Southern Arizona air smells a little fresher today, and it's not just the storm system moving in from the west.
Randy "Duke" Cunningham has spent the last several years in federal prison in Tucson, AZ. just a couple of hours up the road from the ranch. Since not everybody is from San Diego County, and not everybody actually volunteered for a losing congressional candidate who went up against Duke (Duke couldn't even be bothered to debate my guy, much less run ads or anything so crass; he won nonetheless, proving that many voters have no idea who they're voting for, but just pick the name that looks most familiar), here's a quick reminder: Duke is the congressman who went to prison after having to admit that not only was he accepting bribes (primarily from defense contractors; his seniority on the House Armed Services Committee made it easy for him to steer contracts their way) but he made it easy, providing a handy menu of options and prices to potential customers.
Duke used to "entertain" women on his yacht, the "DukeStir," dressed only in a turtleneck and pajama pants. Quick, wash your brain out with lye before that image sets.
Photograph via Talking Points Memo.com
While in Congress, he consistently voted for legislation that prevented the ATF from being funded to review requests from felons who wanted their gun ownership "rights" returned to them. While in prison, he petitioned a judge to grant him gun ownership rights once he was released. Wisely, the judge declined. But Duke's letter to him reveals one of the reasons he should never have been elected to Congress, much less reelected time and again. Not only does he have no moral compass whatsoever, but Duke is a functional illiterate.
In part, Duke wrote, "I will live in a very remote part of Arkansas, and not much threat from people but they do have a lot of black bears, cougars, and history of rabies. I asking you to help restore my second amendment rights so I can earn a little money so I can eat. Pls help me your honor. I don’t have much left but this little thing is a big thing for me."
He also says that while living with the bears and rabies in his cabin in the Ozarks, he plans to write books. They should be most entertaining.
His 2012 letter endorsing Newt Gingrich for president provides more examples of his unique prose style: "Newt, a voice out of the past. Down but not out and still fighting. First I do not want anything from you but have been watching the debates. I have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will." There's a solid recommendation; how can a guy go wrong if he has the felon vote locked up?
Duke was lining his pockets while our soldiers were having to get by with substandard equipment, sold to the DOD not because the deals were the best or the equipment was the best, but because the contractors were paying him off. His time on the Armed Services Committee was time spent defrauding our nation while interfering with what should be some of the most transparent and important decisions a government has to make. The 8 years he had to serve in prison should have been a hundred, and they should have been spent breaking rocks in Juneau, not sunning in Arizona. I don't have the slightest bit of sympathy for this waste of skin.
I feel bad for Louisiana, because he's been sent to a halfway home there. But man, the Arizona air smells clean today.