Thanks to Congressman Murtha (in whose eye I could happily spit) and his almost-ascension to the position of House Majority Leader, much has been written about Abscam. Given that the FBI sting operation commenced in 1978, it occurred to me that many readers may have been too young back then to fully appreciate the rot that it uncovered, which led to the . conviction of one United States Senator, six Congressmen and several and other public officials.
The convicted U.S. Senator was found guilty on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy to use his office to aid in business ventures (i.e. an interest in a titanium mine, to which he promised to direct government contracts).
Can you guess which state the single convicted U.S. Senator represented?
I thought you could.
Yes, it was democrat Senator Harrison “Pete” Williams from NEW JERSEY, who was convicted in 1981 and who resigned the Senate, but only after the vote on his expulsion was imminent.
Oh, and one of the others convicted as a result of the sting was the democrat Mayor of Camden, NEW JERSEY and NEW JERSEY State Senator Angelo Errichetti.
Is it any wonder that New Jersey is a national political joke?
Update: In a comment, Enlighten-New Jersey reminded me that I had forgotten to list democrat Congressman Frank Thompson of NEW JERSEY among those convicted as a result of the Abscam sting. Of course, that means that three of the seven politicians convicted for corruption were from NEW JERSEY — a dubious distinction to be sure.