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Encyclopedia > Randy "Duke" Cunningham
Randy "Duke" Cunningham speaking January 2005
Randy "Duke" Cunningham speaking January 2005

Randall Harold Cunningham (born December 8, 1941), usually known as Randy or Duck, was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 50th Congressional District. He served from 1991 to 2005. Image File history File links Randy_Duke_Cunningham_Jan_2005. ... December 8 is the 342nd day (343rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... The chamber of the United States House of Representatives is located in the south wing of the Capitol building, in Washington, D.C.. This photograph shows a rare glimpse of the four vote tallying boards (the blackish squares across the top), which display each members name and vote as... A map of district 50 District 50s location in California The 50th Congressional district in California represents part of north coastal San Diego County. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. By pleading guilty, he admitted to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004. On March 3, 2006, Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison and was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution. A special election to fill the vacancy left by Cunningham is scheduled for April 11, 2006. November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more natural persons to break the law at some time in the future, so a natural person identified with the mind of a legal entity cannot conspire with the company alone. ... Bribery is a crime defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Wire fraud is a legal concept in the United States Code which provides for enhanced penalty of any criminal activity if it is determined that the occurrence of the crime involved electronic communications of any sort, at any phase of the event. ... This article contrasts tax evasion, tax avoidance, tax resistance and tax mitigation. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Restitution is the name given to a form of legal relief in which the plaintiff recovers something from the defendant that belongs, or should belong, to the plaintiff. ... A special election will be held in the 50th Congressional District of California to choose a new member of the United States House of Representatives to replace Randy Cunningham, who resigned November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to bribery, wire fraud, mail fraud, and tax evasion charges. ... April 11 is the 101st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (102nd in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Family

Cunningham was born in Los Angeles to Randall and Lela Cunningham, who both moved there from Oklahoma during the Depression. His father was a Union Oil Station Attendant.[1] His father's family moved to Fresno, California then to rural Shelbina, Missouri when he was 12. In Shelbina, he loved to hunt pheasant and deer with his father and graduated from high school. Nickname: City of Angels Official website: http://www. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 20th 181,196 km² 355 km 645 km 1. ... Dorothea Langes Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, a mother of seven children, age twenty-nine, in Nipomo, California, March 1936. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Shelbina is a city located in Shelby County, Missouri. ...


Cunningham married his first wife, Susan Albrecht in 1965; they met in college and had one adopted son, Todd. Susan filed for divorce and a restraining order in January of 1973 based on her claims of emotional abuse, and the divorce was granted nine months later. Cunningham later stated that at that point, his life hit "rock-bottom."


In 1973 he met Dan McKinnon, a publisher and son of former Congressman Clinton D. McKinnon. Dan McKinnon encouraged him to turn his life around, and Cunningham became a born-again Christian. [2] [3]. Clinton Dotson McKinnon (February 5, 1906–December 29, 2001) is a former American Democratic politician and journalist from San Diego. ... Born again is a term used primarily in the Fundamentalist, Evangelical, and Pentecostal branches of Protestant Christianity, where it is associated with salvation, conversion and spiritual rebirth. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. ...


Cunningham met his second wife, Nancy D. Jones, at the Miramar Officer's Club and they were married February 16, 1974.[4] Nancy was born in 1952 and is also previously-married. In 1976, she filed for divorce and a restraining order, stating that he "is a very aggressive spontaneously assaultive person, and I fear for my immediate physical safety and well being." Nancy later had a change of heart, so at her request, the court dismissed the divorce in January 1977. Nancy's declaration justifying the restraining order has been sealed by court order since 1990, when Duke first ran for congress. They have two daughters, April and Carrie. Dr. Nancy Cunningham is an educator for the Encinitas school district [5]. February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1974 calendar). ... Look up January in Wiktionary, the free dictionary January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... Location Location of Encinitas within San Diego County, California. ...


Military service

After receiving his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Missouri in 1964 and 1965, Cunningham spent a year as a high school swimming coach in Hinsdale, Illinois before joining the United States Navy in 1966. The University of Missouri System is one of two public state university systems in the state of Missouri. ... Hinsdale is a prestigious suburban village located in Cook County and DuPage County in the U.S. state of Illinois. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for conducting naval operations around the globe. ...


