Congressman Rick Renzi to resign by Friday?
Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona has found himself in a spot of trouble. While it's not a crime to have connections to convicted felon Jack Abramoff, it certainly isn't an indicator of upstanding moral turpitude, and Renzi can class himself as one of Abramoff friends (though he probably wouldn't want to, these days.) Renzi has also been tied to the fired U.S. Attorneys scandal and embattled Department of Justice Secretary Alberto Gonzales.
And now things are going from bad to worse for Renzi. Renzi has until last week help positions on the Financial Services Committee, the Natural Resources Committee and the Select Intelligence Committee in the U.S. House. He's already stepped down from those positions, and according to the Rum, Romanism and Rebellion blog, word on the Washington street has it that Renzi's going to resign on Friday. Others must smell blood in the water, too, since two Democrats and one Republican have already stepped up to bid to replace Renzi's seat in what they suspect is an inevitable special election to finish Renzi's third term in Congress.
There's an epidemic of corruption striking Republicans these days, it seems. Not long before the news about Renzi broke, nine-term California Representative John Doolittle resigned his sole House committee seat, which is on the influential Appropriations Committee. I haven't heard anything about Doolittle stepping down, but it seems kind of likely at this point. Of course, the FBI didn't raid Doolittle's wife's private business offices, while they did raid Renzi's, so maybe Renzi is that much more of a scoundrel than Doolittle.
Getting rid of two corrupt congressmen might not seem like much, but like the ecology movement advised us back in the 1970s: "Every litter bit helps!"