Jennifer Biddison

Democrats need a new 2006 campaign issue. It seems their “culture of corruption” accusations regarding the Republican Party have come back to bite them in the rear.

Corruption is hardly a new phenomenon. Thousands of years ago, King David wrote, “All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3). Corruption is an equal-opportunity temptation, luring men and women of all ethnicities, religious affiliations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and political parties. 

Republicans who see their party as the more “moral” one set themselves up to be slammed by the media and Democrats time and time again. From Richard Nixon’s “I’m not a crook,” to Newt Gingrich’s affair with a congressional aide, to Rep. Duke Cunningham’s recent conviction for taking bribes from defense contractors, Republicans have no justification for self-righteousness – or for pointing fingers.

Likewise, Democrats should think twice before getting too smug. After months of campaigning against the Republican “culture of corruption,” Democratic leaders have recently been humbled by the stumbles of three of their own.

The first Democrat to fall was Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), who resigned from his post as ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee after even the left-leaning Washington Post called on him to step down. One of’s own Gold Partners, the National Legal & Policy Center, was the first to uncover improprieties in Mollohan’s financial disclosure reports. After months of research, the NLPC filed a 500-page complaint detailing hundreds of ethics law violations by Mollohan.