During his service, Cunningham became the first Navy ace in the Vietnam War, flying an F-4 Phantom from aboard aircraft carriers, and recording five confirmed kills, making him one of two U.S. pilots to "ace" in that war. He allegedly downed Col. Nguyen Toon, but Col. Toon has turned out to be a mythical Vietnamese fighter ace, who flew a MiG-17 against him. Cunningham was reportedly almost court-martialed while still in flight school for breaking into an office to compare his records with those of his colleagues—a charge denied by Cunningham, but supported by two of his superior officers at the time [6]. Regardless of the controversy, there was little doubt about Cunningham's piloting abilities. He was one of the most highly decorated U.S. Navy pilots in the Vietnam War, receiving the Navy Cross once, the Silver Star twice, the Air Medal 15 times, and the Purple Heart for wounds he received under enemy fire. A flying ace is a military aviator who has shot down five or more enemy aircraft. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) United States of America South Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand the Philippines Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) Strength ~1,200,000 (1968) ~420,000 (1968) Casualties South Vietnamese dead: 1,250,000+ US dead: 58,226 US wounded... The F-4 Phantom II (simply F-4 Phantom after 1990) is a two-place (tandem), supersonic, long-range, all-weather fighter-bomber built by McDonnell Douglas Corporation. ... An aircraft carrier is a warship designed to deploy and recover aircraft—in effect acting as a sea-going airbase. ... Colonel Toon or Tomb was the mythical North Vietnamese fighter pilot and flying ace who allegedly shot down 13 American aircraft during the Vietnam War. ... A flying ace is a military aviator who has shot down five or more enemy aircraft. ... MiG-17 at the Central Texas Airshow, USA, May 2003. ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... The Navy Cross The Navy Cross is the second highest medal that can be awarded by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. ... The Silver Star is a United States military decoration and is the third highest medal for valor. ... The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States which was established by Executive Order 9158, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, on May 11, 1942. ... The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration awarded in the name of the President of the United States to those who have been wounded or killed while serving in, or with, the U.S. military after April 5, 1917. ...


After returning from Vietnam in 1972, he became an instructor at the Navy's TOPGUN school for fighter pilots at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. Cunningham says many of his real-life experiences in combat and as an instructor were depicted in the popular 1986 movie Top Gun [7], although the movie's producer says it was not based on any specific aviator [8]. TOPGUN is the code name and common name of the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) course. ... Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is about 10 miles (16 km) north of downtown San Diego, California, USA. The United States Marine Corps installation is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 11, and Marine Aircraft Group 16. ... San Diego County in the Southwest corner of California. ... Top Gun is a 1986 American film directed by Tony Scott and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in association with Paramount Pictures. ...


Cummingham was a commentator on the History Channel program "Dogfights: The Greatest Air Battles", in the Vietnam War segment, where he discussed his experiences as a fighter pilot. The History Channel is a cable television channel, dedicated to the presentation of historical events and persons, often with frequent observations and explanations by noted historians as well as reenactors and witnesses to events, if possible. ...


In 1985 Cunningham earned an MBA from National University, a San Diego night school. He retired from the Navy in 1987 as a commander, settling in Del Mar, a suburb of San Diego. However, success eluded him in business or teaching. He became nationally known as a CNN commentator on naval aircraft in the run-up to the Persian Gulf War. Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a tertiary degree in business management. ... National University is in an on-ground and on-line degree granting educational institution based in San Diego, California, in the United States. ... Insignia of a United States Navy Commander Commander is a military rank used in many navies but not generally in armies or air forces. ... Del Mar is a city located in San Diego County, California. ... Cable News Network or CNN is a cable television network that was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... See also: 2003 invasion of Iraq and Gulf War (disambiguation) C Company, 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment, 1st UK Armoured Division The Persian Gulf War was a conflict between Iraq and a coalition force of 34 nations led by the United States. ...


Political career

Cunningham's visibility as a CNN commentator led several Republican leaders to approach him about running in what was then the 44th District, one of four that divided San Diego. The district had been held for eight years by Democrat Jim Bates, and was considered the most Democratic district in the San Diego area. However, Bates was bogged down in a scandal involving charges of sexual harassment. Cunningham won the Republican nomination in 1990 and hammered Bates about the scandal, promising to be "a congressman we can be proud of." He won by just one percentage point, meaning that the San Diego area was represented entirely by Republicans for only the second time since the city was split into two districts after the 1960 census. The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Jim Bates (born July 21, 1941) is a former American politician. ... A scandal is a widely publicized incident involving allegations of wrong-doing, disgrace, or moral outrage. ... Sexual harassment is harassment of a sexual nature, typically in the workplace or other setting where raising objections or refusing may have negative consequences. ... This article is about the year. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ...


Congressional freshmen usually don't get much media attention outside of their home districts or states, but Cunningham's status as a Vietnam War hero made him an exception. He was widely admired for his special knowledge of the armed forces, and played an important role in the debate on whether to use military force to make Iraq end its occupation of Kuwait [6]. Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan, longtime chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that Cunningham had considerable "drawing power" and was treated as a celebrity by his fellow Republicans [9]. Guy Vander Jagt was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan. ... Official language(s) English de-facto Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 11th 96,716 mi² 250,494 km² 239 miles 385 km 491 miles 790 km 41. ... The National Republican Congressional Committee is the Republican Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Republicans to that body. ...


