With the plea-bargain of former Tom Delay aide Tony Rudy on corruption charges related to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, I find myself wondering: what are the significant differences between Rudy’s case and that of Lauren Weiner, the former aide to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (headed by Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY), who pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining the credit report of Maryland’s Republican Lt. Governor (and candidate for US Senate) Michael Steele?
For some reason, the Rudy case is often portrayed as part of the “culture of corruption,” while the Weiner case is largely pooh-poohed and brushed under the carpet. Personally, I think the Weiner case is far more significant — it looks like Rudy was mainly out to enrich himself, while Weiner’s crime was purely for political gain and an attempt to manipulate an election.
Make no mistake about it: I think both people did despicable things, and deserve to face the full force of the law for their crimes. But I can’t quite reconcile Weiner getting off with community service, with NO jail time and NO fine, while Rudy is looking at 2 – 2.5 years and six-figure fines.