Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Culture of Corruption: As parting gift, Duke cut check to NRCC

The Hill

Before former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) headed to prison, he prepared a small parting gift intended to help his colleagues in the upcoming election: a $2,000 check from his expiring campaign committee to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

That relatively small gesture, made Dec. 13 according to Cunningham’s campaign records, followed on the heels of an Oct. 24 donation of $11,684 to the NRCC. It also came about two weeks after he admitted to taking $2.4 million in bribes to direct government business to certain defense contractors.

NRCC spokesman Carl Forti said yesterday that the party never received the $2,000 check and that it has “no plans” to return the nearly $12,000 it accepted before Cunningham’s Nov. 28 guilty plea.

“I mailed it to them,” said Cunningham’s campaign treasurer, Kenneth Batson. “If it hasn’t cleared, I’ll stop payment and send it again.”

Batson said he hopes to close Cunningham’s account this quarter, which ends Friday.

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