After the 1990 census, the district was renumbered the 51st District, and much of its share of San Diego was moved to the new 50th District. At the same time, the district added several areas of heavily Republican North San Diego County. In the 1992 Republican primary, Cunningham faced Bill Lowery, who had represented most of the other side of San Diego for the past 12 years before his home had been drawn out of his old district and into Cunningham's district. However, Lowery had been caught in the House banking scandal. As polls showed Cunningham with a substantial lead, Lowery dropped out of the primary race, effectively handing Cunningham a second term. While the district, which was renumbered the 50th after the 2000 census, is not as Republican as the other two Republican-leaning districts in the San Diego area, Cunningham was reelected six times by margins of 55 percent or more of the vote. This article is about the year. ... North San Diego County (locally referred to as North County) refers to the northern portion of San Diego County, a suburban and rural area far from the urban center of San Diego. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... William David Bill Lowery (May 2, 1947–) was a U.S. Republican politician from California. ... Rubbergate was the name given to a scandal that broke in early 1992 when it was revealed that members of the United States House of Representatives were knowingly writing bad checks, and not being penalized by the House Bank. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


He was a member of the Appropriations and Intelligence committees, and chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Human Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence during the 109th Congress. He was considered a leading Republican expert on national security issues. He was also a champion of education, using his position on the Appropriations Education Subcommittee to steer federal dollars to schools in San Diego. After surgery for prostate cancer in 1998, he became a champion of early testing for the disease. The Committee on Appropriations, or Appropriations Committee (often referred to as simply Appropriations, as in Hes on Appropriations) is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. ... The U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is a committee of the United States House of Representatives, currently chaired by Peter Hoekstra. ... The 109th United States Congress is the current meeting of the United States legislature, comprised of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. ... Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...


Cunningham was known for making intemperate outbursts. Some examples are:

  • Making an inappropriate comment about Congressman Barney Frank, where he equated a medical procedure to screen for prostate cancer with Frank's sexual orientation [10].
  • Flipping off a constituent and "for emphasis, shouted the two-word meaning of his one-finger salute" [6].
  • Suggesting that the Democratic House leadership should be "lined up and shot"—a call he'd previously made about Vietnam War protesters [6].
  • referring to gay soldiers as "homos" [6].
  • Getting in a shoving match with Congressman Jim Moran over sending troops to Bosnia. After Cunningham fled, Moran found him crying in the cloakroom. [11]

While Cunningham said that "I cut my own rudder" on issues [6], he had a very conservative voting record [12]. He is often compared by liberal interest groups to former congressman Bob Dornan, with some justification; both are ardent conservatives, both are former military pilots, and both have become infamous for outbursts against perceived enemies. In 1992, Cunningham, along with Dornan and fellow San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter, challenged the patriotism of then-Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton before a near-empty House chamber [6]. Barney Frank (born March 31, 1940) is an American politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. ... Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ... Sexual orientation refers to the sex, sexes, gender or genders, to which a person is attracted and which form the focus of a persons amorous or erotic desires, fantasies, and spontaneous feelings. ... Jim Moran James Patrick Moran Jr. ... Motto: none Anthem: Intermeco Capital Sarajevo Largest city Sarajevo Official language(s) Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian Government Presidents Prime Minister Federal republic Sulejman Tihić1 (Bosniak) Borislav Paravac (Serb) Ivo Miro Jović (Croat) Adnan Terzic Independence From Yugoslavia 5 April 1992 Area  â€¢ Total  â€¢ Water (%)   51,129 km² (124th) Negligible Population  â€¢ July... Advocacy is an umbrella term for organized activism related to a particular set of issues. ... Robert Kenneth Bob Dornan (born April 3, 1933) is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Duncan Lee Hunter (born May 31, 1948), American politician, has been a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 1981 from the 52nd District in northern and eastern San Diego County (map). ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ...


In September 1996 Cunningham attacked President Clinton for appointing "soft on crime" judges. "We must get tough on drug dealers," he said. "Those who peddle destruction on our children must pay dearly." He favored stiff drug penalties and voted for the death penalty for major drug dealers. Four months later, his son Todd was arrested for helping to transport 400 pounds (181 kg) of marijuana from Massachusetts to California. At his son's sentencing hearing, Cunningham fought back tears as he begged the judge for leniency (Todd was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, in part because he tested positive for cocaine three times while on bail). Cunningham's press secretary responded to accusations of double standards with: "The sentence Todd got had nothing to do with who Duke is. Duke has always been tough on drugs and remains tough on drugs." Look up September in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Species Cannabis indica Cannabis ruderalis Cannabis sativa Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant that includes one or more species. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 10,555 mi²; 27,360 km² 183 mi; 295 km 113 mi; 182 km 13. ... This article is about the drug Cocaine. ...


