Rep. Robert Ney (R-OH) pleads guilty to corruption charges arising from the influence-peddling investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney has been in "alcohol rehab" for a month (hmm, sound familiar? Seems to be all the latest fashion to blame alcoholism for all your shortcomings...) Ney's conviction, according to the article in The Washington Post on Saturday, October 14, is the 8th person convicted in the wake of this investigation, but the first elected official. The levels of involvement throughout the federal government are staggering. Kickbacks, reciprocal payments, and political favors and appointments from the Abramoff scandal are far-reaching, and involve legislation favoring contributors, appointments to the Department of the Interior, Office of Management and Budget, and others. Here's an ironic quote from the article: "As of August, Ney had spent $296,000 in campaign funds (my emphasis) to pay for legal expenses this year, according to newly filed campaign reports. By age 62, Ney could be eligible for a pension worth about 20 percent of the $165,000 congressional salary, or about $33,000 a year. Earlier this year, Ney's committee (he was chairman of the House Administration Committee; the head of that panel is known as 'the mayor of Capitol Hill') passed ethics legislation to strip convicted lawmakers of their pensions, but the bill died in the House. Ney championed the provision, saying it was designed to hold 'members of Congress and those they work with to the highest standards in order to ensure that those who abuse the public trust will be dealt with accordingly.' " Hmm, more support for my theory of hiding in plain sight, and perps being attracted to those activities that they claim to be so avidly against. Although most of the members of the Congress being investigated are republican, I do not doubt that the trail will lead to more than just one or two democrats, too. Isn't it time for us to really really really clean house, folks? Especially the ones who run on "conservative, family-values" platforms and reward us for electing them, by this sort of thing?