Speaker calls ex-congressman’s accusations in book baseless, false
Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
After spending 17 months in prison on corruption charges, ex-Rep. Bob Ney is out with a new book that delves into his downfall and casts House Speaker John Boehner, among other Republicans, as complicit in Washington’s pay-to-play culture.
Ney, a Republican who represented southeastern Ohio, was back in Washington on Wednesday schmoozing and glad-handing with political insiders at one of Capitol Hill’s swanky restaurants.
This time, Ney was here to condemn this city’s pay-to-play culture – not partake in it – as he worked the room of Hill staffers, political reporters and curious onlookers who came to see him at a signing for his new book: “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men on Capitol Hill.”
The former Ohio Republican and powerful House committee chairman’s book delves into his downfall in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. In 2006, Ney pleaded guilty to two felony counts of trading legislative favors for a string of gifts, including an Abramoff-financed golf trip to Scotland and more than $50,000 in poker chips.
But Ney also uses his book to takes swipes at others – specifically House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, whom Ney portrays as complicit in Washington’s fundraising-obsessed, lobbyist-greased culture.
He describes Boehner as someone who was “more interested in the high life – golf, women, cigarettes, fun, and alcohol” than in serious policy debates.
“If the Justice Department were ever to make John produce receipts for his addiction to golf just for the years from 1995 to 2004, he would be hard-pressed to comply,” Ney wrote. “John got away with more than any other Member on the Hill.”
Ney, who moved back to Newark after being released from prison, also writes that Boehner offered to help Ney land a cushy private-sector job and to raise money to cover his legal fees, in exchange for dropping his House re-election bid.
“If you resign the next day, I will personally guarantee you a job comparable to what you are making, and raise legal defense money for you that should bury all this Justice Department problem for you,” Ney quotes Boehner as saying. (more…)