Democracy

Why people think members of Congress are crooked: Nine of them are being investigated

Fully 50 percent of Americans think that most members of Congress are corrupt and 36 percent think their own member of Congress is corrupt, according to a poll released Thursday by CNN. A quick stroll over to my personal favorite part of the Congresspedia wiki, the Members of Congress under investigation page, shows why: at least a dozen current and former members of Congress are under investigation for everything from covering up the Mark Foley page scandal to laundering campaign contributions to bribery. And don't take comfort in the fact that three of those dozen are no longer in Congress: each was forced to resign in just the last year in the wake of investigations or guilty pleas related to actions they took while they were still in Congress.

Each of these current and former members of Congress has detailed explanations of the allegations against them on their Congresspedia profile pages, but the mind-boggling litany of allegations begs for a quick rundown:

PR or School Teachers? Maldives Party Asks

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has called for the termination of Hill & Knowlton's contract defending the repressive government of the Maldives. The MDP calculated that the PR firm has been paid $800,000 over almost three years.

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Hill & Knowlton Challenged Over Maldives Work

In an overview of the changes occurring in the Maldives, a cluster of islands to the southwest of India, reporter Meera Selva sketches how the repressive president, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, is failing to respond to the either the democracy movement or the growing influence of Islamic fundamentalism. "The government is aware that the problems facing ordinary Maldivians may affect its tourism industry, but its response has been cynical rather than hopeful," Selva writes.

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Senate passes detainee bill

The War on Terror detainee bill passed the Senate last night and is now headed for the president's desk and a likely court challenge. The bill passed by the Senate reflects the House's proposal to provide both the president and government interrogators broader authority with regard to the detention, interrogation and trials of suspected terrorists. The bill passed by a 65-34 vote, and was supported by each GOP senator with the exception of Sen.

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