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WaPo: GOP scandals may take their toll on election day

We all know that, but it’s nice to read more about the downward spiral.

With just five days left before Election Day, allegations are springing up like brushfires. Four GOP House seats have been tarred by lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s influence-peddling scandal. Five have been adversely affected by then-Rep. Mark Foley’s unseemly contacts with teenage male House pages. The remaining half a dozen or so could turn on controversies including offshore tax dodging, sexual misconduct and shady land deals.

Not since the House bank check-kiting scandal of the early 1990s have so many seats been affected by scandals, and not since the Abscam bribery cases of the 1970s have the charges been so serious. But this year’s combination of breadth and severity may be unprecedented, suggested Julian E. Zelizer, a congressional historian at Boston University.

For more than a year, Democrats have tried to gain political advantage from what they called “a culture of corruption” in Republican-controlled Washington. Republican campaign officials insist the theme has not caught on with the public, but even they concede that many individual races have been hit hard.

“So many different kinds of scandals going on at the same time, that’s pretty unique,” Zelizer said. “There were scandals throughout the ’70s, multiple scandals, but the number of stories now are almost overwhelming.”

Some examples of GOP values:
* Rep. Curt Weldon (Pa.) is being investigated regarding charges that he steered lobbying contracts to his daughter.
* Rep. Don Sherwood (Pa.) — he’s still sweating over the scandal that he strangled his mistress — she sued him.
* Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.) “knocked her around” his wife during a late-night argument.
* Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), another pol in Abramoff’s pocket is in so much trouble that Chimpy is flying in to help out (?!).

U.S. President George W. Bush walks to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base November 2, 2006. Bush is flying to Montana and Nevada for Congressional mid-term election rallies. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)

A lot of good that will do.

The list of the misdeeds goes on and on in this article, it’s a delicious meltdown of GOP corruption. Take the time to click over.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding