St. Petersberg Times takes a front page look at the "allegations pil[ing] up" against Feeney. Here's some highlights:
The third is Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida.
Feeney, 47, has tried to move past the allegations but, in typical fashion, has shown little regret or caution.
He kept patronizing Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, long after others stopped. He defended former majority leader Tom DeLay even after the Texas congressman was indicted. He let a private group pay for his trip to China last month, even though many in Congress are avoiding such travel because of bad publicity over questionable trips.
Feeney, usually one of the most accessible of the state's congressional delegation, refused to answer questions. His staff described questions into his relationship as a "fishing expedition" and said he has done nothing wrong.
So will Feeney disclose who paid for that trip to China last month, in which he visited the Chinese Space Agency and called for more cooperation with them? Perhaps he should, considering that NASA, where his wife also works, is in Feeney's district. Even more notably, Feeney spent years as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- which harbored an illegal Chinese alien eventually found guilty of espionage charges related to sending military missile guidance chips to China --- a firm that currently has lucrative contracts with NASA.
Full disclosure on this matter would seem to be particularly important, given the revelation of Feeney's lies regarding his continuing relationship with the Yangs and their company.
On a related point, here's an unfortunate little tidbit from the article:
The list of allegations against Feeney continues in the article, along with some ink for Clint Curtis' run for Congress against him:
He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.
"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."
In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.
"No one likes being attacked but he still continues with his daily routine," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Brooksville Republican who served in the Florida Legislature with Feeney. "This hasn't changed him at all."
Feeney did not face opposition in 2004 but this year already has two opponents, veterinarian Andy Michaud, a Democrat, and computer programmer Clint Curtis, a lifelong Republican turned Democrat. Both Curtis and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee question Feeney's ethics.
Here's a complete list of Reps who received money from Duke Cunningham. Feeney is among those accepting the most, but has not returned the money at this time.
Clint Curtis' campaign website, where he needs much financial and logistical support if he's to have a chance of taking on Feeney and the Florida Republican Machine is right here.
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.