November 16, 2006

Abscam Revisited.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:52 pm

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.


  1. You forgot about New Jersey Congressman Frank Thompson (D-Trenton) – he was the House Democratic Whip. “After initially declining to comment on the allegations, Thompson issued statements denying any bribe and suggesting he met with the Arabs because he thought they’d generate jobs for Jersey.”

    I think “Thompy” also claimed the House ethics committee gave him verbal approval for the deal. Anyway, the “liberal’s liberal” was convicted of bribery and conspiracy in the Abscam affair. He served only two years in prison and upon his release became a consultant in Washington D.C..

    Comment by Enlighten-NewJersey — November 16, 2006 @ 10:46 pm

  2. Is New Jersey actually a suburb of NYC? Is that why the NY Giants play in New Jersey?

    Comment by GUYK — November 16, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

  3. But whyyyyyy, Jimbo?

    What is it about Jersey that breeds liars, crooks, petty criminals and wise guys in nylon jogging suits?

    Comment by Erica — November 17, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

  4. That’s a good question, Erica. You can guess the answer if you consider that the only other state that’s even in the running for Most Corrupt State is Rhode Island. Both small, wealthy and dominated by urban political machines. They’re small enough to have a limited number of players, there’s money laying around and the rules are made by people with zero accountability. New Jersey has been designed to be exactly what it is.

    Comment by Sluggo — November 17, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  5. … sounds to me like you guys need to forget bear season and start bagging politicians….

    Comment by Eric — November 17, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  6. O yeah, Harrison Williams. And they named a highway for him after he was convicted. Name’s been taken down now —-

    Comment by Charlie — November 20, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

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