Bob Ney reported to prison yesterday to begin serving his 2+ years sentence on federal corruption charges stemming from his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. His former chief of staff William Heaton pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with the same corruption inquiry.
Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), who won the election to replace Ney after he resigned from Congress in 2006, has been particularly vocal about the need to clean up Washington and reduce the influence of lobbyist money. So it is particularly tough for him going into what is sure to be a hotly contested re-election battle in 2008 to navigate the murky fundraising waters of Washington. He has sworn off contributions from lobbyists but must still throw himself into fundraising activities to keep from appearing vulnerable. Even the most committed of reformers still need to play the game to keep their seat.
How many more Congressman are we going to see decked out in prison jumpsuits before we get real change in Washington?