney and Rep. Tom Delay, R-Texas to their constituents. 

The group launched a campaign to expose corruption in Congress soon after the 2004 presidential elections.  They ran print and broadcast ads on Rep. Ney throughout his southeastern Ohio district. One radio spot asked Rep. Ney to “come clean” with the bribery investigation that connected him to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

“A lavish trip to Scotland to play golf on world-famous courses. Free tickets to sporting events. Meals at upscale restaurants. Tens of thousands of dollars. Sounds like a game show jackpot, doesn’t it?” said the radio spot. “Unfortunately, it’s what Ohio Congressman Bob Ney got from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for political favors.”

The group also put up a billboard above Rep. Ney’s hometown exit on Rte. I-70 in Heath, Ohio that said, “Rep. Bob Ney. Under Investigation for Taking Bribes.” The billboard loomed over Rep. Ney’s district for most of 2006.

“The sad part is that Americans pay the cost of this corruption,” said Borosage. “Legislators pocket money and favors from drug company lobbyists, and then vote to prohibit Medicare from negotiating a lower price for drugs. They take campaign contributions from oil companies and block all efforts to crack down on price gouging. The private interests get the gold; the public good gets the shaft.  We’ve got a lot more work to do if we are to clean out the congressional stables.”

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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in advertisements the Campaign for America’s Future ran throughout Rep. Ney’s district, can find copies by clicking here.**