Friday, February 24, 2006

Katherine Harris Caught Up In Randy "Duke" Cunningham Scandal

Bad day for Representative Katherine Harris (R-Florida).

According to Josh Marshall at talkingpointsmemo, Harris is known as "Representative B" in the Mitchell Wade plea deal released today.

She received $32,000 in "illegal campaign contributions" from Wade, the defense contractor who bribed disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham with money and gifts in return for defense contracts from the federal government.

It is unknown how much criminal liability Harris actually has in the Wade deal, but suffice it to say that it is never good to be given a moniker like "Representative B" in somebody's plea deal or criminal indictment.

Just ask Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who is known as "Representative #1" in the Jack Abramoff plea agreement, and Karl Rove, who is known as "Official A" in the Scooter Libby indictment.

Compounding the bad news for Representative Harris today, a new Quinnipiac poll gives Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) a 22 point lead over Harris in the 2006 Florida Senate race.

Now Nelson is not out of the woods yet, as he can't seem to break through the 50% level in his approval rating.

But it doesn't seem like Harris is going to beat Nelson in November, given that her numbers are already bad and now she has possible exposure in a criminal case.

I wonder how hard Karl Rove and Jeb Bush are working the phones tonight to get somebody else into the Florida Senate race?

The party establishment has been trying to push Harris out of the race for awhile now, so far unsuccessfully, but I bet the GOP wouldn't be unhappy seeing somebody else take on the vulnerable Nelson in November.

But time is growing short for the GOP, isn't it?

And time seems to be growing even shorter for Katherine Harris.

Oh well, she got more than 15 minutes of fame out of the deal anyway.

BTW, Mitchell Wade faces up to 135 months in prison after cooperating with prosecutors and agreeing to plead guilty on bribery, conspiracy, tax evasion and election fraud charges.

Isn't that just great?

Now we know why the Repubs hatchetted her from the Senate race.

It is great - let's call Harris "Representative B" from now on.

And you know what's even better? I bet she still won't get out of the Senate race, even now that she's caught up in the Mitchell Wade/Duke Cunningham corruption scandal.
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