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Watchdog Group Names Representatives Laura Richardson And Buck McKeon Congress' "Most Corrupt"

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Two local Congressional representatives made one watchdog group's "Most Corrupt" list.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released its eighth list of what it calls the most corrupt members of Congress this year. Rep. Laura Richardson D-Long Bech was named alongside 12 others on the "Most Corrupt" list. It's her fourth year on the list. Rep. Buck McKeon R-Santa Clarita was one of eight members who received an "Honorable Mention."

Last month Richardson was formally reprimanded for her "unethical misconduct" and fined $10,000 for pressuring her officials staff to work on her reelection campaign. CREW writes:

In 2012, for the second campaign cycle in a row, the California Democrat bullied and coerced her official staff into working on her reelection campaign. Rep. Richardson also misused other official resources for campaign purposes, including an official car she used during her 2010 campaign. Rep. Richardson repeatedly obstructed the Ethics Committee’s investigation, encouraging staff members to lie to the committee and withholding requested documents. In August 2012, as part of a conciliation between the Committee and Rep. Richardson, she accepted a reprimand from the full House and agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.

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The Press-Telegram has more details about the ethics case and notes that Richardson will be facing Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn in the race for the new 44th Congressional District this November. She could face an uphill battle: Hahn beat her 60 to 39 percent in the primary.McKeon was given an "Honorable Mention" on the list because of the "sweetheart" mortgage deal he received through the Countrywide VIP program. CREW writes:
In January 2012, news reports revealed that the California Republican received favorable terms on a mortgage through Countrywide’s VIP program. Rep. McKeon implausibly claimed that he had not known he received a deal under the VIP program, even though the cover letter of his loan package was stamped “VIP” multiple times. After the deal came to light, members of Rep. McKeon’s staff circulated a memo discussing strategy against a candidate running against Rep. McKeon’s wife, Patricia McKeon, for a State Assembly seat.

A spokeswoman for McKeon told the Los Angeles Times that the allegations against McKeon were false and that the Congressman has been open and transparent about the loan he received. The spokeswoman said CREW was trying to stir up drama before this November's election. McKeon will be facing Democrat Lee Rogers in the 25th District.Related:
Rep. Laura Richardson Reprimanded by House for Ethical Misconduct, Will Pay $10K Fine