In the Washingtonian feature "Best & Worst of Congress" of 2004, Cunningham was rated (along with four other House members) as "No Rocket Scientist" by a bipartisan survey of Congressional staff [13]. The Washingtonians were a temperance group from early in the history of the United States. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Legislative achievements

Cunningham was the lead sponsor of the Shark Finning Prohibition Act, which banned the practice of shark finning in all US waters and pushed America to the lead on efforts to ban shark finning worldwide. For his efforts Cunningham was named as a "Conservation Hero" by the Audubon Society and the Ocean Wildlife Campaign. Shark fin soup Shark fin soup (Chinese: 魚翅, Pronunciation in Mandarin: (Pinyin) Yú Chì / (Wade-Giles) Yü Chih4 ) is a dish commonly served in Chinese restaurants as part of a Chinese feast, usually at special occasions such as weddings and banquets as a symbol of wealth and prestige. ... The National Audubon Society is an American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to nature conservancy. ...


Cunningham co-sponsored, along with Democrat John Murtha, the so-called "Flag Desecration Amendment", which would add the following sentence to the Constitution of the United States John Murtha John Patrick Jack Murtha, Jr. ... The Flag Desecration Amendment. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...

"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the Flag of the United States."

The proposed amendment has passed the House many times, but narrowly missed the requisite 2/3 majority vote for passage in the Senate.


Scandals and corruption

Allegations Arise

Photo of a document submitted as evidence by the prosecution and included in their Feb. 2006 sentencing memorandum against Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The prosecution alleges that Cunningham wrote the original document on his Congressional office stationery for the benefit of "co-conspirator #2" (defense contractor Mitchell Wade). The document relates the costs of bribes to their payoffs. The left column represents the amount (in millions) of government military contracts to be awarded, and the right column represents the costs of the bribes (in thousands of dollars) required to secure those contracts. (The figure in each row's right column is relative to the row above and represents additional bribe money; for example, $50,000 would mean the difference between $18 million and $19 million of awarded contracts.) "BT" is an abbreviation for "boat"- making reference to a yacht owned by Wade with an estimated valuation of $140,000, noted as "140" to the right. Once it came into his possession, Cunningham named this boat the "Duke-stir".
Photo of a document submitted as evidence by the prosecution and included in their Feb. 2006 sentencing memorandum against Randy "Duke" Cunningham. The prosecution alleges that Cunningham wrote the original document on his Congressional office stationery for the benefit of "co-conspirator #2" (defense contractor Mitchell Wade). The document relates the costs of bribes to their payoffs. The left column represents the amount (in millions) of government military contracts to be awarded, and the right column represents the costs of the bribes (in thousands of dollars) required to secure those contracts. (The figure in each row's right column is relative to the row above and represents additional bribe money; for example, $50,000 would mean the difference between $18 million and $19 million of awarded contracts.) "BT" is an abbreviation for "boat"- making reference to a yacht owned by Wade with an estimated valuation of $140,000, noted as "140" to the right. Once it came into his possession, Cunningham named this boat the "Duke-stir".

In June 2005 it was revealed that a defense contractor, Mitchell Wade, founder of the defense contracting firm MZM Inc. (since renamed Athena Innovative Solutions Inc.), had bought Cunningham's house in Del Mar for $1,675,000. A month later, Wade placed it back on the market where it remained unsold for 8 months until the price was reduced to $975,000. Cunningham was a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee; soon after the purchase, Wade began to receive tens of millions of dollars worth of defense and intelligence contracts. Cunningham claimed the deal was legitimate, adding, "I feel very confident that I haven't done anything wrong" [14]. Image File history File links Duke_bribe_menu. ... Mitchell J. Mitch Wade (c. ... Look up June in Wiktionary, the free dictionary June is the sixth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with a length of 30 days The month is named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and equivalent to the Greek goddess Hera. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A defense contractor (sometimes called a military contractor) is a business organization or individual that provides products or services to a defense department of a government. ... Mitchell J. Mitch Wade (c. ...


Later in June, it was further reported that Cunningham lived in a yacht while he was in Washington that was owned by Wade, paying only for maintenance [15]. It is said Cunningham liked to invite women to his yacht. Two of them said that he would change into pajama bottoms and a turtleneck sweater to entertain them with chilled champagne by the light of his favorite lava lamp [16]. The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation regarding the real estate transaction. His home as well as MZM Corporate Offices and Wade's home were all simultaneously raided by a number of federal agencies with warrants on July 1, 2005 [17]. A yacht A yacht was originally defined as a light, fast sailing vessel used to convey important persons. ... Nickname: the District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Official website: http://www. ... Categories: Stub | Clothing ... A jumper from Marks & Spencer A sweater, pullover, jumper or jersey is a relatively heavy garment intended to cover the torso and arms of the human body (though in some cases sweaters are made for dogs and occasionally other animals) and typically supposed to go over a shirt, blouse, t... Champagne is often drunk as part of a celebration Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the secondary fermentation of wine. ... A lava lamp in the dark A lava lamp is a novelty item typically used for decoration rather than illumination. ... Official FBI Seal The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a Federal criminal investigative and intelligence agency which is the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On July 14, Cunningham announced he would not run for a ninth term in 2006, saying that while he believed he'd be cleared of any wrongdoing, he could not defend himself and run for reelection at the same time. He admitted to displaying "poor judgement" when he sold his house to Wade. July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 170 days remaining. ...


