Seems like today has been an especially bad day for Massachussets State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, who got picked up this morning by the FBI for allegedly accepting over $20,000 worth of bribes. She faces up to 20 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if convicted, but at least she won’t be alone. She’ll be just one of the flock of recent politcal controversies coming to the light of the news.
Wilkerson is currently running for re-election in her districts, including the Beacon Hill area in the heart of Boston. Her campaign headquarters did not answer my phone calls, so there is no word on how they plan to react to the damage of this morning’s arrest.
If convicted, she could join the prestigious group of convicts that make up present and past U.S. lawmakers. Just yesterday, the most senior Republican Senator still in office, Ted Stevens of Alaska, was found guilty on seven counts of making false statements. Stevens, 84, has served in the Senate for over 40 years, a large, but incomplete, part of his over 60-year career in government.
The senator is also up for re-election and has vowed to remain in the race, in spite of the conviction. There are doubts, however, that he will be able to continue his 40+ year unbroken reign in the Senate, another possible edge for the Democrats seeking to expand their hold on the legislature.
Apparently, money runs thick in Alaska, because the same controversy that brought down Stevens, a series of unfortunate relations with the Veco Corporation, have also affected Don Young, holder of the sole Alaskan seat in the House of Representatives. Rep. Young has a fairly checkered past when it comes to scandal; he’s been tied to everyone from Jack Abramoff to seedy businessmen who demand alterations to proposed legislation, according to the above link, hosted by www.culturekitchen.com.
Let’s also not forget Charles Rangel’s ‘mistakes’ regarding tax payments for a tropical villa he invested in. All in all, 2008 has been a very bad year for corruption.
– Fernando Arrue
Tags: arrest, arrested, Charles Rangel, Charlie Rangel, convicted, conviction, corruption, corruption charges, Democrat, Dianne Wilkerson, Don Young, earmarks, FBI, Fernando Arrue, Representative Don young, Republican, scandal, Senator Ted Stevens, State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, tax fraud, Ted Stevens