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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:06 pm
Post subject: VN ace gets splashed.....

Randy Cunningham (congressmen for my district) pleads guilty to a host of conspiracy and fraud charges, acknowledges accepting bribes for official duties.

Someone at work said they thought he'd always been a "straight shooter"....well, not always, it seems.

I don't think he'll be getting the Martha Stewart deal, neither.

Good riddance.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:28 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

WHAT?!?!??!!!!!!!

You have GOT to be kidding me!!!!!! Seriously?????

I have his book. Read it several times. I admired this guy as a great pilot and scholar of dogfighting history. Truly. I mean he spent his time reading suposedly outdated books like "Dicta Boelke" and proved the old rules are still as viable as ever.

I really didn't even know he was involved in politics......I find this just, well, just unbelievably sad and pathetic. I just can't quite process this information.

I can see his face right now from some of his interviews. Not only was he the only other ace of the Vietnam war, he was the only NAVAL aviator ace, and one of his dogfights (the most dramatic one I believe) ended with half a wing of his F-4 being blown off by a SAM, and both he and his RIO Willie Driscoll (have that name memorized too) decided to ride it out so they could get out of enemy territory, with the plane on fire, and in a constant uncontrollable roll, while Cunningham applied synchronized forward and back elevator to keep the plane on a straight trajectory to the coast for like 20 miles or more.....whereupon they barely managed to eject in time before their flaming Phantom blew up, and they hit the water just off the beach. Not sure but I think the NVA even had a boat on the way towards them when they got picked up.

This is the guy invovled in politics and graft now huh?

What a frikkin' day I swear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......

Wonder what Sen. McCain has to say about this.

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:38 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

He'd been under investigation for months, FBI raided his home (the current one...not the one he sold to a defense contractor for about a million and a half dollars that resold for HALF that!)

He was deep in bed with a primary defense contracter, provided tangible favors for his congressional influence, and accepted bribes (and said as much, in a tearful guilty plea today).

It's hard to imagine how such an accomplished vet and pilot could become so totally corrupted...which he definitely was, by his own admission. He's trying to duck jail time, but I don't see how that's gonna' be possible given that he was an elected official and pled to several federal felony charges.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:47 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

I remember now, hearing about a story regarding a house sold by a gov't official under questionable circumstances, but didn't put the name to it before. Hmmm.

Wonder what defense contractor it was? Half-joking here but I wonder if it was McDonnell-Douglas (they even still around as such?). I mean, it's not hard to imagine some kind of odd misplaced loyalty to the company that built a plane that saved his @ss and made his career.

Speaking of which he ducked out of jail time in the Hanoi Hilton by sheer luck and skill anyway, so watever jail time he has coming isn't as bad as what some of his fellow pilots, like the aforementioned Sen McCain, had to go through. It may not be the Martha Stewart deal but I doubt it'll be hard time making little rocks out of big rocks either. It'll be some Tennis Prison out there somewhere probably....

Absolutely too damn bad he didn't appreciate what he had to begin with.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:49 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- JG300-Ascout
He'd been under investigation for months, FBI raided his home (the current one...not the one he sold to a defense contractor for about a million and a half dollars that resold for HALF that!)

He was deep in bed with a primary defense contracter, provided tangible favors for his congressional influence, and accepted bribes (and said as much, in a tearful guilty plea today).

It's hard to imagine how such an accomplished vet and pilot could become so totally corrupted...which he definitely was, by his own admission. He's trying to duck jail time, but I don't see how that's gonna' be possible given that he was an elected official and pled to several federal felony charges.


Well It smarts when it's a Vet, but politicians are politicians first and it's all about who's greased palm is on.................................well since this isn't Kitty's bar.....................you know.
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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:51 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

OOPPSSS, that's me. The second Guest, LOL
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:55 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- Anonymous
I remember now, hearing about a story regarding a house sold by a gov't official under questionable circumstances, but didn't put the name to it before. Hmmm.

Wonder what defense contractor it was? Half-joking here but I wonder if it was McDonnell-Douglas (they even still around as such?). I mean, it's not hard to imagine some kind of odd misplaced loyalty to the company that built a plane that saved his @ss and made his career.

Speaking of which he ducked out of jail time in the Hanoi Hilton by sheer luck and skill anyway, so watever jail time he has coming isn't as bad as what some of his fellow pilots, like the aforementioned Sen McCain, had to go through. It may not be the Martha Stewart deal but I doubt it'll be hard time making little rocks out of big rocks either. It'll be some Tennis Prison out there somewhere probably....