Besides Wade, the three other co-conspirators are: Brent Wilkes, founder of San Diego-based ADCS Inc.; New York businessman Thomas Kontogiannis (whom U.S. Coast Guard records show was involved in a questionable boat deal with Cunningham); and John T. Michael, Kontogiannis' nephew (the owner of a New York-based mortgage company Coastal Capital Corp. Property records show the company made $1.15 million in real estate loans to Cunningham, two of which were used in the purchase of his Rancho Santa Fe mansion. Court records show that Wade paid off one of those loans). [18] Brent Wilkes was George W. Bushs finance co-chairman in California. ...


In 1997, Cunningham bullied the Pentagon into buying a $20 million document-digitization system created by ADCS Inc., a company owned by Wilkes. Wilkes owned several companies with ties to the defense industry. The Pentagon didn't want the system and preferred to use the money for other purposes. When it hadn't implemented the system three years later, Cunningham went ballistic at a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. He demanded the firing of Lou Kratz, an assistant undersecretary of defense he held responsible for the delays. While this appeared to be another typical Cunningham outburst, it later emerged that Wilkes reportedly gave Cunningham more than $630,000 in cash and favors [9]. 1997 (MCMXCVII in Roman) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Cunningham was also criticized for selling merchandise on his personal website, since disabled, such as a $595 buck knife featuring the official Congressional seal. However, he never obtained permission to use the seal, which is a federal offense [19].


Plea agreement

On November 28, 2005, Cunningham pled guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud at the San Diego Federal District court. The house sale at an inflated price, the free use of the yacht, a used Rolls-Royce, antique furniture, Persian rugs, jewelry, and a $2,000 contribution for his daughter's college graduation party were only a few of the numerous bribes that Cunningham admitted taking. [20] November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article contrasts tax evasion, tax avoidance, tax resistance and tax mitigation. ... Bribery is a crime defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Wire fraud is a legal concept in the United States Code which provides for enhanced penalty of any criminal activity if it is determined that the occurrence of the crime involved electronic communications of any sort, at any phase of the event. ... The Rolls Royce logo Rolls-Royce is a set of several companies, all deriving from the British automobile and aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Henry Royce and C.S. Rolls in 1906. ...


As part of his guilty plea, Cunningham forfeited his new home in Rancho Santa Fe to the government. He bought his new house with the proceeds of the sale of his previous home in Del Mar to Wade. Wade and others had even paid off the balance on Cunningham's mortgage. He will also forfeit more than $1.8 million in cash, antiques and rugs. Cunningham had tried to sell his new house, but federal prosecutors moved to block the sale after finding evidence that he bought it with Wade's money. Cunningham's attorney, Mark Holscher, later said that the government's evidence was so overwhelming that he had no choice but to recommend a guilty plea [21]. With the plea bargain, Cunningham faced a maximum of 10 years. Had he tried to fight the charges, Cunningham would have risked spending the rest of his life in prison. Rancho Santa Fe is an unincorporated census-designated place located in San Diego County, California. ...


Resignation

Cunningham announced his resignation at a press conference just after entering his plea. He submitted his official resignation letter to the Clerk of the House and to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on December 6 [22]. Had Cunningham declined to resign, his role in Congress would have been very limited, as House rules do not allow members convicted of felonies to vote or participate in committee work pending an investigation by the Ethics Committee[23]. It is very likely that he would have been expelled from the House, as happened with Democrat James Traficant three years earlier. Under Republican caucus rules, he would have lost his subcommittee chairmanship [24]. Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis with President George W. Bush (2003) Seal of the Governor of California (without the Roman numerals designating the governors sequence) See also: List of pre-statehood governors of California, List of Governors of California The Governor of California is the highest executive authority... Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, Golden Globe award winning actor, and Republican politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of California. ... December 6 is the 340th day (341st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, often known simply as the Ethics Committee, is one of the committees of the United States House of Representatives. ... James Anthony Jim Traficant, Jr. ...


In marked contrast to his defiant stand earlier in the year, Cunningham was very contrite, sullen and overcome by emotion when he read his prepared statement announcing that he was stepping down:

"When I announced several months ago that I would not seek re-election, I publicly declared my innocence because I was not strong enough to face the truth. So, I misled my family, staff, friends, colleagues, the public—even myself. For all of this, I am deeply sorry. The truth is—I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family. ... In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow. And now I know great shame. I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I cannot undo what I have done. But I can atone. I am now almost 65 years old and, as I enter the twilight of my life, I intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends" [25].

