Oct. 13, 2006
Disgraced Rep. Bob Ney Should Resign From Congress Immediately
Statement of Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen
Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) pleaded guilty to bribery charges today, but out of respect for the institution, he should have immediately resigned from Congress. Lawmakers who have violated the voters’ trust by brazenly pocketing bribes and lavish gifts from lobbyists should no longer be receiving a paycheck from our tax dollars.
With the likes of former California representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham already in prison and the FBI closing in on Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), perhaps it doesn’t strike this Congress as incongruent that one of its own could still hold office while sitting in a jail cell. But it certainly outrages the public, who apparently expect more out of their Congress than even its own members.
Ney is the first elected official to fall in the widening web of the Abramoff-lobbying scandal, but we may see this scene repeated in the coming months. Congressional rules should be changed to require the resignation of any member who pleads guilty to or is convicted of a criminal felony. This would prevent the outrage of an imprisoned lawmaker who has already wasted taxpayer dollars on special interests continuing to drain the Treasury while he sits in jail.