Absolutely too damn bad he didn't appreciate what he had to begin with.


Here's the story:
www.foxnews.com/story/...85,00.html

The main contractor (there was more than one) was MZM. Just go on Foxnews, or CNN. or MSN for the story. It muddled along on simmer until this summer when the San Diego paper did an in-depth story on it. He was neck deep in graft of the most transparent kind. Lived on a yacht in Chesapeke Bay virtually rent free, accepted bribes, lied big time on taxes, got favored loans, and sold a house DIRECT to a contractor for twice it's actual value. This has been a much followed story locally.

Oh, he of course resigned his U.S. HOR seat concurrent with his guilty plea.

Cunningham Pleads Guilty in House Sale Probe
Monday, November 28, 2005

PHOTOS VIDEO

Click image to enlarge
STORIES
•Cunningham Gets to Set Up Legal Defense Fund•Feds May Seize California Lawmaker's Home•Cunningham Falls to Typical Enticements•Cunningham Won't Seek Re-Election•Court: Convict's Firm Aided Rep. Cunningham•Cunningham Web Site Down•FBI Searches Calif. Congressman's Home•Grand Jury Wants Papers on Cunningham Real Estate Deal•Calif. Pol: Home Sale Was 'Poor Judgment'•Feds Probe Calif. Pol Over Real Estate Deal
SAN DIEGO � Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned from Congress Monday after pleading guilty in a San Diego federal court to accepting bribes and violating tax laws in the sale of his home two years ago to a defense contractor.

Cunningham entered pleas in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. He answered, "Yes, Your Honor" when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted cash in exchange for his performance of official duties.

Click here to read Rep. Cunningham's plea (pdf)

In a tearful apology, the 63-year-old Republican lawmaker said because he was "not strong enough," he disgraced his family and his congressional seat.

"I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, all my worldly possessions and most importantly the trust of my friends and family," Cunningham said in a brief statement in which he announced that he will continue to cooperate with the government's ongoing investigation.

"In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow and now I know great shame. I can't undo what I've done but I can atone. And now ... I enter the twilight of my life. I intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends and I will," he said.



After the hearing, Cunningham was taken away for fingerprinting. He will be released on his own recognizance until a Feb. 27 sentencing hearing. He could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The disgraced congressman also agreed to forfeit to the government his Rancho Santa Fe home, more than $1.8 million in cash and antiques and rugs.

House Ethics rules say that any lawmaker convicted of a felony no longer should vote or participate in committee work. Under Republican caucus rules, Cunningham also would lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence subcommittee on terrorism and human intelligence.

In announcing the plea, prosecutors in San Diego said over four years, Cunningham accepted bribes worth $2.4 million in return for special treatment and government defense contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.

It is "clear from the facts that this was a crime of magnificent and extraordinary audacity," said U.S. Attorney Carol Lam.

The case started earlier this year when Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, were accused of using the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale of his home in Del Mar home to buy a $2.55 million mansion in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe. Cunningham then had the capital gains tax on the property paid by his conspirators.

Though no others were named, in prior reporting, defense contractor Mitchell Wade was said to have bought the Del Mar, and then sold it nearly a year later for a loss of $700,000.

Lam said Cunningham also was given money for a yacht, a party for his daughter's graduation, rugs, antiques, furniture and a Rolls Royce as well as travel expenses for his wife and a payment of more than $1 million to pay the mortgage in the Rancho Sante Fe home.

At the same time Cunningham was getting the cash, he reported $121,079 in income on his 2004 IRS return. He claimed he was due a refund $8,504. The real amount earned and was more than $1.2 million, say prosecutors and Cunningham owed $385,077 in taxes.

Cunningham, an eight-term congressman, announced in July that he wouldn't seek re-election next year. The former Vietnam War flying ace is known on Capitol Hill for his interest in defense issues and his occasional temperamental outbursts.

He drew little notice outside his San Diego-area district before the San Diego Union-Tribune reported last June that he'd sold the home to Wade.

In addition to buying Cunningham's home at an inflated price, Wade let him live rent-free on his yacht, the Duke Stir, at the Capital Yacht Club. His firm, MZM Inc., donated generously to Cunningham's campaigns. Prosecutors did not specify if those allegations were part of Cunningham's guilty pleas.

Around the same time, MZM was winning valuable defense contracts. Cunningham sits on the House Appropriations subcommittee that controls defense dollars. In 2004 the little-known company based in Washington, D.C., tripled its revenue and nearly quadrupled its staff, according to information posted on the company Web site before Wade stepped down as president and the company was sold to a private equity firm.

