Renzi's Record-Setting Indictment

When Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., was indicted today on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges, he became the second official for the John McCain presidential campaign to face federal charges.

Renzi, a co-chair of McCain's Arizona campaign, joins Bob Allen, a Florida state representative who was busted last July for soliciting sex in a public bathroom, on the short – but growing – list of volunteer officials to Sen. McCain's White House bid.  Allen, co-chair of McCain’s Florida effort, was convicted in November and sentenced to a fine and six months' probation.

Together, Renzi and Allen appear to put McCain in the lead of White House contenders with support from federally indicted officials.  McCain's competitor for the Republican nomination, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, has not been reported to have any campaign officials or major fundraisers facing federal charges.

The Democratic challengers are hardly crime-free, of course.  An apparently tireless fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's bid, Norman Hsu, was revealed last fall to be a wanted felon.  Hsu had reportedly raised over $1 million for Hillary, and lesser amounts for Barack Obama and other Democrats. 

Obama has in the past enjoyed the generous financial support of indicted businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, although the Chicago-area entrepreneur has reportedly given no money to Obama's presidential campaign.  Obama has given back nearly $150,000 in earlier donations from Rezko and his associates.

For Congress-watchers, Renzi's indictment is a separate milestone: He is the fourth lawmaker since 2005 to be indicted or plead guilty. He was preceded by former Reps. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif.; Bob Ney, R-Ohio; and William Jefferson, D-La.

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