Despite his guilty plea, Cunningham may still receive a pension for his 21 years of service in the Navy and almost 15 years in Congress. While federal law only allows the government to strip pensions from federal employees guilty of treason, perjury or trading secrets with the enemy, San Diego benefits expert Robert Goldstein told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it is possible the government could still try to take the money from Cunningham [26]. A pension is a steady income paid to a person (usually after retirement). ... The San Diego Union-Tribune is a daily newspaper published in San Diego, California by the Copley Press. ...


Reactions

Local

Darrell Issa, a Republican who represents the neighboring 49th District, said after Cunningham's plea that he'd been waiting for Cunningham to explain his behavior "in a way that made sense to us" and that Cunningham's behavior "fell below the standard the public demands of its elected representatives" [27]. Duncan Hunter, the other Republican who represents the San Diego area, said on November 30 that he and Cunningham spent the rest of November 28 in prayer and that Cunningham wanted to "serve those who are suffering (and) to begin his long road of atonement" for his crimes [28]. Many of Cunningham's staffers were stunned at the extent of their boss's crimes [29]. Darrell E. Issa (pronounced Eye-suh) (born November 1, 1953) is an American politician and former CEO of a consumer electronics company. ... Duncan Lee Hunter (born May 31, 1948), American politician, has been a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 1981 from the 52nd District in northern and eastern San Diego County (map). ... November 30 is the 334th day (335th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 31 days remaining, as the final day of November. ...


Union-Tribune columnist George Condon suggested in a December 1 column that Cunningham's actions "may have put ... troops at greater risk by judging contracts more for what they would do for him than for the military" [16]. December 1 is the 335th (in leap years the 336th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Francine Busby, Cunningham's Democratic challenger in 2004 and a Democratic candidate for the 50th District in the upcoming special election to fill Cunningham's vacancy, called November 28th "a sad day for the people" and called for support for her proposed ethics reform bill, the "Clean House Act", saying "Our government in Washington is broken" [30]. Francine Pocino Busby (March 3, 1951–) is a Democratic candidate competing in the April 11, 2006 open special election to fill the vacancy in Californias 50th congressional district, which represents northwest San Diego County. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


National

In an editorial on November 29, the Washington Post called the Cunningham affair "the most brazen bribery conspiracy in modern congressional history" [31]. Later that day, President George W. Bush called Cunningham's actions "outrageous" at a press briefing in El Paso. He also said that Cunningham should "pay a serious price" for his crimes [21]. House Speaker Dennis Hastert said in a December 6 statement that Cunningham was a "war hero," but that he broke "the public trust he has built through his military and congressional career" [32]. Several of Cunningham's former colleagues have donated to charity campaign contributions he had given them [33]. November 29 is the 333rd (in leap years the 334th) day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States. ... This article needs cleanup. ... It has been suggested that List of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives be merged into this article or section. ... Dennis Hastert John Dennis Hastert ( was born gayJanuary 2, 1942), American politician, has been Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 1999. ... December 6 is the 340th day (341st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On February 9, 2006, Senator John Kerry introduced a bill to prevent lawmakers who have been convicted of official misconduct from collecting taxpayer funded pensions. Officially the bill is named the "Federal Pension Forfeiture Act", but unofficially it has been dubbed the "Duke Cunningham Act" [34], [35]. February 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts. ...


Sentencing

On March 3, 2006, U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns sentenced Cunningham to 100 months (eight years and four months) in prison [36]. Federal prosecutors had pushed for the maximum sentence of ten years, but Cunningham's defense lawyers said that at 64 years old and with prostate cancer, Cunningham would likely die in prison if he received the full sentence [37] [38]. Judge Burns cited his military service in Vietnam as the reason the full ten years was not imposed. Prosecutors announced that they were satisfied with the sentence, which is the longest jail term ever given to a former Congressman[39]. March 3 is the 62nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (63rd in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On the day of sentencing, Cunningham was 90 pounds (41 kg) lighter than when allegations first surfaced 9 months earlier. After receiving his sentence, Cunningham made a request to see his 91-year-old mother one last time before going to prison. "I made a very wrong turn. I rationalized decisions I knew were wrong. I did that, sir," Cunningham said. The request was denied, and Burns remanded him immediately upon rendering the sentence[40].


