With the news today that the boat Randy "Duke" Cunningham lives on down at the yacht club really isn't 'his' yacht but rather a yacht pretty clearly bought for him by a defense contractor getting his help on the appropriations committee, you really have to wonder: How do they think they'll get away with it? And yet, until now he has.
Yeah, I know. Apparently the Duke is 'renting' the boat. But how is it exactly that Mitchell Wade's boat got named the 'Duke Stir' anyway? He's a big John Wayne fan?
In any case, this is one of the things that always surprises me about Washington. There are many members of Congress -- hopefully most, but who knows? -- who are almost comically precise in following all the various rules and regulations about who has to pay for meals or whether some little trinket gift has to be reported. And when you're literal about them the rules are pretty broad and encompassing.
Even folks who get in trouble for campaign finance stuff are often breaking technical rules which, while important, don't go to issues of personal gain for the member of Congress involved. A lot of DeLay's troubles stem from Texas laws about corporate giving in political campaigns in the state.
And then you've got Duke Cunningham who appears to be more or less owned by a defense contractor with business before his committee. I mean, when you add up all we know, it seems like Mitchell Wade basically bought or heavily contributed to buying the Duke luxury homes (albeit, one waterborne) in the district and in Washington. And apparently no one noticed.
It's right out of the 19th century.