Friday, January 19, 2007

Bye-bye, Bobby

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--Republican scumbag Bob Ney was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in one of the many GOP congressional bribery scandals.

Ney, the first congressman ensnared in this particular case so far, pleaded guilty to trading official favors for golf trips, tickets, meals, campaign donations and offshore orgy vouchers from disgraced lobbyist and white-slave racketeer Jack Abramoff, who ratted him out.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said that Ney would serve his time at the minimum security federal pen in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he can expect to enjoy daily jaunts to the exercise yard, frequent hot meals, and weekly showers.

When he is released, the judge said, Ney will serve another two years on probation, which should have no effect on his ability to make tons of money as a lobbyist. She also ordered him into a prison alcohol rehabilitation program for treatment of a drinking problem he began hiding behind as soon as his crimes became public.

The sentence was harsher than recommended by prosecutors or Ney's lawyers, Huvelle said, because Ney had violated the trust place on him as a public official. "Both your constituents and the public trusted you to represent them honestly," she said. "And you turned out to be both a crook and a shitheel."

Ney apologized to his family and constituents during a brief speech to the judge, but was sentenced anyway.

"I will continue to take full responsibility for the crimes of the Ohio Republican Party, take the fall for my betters, and battle the demons of addiction that are suddenly within me," he said.

Earlier, Ney's defense team filed letters bought from his doctor and a former staff member who described his convenient drinking problems and how they accelerated exponentially when he came under scrutiny in the Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Ney's plea-cop in the election-year scandal drew criticism from Republican congressional leaders and the Bush Crime Family, who believe with all their hearts that nothing is illegal if they do it. White House Channel anchorman Tony Snow said Ney's criminal activity "is not a reflection of the Republican Party," and everyone had a good laugh.

Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements. He is the latest in a string of Republicans convicted in what promises to be an endless scandal that has caught several lobbyists and two members of the Bush administration, just for starters.

The gifts Ney received ranged from a trip to Scotland bankrolled by Abramoff's clients to thousands of dollars in gambling chips that Ney got on two overseas junkets from Syrian businessman Fouad al-Zayat, whose desire for special permits to sell American-made airplane parts to the Iranian government made him a soft touch.

Abramoff, once the most influential K Street fixer, has turned rat in an FBI corruption investigation that has only begun to shake Capitol Hill. He is currently in prison for a fraudulent Florida casino deal, but has so many other felonies stacked up against him that he'll never stop singing.

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