An associate of Wade, Brent Wilkes, president of a Poway company called ADCS Inc., also gave Cunningham campaign cash and favors. Wilkes reportedly flew Cunningham in a corporate jet to go hunting in Idaho and golfing in Hawaii, and a charitable foundation Wilkes started spent $36,000 hosting a black tie "Tribute to Heroes" gala in 2002 that feted Cunningham with a trophy naming him a hero.

ADCS, which specializes into turning paper records into digital files, has received tens of millions in Defense Department contracts since the late 1990s. In some years, lawmakers on Cunningham's spending panel added the money themselves, even scolding the Pentagon for not requesting it in the first place.

Unlike Wade and Wilkes, the third man federal investigators focused on, Thomas Kontogiannis, apparently wasn't in the defense business. Like them he had a mutually beneficial relationship with Cunningham.

Cunningham wrote to prosecutors in 2000 on behalf of Kontogiannis, a New York developer then under investigation in a bribery and kickback scheme involving school computer contracts. Two years later, Cunningham made $400,000 selling his 65-foot flat-bottom riverboat to Kontogiannis.

Also, a company run by Kontogiannis' nephew and daughter helped Cunningham finance a condominium in Alexandria, Va., and his house in Rancho Santa Fe.

Kontogiannis ultimately pleaded guilty to fraud charges. He told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Cunningham gave him advice on attorneys to contact to explore getting a presidential pardon.

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Last edited by JG300-Ascout on Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:58 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

OOps, that was me (who else!).

And you mean the man actually cried???

Sorry but being ashamed is one thing....remorse can be shown with some backbone and the determination that you'll make proper restitution and accept the appropriate, expected discipline for your misdeeds, without throwing tears. Nothing wrong with crying, I mean, for a tremendous loss beyond your control, but over confessing an intentional act of misconduct? Sorry, I think it's just out of place, he neds to friggin' buck up and have some strength over how he'll handle himself from now on. Crying just seems to suggest....I don't know.....further lack of integrity somehow, you know?

This just became even more dissapointing.

I know this is a Vet and it's not as much my place to say some of this as it is yours and others.....but this just sounds completely out of character from someone with his background.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:05 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- Anonymous
.... but politicians are politicians first and it's all about who's greased palm is on.................................well since this isn't Kitty's bar.....................you know.


Well, like P.J. O'Rourke said......politicians are just people who can't work real jobs like everyone else.

After reading his allocution I guess he did stand up straight at the end (or tried to) and address his coming atonement, so I take back what I said about the crying I guess.

Its still just a shock. Go frikkin' figure!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:11 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

He will be released on his own recognizance until a Feb. 27 sentencing hearing. He could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


See? I told ya! Let's release someone capable of leaving the country at Mach 2+ on their own recognizance for three months. Yeah he'll come back and make good on the 1.8 Mil.....no 'flight risk' there...

Tennis Prison for sure for this guy.

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:46 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- JG300-Stoopy
He will be released on his own recognizance until a Feb. 27 sentencing hearing. He could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


See? I told ya! Let's release someone capable of leaving the country at Mach 2+ on their own recognizance for three months. Yeah he'll come back and make good on the 1.8 Mil.....no 'flight risk' there...

Tennis Prison for sure for this guy.



"...it was about then that ol' Boss Hawg caught up with one o' them Duke boys and throwed him in the hoosegow."

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:07 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- JG300-Ascout

"...it was about then that ol' Boss Hawg caught up with one o' them Duke boys and throwed him in the hoosegow."


Yeah, and you better keep an eye on things over there at Miramar or one of those F-18's is probably gonna be takin' off and jumpin' the border like the General Lee... Wink

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:08 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- JG300-Stoopy
- JG300-Ascout

"...it was about then that ol' Boss Hawg caught up with one o' them Duke boys and throwed him in the hoosegow."


Yeah, and you better keep an eye on things over there at Miramar or one of those F-18's is probably gonna be takin' off and jumpin' the border like the General Lee... Wink


Just gotta' listen for the horn playing "Dixie"!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:13 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

Allright, now I can't get the images of Daisy out of my mind....I hope you're happy! I know I sure am......

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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:30 pm
Post subject: Re: VN ace gets splashed.....

- JG300-Stoopy
Allright, now I can't get the images of Daisy out of my mind....I hope you're happy! I know I sure am......


Just "Google" for pictures of Catherine Bach today....you'll soon get over it.

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