Nov 16, 2009

Republican scandals back in the headlines

Republican scandals have been absent from the headlines for the last couple of years, but a trio of Michigan Republicans have changed that.

I guess they are too busy lying about health care to continue their record of corruption, but the more obvious reason is that they are simply not in power. But last week three Republicans were charged with fraud involving a local housing development.

Facing charges are Joel Westrom, a failed GOP House candidate and the former chair of the Marquette County Democratic Party and the First Congressional District; Brian Swift, former Gov. John Engler's northern Michigan representative for seven years from 1994-2001; and Michael Gokey, Engler's deputy northern Michigan representative.

Two other businessman are charged with the GOP three in the alleged fraud, and each defendant is charged with four counts including fraud, fraudulent use of building contractor funds and conspiracy.

Guys like this give all politicians a bad name. If convicted, I hope they pay the price like former Louisiana Democratic congressman William Jefferson, who was convicted of taking bribes on 11 of 16 counts by a federal jury last week.

Westrom was elected as the First Congressional District GOP Chair in February 2007. To quote former GOP sugar daddy Dick DeVos on Mr. Westrom, “that young man is going places.” Too bad it’s jail.

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