Friday, February 22, 2008

Renzi Indicted

There's a special place in hell for lawmakers who gamble away the rights of their constituencies without ever bothering to visit that particular area in their jurisdiction. The land swap that has finally put Rick Renzi (AZ-01) under indictment involves an area near my ancestral hometown that has never seen their so-called Congressional Representative engage them directly on the theft of land he has proposed. No wonder - it's all been used as a rouse to fill his wallet with kickbacks.

Renzi is charged with using the power of his office, and in particular his spot on the House Natural Resources Committee, to push through a land sale that he personally benefited from in 2005. Renzi also is accused of funneling more than $100,000 from a longtime business associate into his 2002 campaign for Congress. Renzi was elected to the district that takes in most of northern Arizona, as well as parts of eastern Pinal County.

Other charges in the indictment allege Renzi conspired to embezzle money from a Virginia insurance company he owed by misappropriating more than $400,000 in premiums. He used most of that money to help finance his 2002 campaign, according to the charges.

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