Monday, July 30, 2007

Another Reason For Term Limits

The AP is reporting tonight that Senator Ted Stevens' (R-AK) Alaskan Home has been searched by the FBI and the IRS (FBI, IRS Search Home of Sen. Ted Stevens). Search Warrants were issued in an investigation of a 2000 remodeling project which more than doubled the size of the Senators home.
Stevens, 83, has been under a federal investigation for a 2000 renovation project more than doubling the size of his home in Girdwood that was overseen by Bill Allen, a contractor who has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska state legislators.
Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator, has been elected to seven 6-year terms. This Senator is certainly not the only member of Congress to be charged or convicted of crimes which cost the taxpayers money, just the latest. Nor does either party have a lock on corruption. If we had term limits for Congress, we may not eliminate the bad apples, but at least there might be some house cleaning every so often. We already limit the President to 10 years. Why not limit members of Congress to 12 years. Thats two 6-year terms for Senators, or six 2-year terms for Representatives.

Update: According to another AP article (Lawmakers Being Investigated), besides Senator Stevens, also under investigation are House Republicans:
  • Don Young of Alaska, 18th term. Young is under federal investigation as part of an ongoing corruption probe, according to a federal law enforcement official. Part of the Young investigation involves his campaign finance practices.
  • John Doolittle of California, ninth term. The FBI in April searched his home in Oakton, Va., where his wife Julie ran a bookkeeping and event-planning business. Among her clients was now-jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
  • Jerry Lewis of California, 15th term. Prosecutors are examining his dealings with lobbyists and contractors during the time he chaired the House Appropriations Committee.
  • Gary Miller of California, fifth term. FBI agents have interviewed officials in two towns that purchased property from Miller about the nature of the transactions and the tax implications. Miller denies any wrongdoing and says FBI agents have not contacted him.
  • Rick Renzi of Arizona, third term. FBI agents recently raided his wife's insurance business amid reports that Renzi paid substantial back taxes to settle charges that his businesses improperly paid for his first congressional campaign.
The Democrats in the House that have been accused:
  • William J. Jefferson of Louisiana, ninth term. Awaiting trial in January on federal charges of taking more than $500,000 in bribes by using his office to broker business deals in Africa. He pleaded innocent in June to the 16-count indictment. FBI agents raided his congressional office and his home, where they found $90,000 in a freezer.
  • Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, 13th term. Mollohan stepped down from the House ethics committee after federal agents began a probe of federal funds he helped steer to nonprofit groups he founded.

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