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Posted: 3/21/2006 5:42:02 PM EDT
Ex-Congressman's Loot to Be Auctioned

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer
Tue Mar 21, 4:54 PM ET

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif. - Silver-plated candelabras. A cedar-lined lingerie cabinet. Persian rugs. An oak hutch carved with lions' heads, tree limbs and acorns.

The spoils from former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's bribery scheme — a household of valuable antiques, rugs and home furnishings — will be auctioned off by the government Thursday to help cover the back taxes and restitution he owes.

The public was given a preview Tuesday of the loot, which was laid out in orderly rows in a warehouse near Los Angeles.

Cunningham, who was sentenced earlier this month to more than eight years in prison for taking $2.4 million in bribes, received the items from defense contractors in exchange for helping them win government contracts.

"Lavish," said Jim Sudomir, a retiree from Fallbrook, summing up Cunningham's lifestyle as he looked over the display. "If he was going to be a crook he should have been a smarter one. He thought he was above all that. ... Look where he's at now. He's in jail."

The inventory reveals that the contractors spared little expense to appease Cunningham's collector's tastes.

There is a leather sofa. A solid cherry sleigh bed. Nearly a dozen rugs. Marble-topped nightstands, armoires and sideboards, many featuring stained glass, brass fittings and intricate carvings.

"There's a real mix of different styles — Art Deco, French provincial, American pioneer," said Britney Sheehan, who works for the company that will auction the goods.

Sheehan said she could not disclose how much the items are expected to fetch, since officials do not want to influence potential bidders. Some of the rugs have previously been valued at as much as $40,000.

Anyone but Cunningham can bid.

Cunningham's prison term was described by attorneys for both sides as the longest prison sentence ever given to a member of Congress. The scale of the corruption scheme is unmatched in the annals of Congress.

The former congressman was ordered to pay $1.8 million in back taxes and forfeit an additional $1.85 million for cash bribes received, plus the proceeds from the sale of his mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, one of America's wealthiest communities. The furnishings came from the home.

Cunningham sold a Rolls-Royce — one of the bribes — before he was indicted. He also transferred ownership of a yacht, another illegal gift from contractors.

Link




Bob Campbell examines goods as he passes by property seized from former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham Tuesday, March 21, 2006, in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. Cunningham's forfeited antiques, home furnishings and carpets can be previewed by the public Tuesday and Wednesday. The seized property auction is Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:45:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Some of the rugs have previously been valued at as much as $40,000.



FORTY FREAKING THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A RUG?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:04:12 PM EDT
I have an autographed pic of Duke, sitting in his F4, back when he was a hero.

Wonder if he was a cheat all his life and lied and cheated his way through college and the Navy.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:24:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:
I have an autographed pic of Duke, sitting in his F4, back when he was a hero.

Wonder if he was a cheat all his life and lied and cheated his way through college and the Navy.



Makes you wonder, huh?

Bob
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:30:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ky_Bob:

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:
I have an autographed pic of Duke, sitting in his F4, back when he was a hero.

Wonder if he was a cheat all his life and lied and cheated his way through college and the Navy.



Makes you wonder, huh?

Bob



Lied and cheated, but he and his WSO kicked the crap out of a few Migs.

vmax84
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:34:58 PM EDT
Is he a Dem or Rep?

I have my guess.

GM
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:37:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:
Is he a Dem or Rep?

I have my guess.

GM




Republican.

Sad, isn't it?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:39:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:
Is he a Dem or Rep?

I have my guess.

GM





Sadly he was a hardcore Republican and they are far and few in SoCal (everything south of Bakersfield)...
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:39:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:
Is he a Dem or Rep?

I have my guess.

GM


Republican.

Sad, isn't it?



Of course. Your first clue that he is Republican should have been that the media isn't burying the story.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:50:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:

Originally Posted By goodmedicine:
Is he a Dem or Rep?

I have my guess.

GM


Republican.

Sad, isn't it?



Of course. Your first clue that he is Republican should have been that the media isn't burying the story.



Normally, I'd agree with you, but good ol' Randy has created a corruption story to the tune of over 2 million dollars.

Remember how much fun the journalists had with Congressman Traficant (D) when he got thrown in prison? I do....and he was small potatoes compared to good ol' Randy.



Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:04:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 12:53:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By david_g17:

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Some of the rugs have previously been valued at as much as $40,000.



FORTY FREAKING THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A RUG?




Make a rug completely by hand, from wool, silk, and other expensive fabrics, and make it really big and it isn't far fetched for one to have that kind of value. The patterns, designs, colors, etc. are pretty much flawless. Amazing when you consider that again, they are hand made by people who are for all practical purposes not compensated anywhere even remotely near what they should be. My mom has a couple Persian rugs each valued at over $3K. They're pretty small ones.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:08:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
A cedar-lined lingerie cabinet.



While I generally don't like to kick someone when they're down, just how much lingerie did he own if he needed a seperate cabinet to keep it in (and did he ever sing the Monty Python lumberjack song) ?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:32:53 AM EDT
I saw some of the "loot" on TV news. All of it looked like crap to me. Lots of antique stuff that looked like something that a little old lady would enjoy.

I realize that I have no taste and that all of the goodies are probably fine quality, expensive pieces but they all looked like crap I've seen at the local Salvation Army. If I ever become a lying thief, I hope I piss away my ill-gotten gains on toys that are more interesting.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:37:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Bear:
Duke was on a show about "greatest dogfights" or something like that recently on the history channel.

Sad to see a real war hero fall from grace.



+1

I saw that show. They used realistic computer re-creations of one of his dogfights. Fascinating!

I always respected Duke for his service in uniform and for his service in congress. He threw it all away. Very sad.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:52:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 3:53:06 AM EDT by lippo]





When are you people going to learn...ALL politicians are liars and cheats.


They say shit they wouldn't normally or don't actually believe, just to get elected. They backroom deal away our Rights and our finances, all the while smiling to our faces and saying everythings alright, just move along.

If they aren't corrupt going into office, they sure will be coming out.


Republicans are just as bad as Democrats. WAKE UP!

FYI, I can't find ONE political party that will wholly defend the Constitution and that actually understands it. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to vote, because there isn't a real choice out there. If you vote for one party on issues, you get screwed in other issues, and the same goes with the opposite party. Our politicians know this and use it against us. They are not stupid. And we end up cutting our own throats.
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