Duke Cunningham took bribes as a California Congressman to hand out "no compete" business to defense contractors. In the interests of efficiency, Duke made out a MENU for corrupt defense contractors to show how much payoff it would take per million dollars of business. Pretty handy, eh? And it seems it's been going on for years. Econo-Girl has heard talk of defense contract corruption that included working Defense employees. No specifics, mind you. But rumors were there. The trick was to hire a retired general who knew how it was done.
So now leniency is being pleaded for former fighter pilot who fleeced the Treasury and betrayed the public trust. Econo-Girl votes "no".
Yes, personal bravery and stamina, quick-thinking and intelligence are admirable qualities in any American. But the man's a thief. And it is hard to accept, but that is not inconsistent with his better qualities. Yes, he has served his country admirably. But he profited from it admirably as well. Duke Cunningham should be given the maximum prison sentence, even if he dies there. His corruption was not merely one bad choice, or even a few of them. It established a systemic corruption founded on Duke Cunningham's military experience. He pissed in his own soup. Then he fed it to the U.S. public. Yum-yum.