More fallout

Almost as soon as Cunningham pled guilty, Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan (who, ironically, represents Guy Vander Jagt's former district) announced his panel would investigate whether Cunningham used his post on that committee to steer contracts to favored companies. Hoekstra said that Cunningham "no longer gets the benefit of the doubt" due to his admission to "very, very serious" crimes. "We need to look at worst-case scenarios," he added. He also shut off Cunningham's access to classified information. While Hoekstra doesn't believe that Cunningham improperly influenced the Intelligence Committee's work, a committee spokesman said that he wanted to make sure its work stayed on the level [41]. Peter Hoekstra (born October 30, 1953) is an American politician from the Republican Party. ...


Bill Young of Florida, chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and former chairman of the full Appropriations Committee, said that he plans to review Cunningham's requests for defense projects. While he felt most of the requests were legitimate and supported by the Pentagon, he said that he needed to be "doubly sure that anything shaky is not going to stay in" [42]. Charles William Bill Young, also known as C.W. Bill Young, (born December 16, 1930), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1971, representing the 10th District of Florida (map). ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 22nd 170 451 km² 260 km 800 km 17. ...


On December 14, prosecutors in former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's money laundering trial revealed that they are looking into ties between Wilkes and DeLay. One of Wilkes' companies donated $15,000 to DeLay's PAC, Texans for a Republican Majority. Wilkes also hired a consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife, Christine [43]. December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives acts as the leader of the party that has a majority control of the seats in the house (at least 218 of the 435 seats). ... Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8, 1947) is a politician from Sugar Land, Texas and a prominent Republican. ... Money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions in order to conceal the identity, source and destination of the money in question. ... In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group organized to elect or defeat government officials in order to promote legislation, often supporting the groups special interests. ... This article contains information that has not been verified. ...


On January 6, 2006, Time reported that Cunningham cooperated with law enforcement by wearing a concealed recording device (a "wire") while meeting with associates prior to his guilty plea. It is not known whom he met with while wired, but there is speculation Cunningham's misdeeds were not isolated instances and his case could reveal a larger web of corruption [44]. January 6 is the 6th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... (Clockwise from upper left) Notable Time magazine covers from the dates May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ...


On February 24, 2006, Mitchell Wade pleaded guilty to paying Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes in exchange for millions more in government contracts. February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mitchell J. Mitch Wade (c. ...


In March, it was revealed that CIA officials have opened an investigation into the CIA's No.3 official, Kyle Foggo, and his relationship with Wilkes, "one of his closest friends," according to the article. Foggo has said that all of the contracts he oversaw were properly awarded and administered. [45] The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ...


