Duke ‘n Duncan
Of course as soon as I step out of the country for awhile, two of my favorite local
dumbasses congressmen show the world what kind of stuff they are made of.
Lovely. Surprising? Not really. FreedomDrone reminds us that Dunc has never let reality get in the way of his stumbling around to make a point.
Then there is Randy “Duke” Cunningham.
A local congressman is in more hot water after reports that he has been living aboard a boat owned by a military contractor to whom he also sold his San Diego County home.
Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, 63, was already defending himself after accusations that he received a sweetheart home deal to help get million-dollar deals for the contractor.
Cunningham said he had done nothing wrong by living aboard the boat and that the home sale was perfectly legal.
“I am putting information and records together so that you will know how much I pay to stay there and you will see that everything we’ve done is appropriate,” Cunningham said in a news release issued Thursday by his office.
The “Union-Tribune” reported on Monday that defense contractor Mitchell Wade took a $700,000 loss on a Del Mar home he purchased from Cunningham. The paper said Wade wasn’t winning Pentagon contracts until the real estate deal with Cunningham. The home, which was sold to Wade for $1,675,000 in November 2003, was resold in July 2004 for $975,000.
Jesus. Housing in San Diego is going through the roof. Houses are getting multiple bids above asking price the day they’re listed and this guy loses $700,000 in Del Mar? Trust me on this one; nobody, and I mean nobody, in San Diego is buying this one. But then, “Duke” has been kind our local congressional village idiot for years who has traded in on his Top Gun status (which is open to debate) in a very safe district.
Only a couple of days in and local Republicans are already starting to walk on his still-warm corpse:
Cunningham, a member of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, acknowledged he has backed MZM in its bid to win tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.
Cunningham, a seven-term Republican representing the 50th Congressional District, has portrayed the deal as “aboveboard.” More questions have been raised about the home where Cunningham stays while in Washington: a yacht named “Duke-Stir” owned by MZM Inc.
Asked for comment on the public perceptions of his house sale, Cunningham’s spokesman released a statement Friday saying Cunningham was “working on a comprehensive statement that will address issues that have been raised recently.” The controversy has rippled across the county; the congressman has become a topic of conversation from the coffee shops to the seashore. Republican Jim Rady, the former mayor of Escondido, was photographing plants in his garden yesterday when asked about Cunningham. He said he was “astounded” by the news of the congressman’s relationship with the defense contractor.
“Cunningham has an impeccable reputation,” Rady said. “I wonder how the hell he could get himself in such a situation. In politics, perception is everything.”
San Diego County Republican Chairman Ron Nehring said it would be impossible to lose the district.
“The likelihood of the Democrats taking over that district are lower than that of hell freezing over,” he said.
Republicans are looking forward to Cunningham being able to clear his name, Nehring said.
“Duke Cunningham is very popular in the rank and file of the Republican Party. Not only has he done a good job in Congress for us,” Nehring said, “but people know he’s a good man.”
Interest in Cunningham’s seat is increasing, even among Republicans, according to John Dadian, a Republican activist and registered lobbyist.
“Because it’s such a solid Republican seat, people have always been eyeing it for when he gives it up,” Dadian said. “There are a number of North County Republicans who would love to represent that district, so they are watching developments closely on this issue.”
If the seat were to open up, Dadian said, “there would be a mad scramble.”
Last time Cunningham made big noise in San Diego was when he went from capital punishment for drug lords to defending his drug mule son who is evidence that stupidity is hereditary.
Oh, it’s good to be back home.