Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is Rick Renzi planning to resign?

Hat tip to The politico via Arizona Congress Watch

A week after FBI agents raided his family's business, Republican Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona has asked to be dropped from his party's top campaign program to protect vulnerable incumbents, a clear sign that he is considering a resignation from Congress.

Renzi asked to be dropped from the Regain Our Majority Program, which raises money for the GOP's most vulnerable incumbents, an aide to Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed Tuesday.

The congressman's office did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

Last week, FBI agents raided the Arizona offices of a Renzi family business as part of a federal investigation into whether the congressman was paid for helping to arrange a land swap that would allow the two largest mining companies in the world to access to a major copper lode in Arizona, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Renzi swiftly resigned his seat on the House intelligence panel on Thursday night after telling Boehner that his family's business had been raided.

Renzi's decision, however voluntary, is a clear sign that members have heeded Boehner's call for Republicans to step aside if they are in the crosshairs of a federal investigation following two years of non-stop scandal in the 109th Congress that contributed to the GOP's demise.

Rick Renzi needs to go. Even during the DeLay era, he was consistently named as one of the most corrupt members of Congress. Though he has managed to win election three times because he has proven himself to be a master of negative advertising, Renzi has apparently used his tenure in Congress to enrich himself, his family and his associates from the Federal till. Even Republicans here acknowlege that he is dishonest and corrupt, but he's managed to still win only by smearing his opponents.

Last year Republicans took, as President Bush said, 'a thumping' at the polls, and election day polls showed that voters were punishing them for two main reasons-- 1. Iraq, and 2. GOP Congressional scandals.

Well, they seem to want a repeat of that in 2008, since the House Republicans for the most part are still backing the President on Iraq, and with accidents like Rick Renzi (and California Congressman John Doolittle) waiting to happen it looks like 2008 may turn into another scandal-plagued year for the GOP.

The best thing that Rick Renzi could do for his party, his constituents and the institution of Congress would be to resign, effective immediately.

UPDATE: Tedski at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion says he has information that Renzi may resign by Friday.

Also, in addition to Renzi, we see (credit to HB over at CH Truth) that the Carpet Bagger Report has provided us with a nice summary:

* FBI agents raided Rep. John Doolittle’s (R-Calif.) home, forcing him to step down from his seat on the House Appropriations Committee.

* FBI officials have been leaning on Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) for additional information about his connections with Jack Abramoff.

* Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is facing a Senate Ethics Committee inquiry, stemming from his efforts to push a federal prosecutor to bring a baseless charge against Democratic state officials in his home state.

* The FBI is investigating Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) for a series of land deals.

* A former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has pleaded guilty to accepting illegal gifts from Abramoff.

* The Justice Department investigation into former Rep. (and current Nevada governor) Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) has intensified.

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