References

  1. California Birth certificate 41-118503
  2. Fox Two: The Story of America's First Ace in Vietnam by Randy "Duke" Cunningham (1983)
  3. Dodge, Dani, "On ranch, old friend again offers shelter from storm", The Union-Tribune, 2006-02-12. URL accessed on 2006-02-20.
  4. Defendant Cunningham's Sentencing Memorandum, Case 05-CR-2137 (LAB), February 2005"
  5. Dodge, Dani, "Standing in an unwelcome spotlight", The Union-Tribune, 2006-02-12. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  6. a b c d e f g Braun, Gerry, "Ex-Navy ace always ready for a fight", The Union-Tribune, 2005-05-15. URL accessed on 2005-12-04.
  7. Roth, Alex, "Shooting down Cunningham's legend", The Union-Tribune, 2006-01-15. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  8. a b Pae, Peter; Perry, Tony; and Simon, Richard, "Cunningham's Fall From Grace, Power", Los Angeles Times, 2005-12-05, p. A.1. URL accessed on 2006-12-05.
  9. Chibbaro Jr., Lou, "Birch denies speech outed anti-gay congressman", Washington Blade, 2003-07-04. URL accessed on 2005-12-07.
  10. Romano, Lois, "Cunningham Friends Baffled By His Blunder Into Bribery", Washington Post, 2005-12-04. URL accessed on 2005-12-18.
  11. On The Issues. Duke Cunningham on the Issues. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  12. "Best & Worst of Congress", The Washingtonian, 2004-09. URL accessed on 2005-05-03.
  13. Stern, Marcus, "Lawmaker's home sale questioned", The Union-Tribune, 2005-06-12. URL accessed on 2005-06-13.
  14. Bennett, William Finn, "Yacht 'Duke Stir' owned by defense contractor docked at Cunningham's slip", North County Times, 2005-06-16. URL accessed on 2005-06-16.
  15. a b Condon Jr., George E., "Congressman's betrayal of troops called greatest sin", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-01. URL accessed on 2005-12-03.
  16. Walker, Mark, "Feds raid Cunningham home, MZM offices and boat", North County Times, 2005-07-01. URL accessed on 2005-07-05.
  17. Bennett, William Finn, "What's next in Cunningham bribery saga?", North County Times, 2006-03-06. URL accessed on 2006-03-07.
  18. 18 U.S.C. § 713: Use of likenesses of the great seal of the United States, the seals of the President and Vice President, the seal of the United States Senate, the seal of the United States House of Representatives, and the seal of the United States Congress
  19. (2005). Plea Agreement by Randy "Duke" Cunningham and the U.S. Attorney. URL accessed on 2005-12-05.
  20. a b Soto, Onell R., "'Overwhelming case' forced Cunningham to accept deal", The Union-Tribune, 2005-11-30. URL accessed on 2005-12-05.
  21. Cantlupe, Joe, "Cunningham resignation formally submitted to House", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-06. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  22. The United States Congress (2005). Rules of the 109th Congress — Rule XXIII — Code of Official Conduct. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  23. US Government Printing Office (2003). A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House, p. 522. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  24. Cunningham, Randy "Duke" (2005). Statement by Randy "Duke" Cunningham. O'Melveny & Myers LLP. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  25. Soto, Onell R., "Experts say Cunningham likely to get retirement pay", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-01. URL accessed on 2005-12-05.
  26. Issa, Darrell (2005). Rep. Issa Statement On Cunningham Guilty Plea. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  27. Cantlupe, Joe, "Hunter consoling his former colleague", The Union-Tribune, 2005-11-30. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  28. Cantlupe, Joe, "Aides 'all shocked about how deep this went'", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-30. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  29. Busby, Francine (2005). [http://www.busbyforcongress.org/downloads/pressroom/20051128_pr_Cunningham-resigns.pdf Francine Busby calls Cunningham Resignation "Sad day for the people"]. (PDF) URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  30. "Brazen Conspiracy", Washington Post, 2005-11-29. URL accessed on 2005-11-30.
  31. Walker, Mark, "House speaker says Cunningham faces 'serious consequences'", North County Times, 2005-12-06. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  32. Wilkie, Dana, "Lawmakers shed cash tied to two contractors", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-08. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  33. "Loss of Federal Pension Likely a Strong Deterrent", Common Cause, 2006-02-01. URL accessed on 2006-02-09.
  34. Klein, Rick, "Kerry bill to target legislators convicted of misconduct", The Boston Globe, 2006-02-09. URL accessed on 2006-02-09.
  35. Perry, Tony, "Cunningham Receives Eight-Year Sentence", Los Angeles Times, 2006-03-03. URL accessed on 2006-03-03.
  36. Walker, Mark, "Feds seek 10-year prison term for Cunningham", North County Times, 2006-02-18. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  37. Walker, Mark, "Defense: 'Duke' may die in prison", North County Times, 2006-02-18. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  38. "Crooked congressman going to prison", CNN, 2006-03-03. URL accessed on 2006-03-03.
  39. Hettena, Seth, "Former Congressman Gets Eight-Plus Years", Associated Press, 2006-03-03. URL accessed on 2006-03-03.
  40. Miller, Greg, "House Intelligence Panel to Probe Cunningham", Los Angeles Times, 2005-11-30. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  41. "Cunningham's work on panel to be reviewed", The Union-Tribune, 2005-12-01. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  42. Gamboa, Suzanne, "Prosecutor subpoenas Cunningham-related companies in Texas case", Mercury News, 2005-12-13. URL accessed on 2006-02-19.
  43. Burger, Timothy J., "Disgraced Congressman 'Wore a Wire'", TIME, 2006-01-06. URL accessed on 2006-01-06.
  44. Bennett, William Finn, "What's next in Cunningham bribery saga?", North County Times, 2006-03-06. URL accessed on 2006-03-07.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune is a daily newspaper published in San Diego, California by the Copley Press. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Congress in Joint Session. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... The logotype of the United States Government Printing Office In the United States, the Government Printing Office (GPO) prints and provides access to documents produced by and for all three branches of the federal government, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, and all executive branch agencies like the FCC and... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 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External links

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune's coverage of the Cunningham scandal
  • Unauthorized Randy Cunningham Page
  • PAC donors, Indiv donors, Personal Financial Disclosures, Campaign Disburseents at PoliticalMoneyLine
  • List of contributors to Cunningham's campaigns
  • Archive of Cunningham's commerce website, topguninc.com (deactivated June 2005)
  • Congressman's career buried by blizzard of questions on actions San Diego Union-Tribune, July 15, 2005
  • Prosecutor's allegations against Cunningham
  • Plea agreement (November 23, 2005)
  • Cunningham's resignation statement (Union-Tribune, November 28, 2005)
  • Duke Cunningham: First and Last Surrender (FlashReport, November 30, 2005)
  • DeLay's prosecutors dig deeper into California
Preceded by:
Jim Bates
United States Representative for the 44th Congressional District of California
19911993
Succeeded by:
Alfred A. McCandless
Preceded by:
District Created
United States Representative for the 51st Congressional District of California
19932003
Succeeded by:
Bob Filner
Preceded by:
Bob Filner
United States Representative for the 50th Congressional District of California
20032005
Succeeded by:
TBD

 
 

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