The 109th Congress will go down for many things including an almost total lack of accomplishment but with the news yesterday of Ohio Republican Bob Ney pleading guilty to influence peddling, the 109th term will most likely become the second most scandal ridden session in recent memory behind the Abscam driven 96th Congress of the late 70’s.
Ney’s plea makes 5 members of Congress that have been involved in one scandal or another and other than Democrat William Jefferson whom so far is still under investigation for bribery, all have been a member of the Denny Hastert led GOP majority House of Representatives.
Ney now joins an "exclusive club" that includes former Majority Leader Tom DeLay who is under indictment for campaign irregularities, Mark Foley and his improper IM’s with underage House Page’s, and Randy Cunningham whom earlier this year plead guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors.
So with all these examples of GOP leadership, what is on the horizon? Other than the ongoing Jack Abramoff issue that Ney was involved in and another possible scandal brewing with Republican House member Curt Weldon, recent polling shows that it could result in more than just a Democratic takeover in the House as some Senate races originally considered "safe" for the GOP are starting to look as if they aren’t as safe as first thought.
If the GOP does in fact lose their majority in one or both houses of Congress, they can lay the blame not so much with their losing popularity among their base but with their increasing popularity with law enforcement officials. Unfortunately for them, that is one group they didn’t want on their side.