Bob Ney: Will Ethics Scandals Hurt GOP Bids in 2006?

Article excerpt

*****

CORRECTION: In "Will Ethics Scandals Hurt GOP Bids in 2006?" (Periscope, Dec. 5), we reported that Republican activist Grover Norquist had suggested that if Rep. Bob Ney faced a serious legal problem, he "should step aside for the good of the team." Although Norquist was responding to questions about Ney, he was referring to any GOP congressman in legal trouble.

*****

Byline: Holly Bailey

CORRECTION APPENDED

Ohio Rep. Bob Ney has long been known as "The Mayor of Capitol Hill," a name tied to his role overseeing a committee charged with such mundane tasks as doling out parking spaces and buying office furniture. But last week Ney was known as "Representative No. 1," the lawmaker identified by federal prosecutors as the recipient of free trips, sports tickets and campaign donations from indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff allegedly in exchange for official favors.

Michael Scanlon, Abramoff's ex-partner and a former top aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to bribe a member of Congress and other public officials. Nearly three pages in Scanlon's guilty plea detail gifts and services provided to "Representative No. 1" and his staff, including a 2002 trip to Scotland. In return, Ney allegedly performed several "official acts" to aid Abramoff's clients, including backing a measure to reopen an Indian casino in Texas. Ney's lawyer acknowledges his client is "Representative No. 1" but says Ney was "duped" by Abramoff and Scanlon. "Any allegation that Rep. Ney did anything illegal or improper is false," Brian Walsh, a Ney spokesman, told NEWSWEEK.

Ney, who was subpoenaed in the investigation, reportedly has been told that he's a target of a bribery case. …