The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Garrett Russo 202.408.5565

CREW: 11 of America's Most Crooked Candidates Moving On to the General Election


11 of the most rotten candidates in America have survived primary season, and will be moving on to the general election.

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released an updated list of Most Crooked Candidates adding Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell. The latest edition to the national wall of shame has been called everything from "a fraud" by her former campaign manager, to a "perennial candidate who can't get elected dog catcher" by the state Republican Party chair.

"Ms. O'Donnell has had no discernable job for several years, and instead has lived the life of a professional candidate, using the generosity of her campaign donors for her support," said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. "That may just be freeloading to most people, but it's embezzlement for a federal candidate."

Ms. O'Donnell has demonstrated a disturbing pattern of fraud, lies and fiscal irresponsibility. On her campaign website she claimed to have graduated from a university years before she actually received her diploma - a mere two weeks ago. The IRS slapped liens against her to the tune of over $11,000, and records show that she has been essentially unemployed. Rather, she has lived in her campaign office and makes a profit by renting out rooms - in clear violation of campaign finance law. Ms. O'Donnell also lied when claimed she had won two counties in her 2008 Senate race against Senator Biden and when caught, lied again claiming the two had tied. In essences, Ms. O'Donnell has demonstrated a total disregard of ethics and integrity.

Ms. O'Donnell is far from the only rotten apple in barrel of candidates; one look at the Most Crooked Candidates shows that hucksters come in all political shapes and sizes. In Ohio, former Democratic Congressman James Traficant is now running as an independent in an attempt to reclaim his old seat: Mr. Traficant is one of only two members of the House of Representatives to be expelled since the Civil War, and served more than seven years in prison for his crimes. He also unsuccessfully ran for reelection from his jail cell in 2002. Meanwhile in the South, Democrat Alvin Green, indicted on an obscenity charge is running for Senate in South Carolina.

"The American People deserve better," concluded Ms. Sloan. "We shouldn't have crooks, liars or frauds on the ballot and we shouldn't have to worry that the Most Corrupt Candidates will someday grow up to become the Most Corrupt Members of Congress."

With more than 2,300 people running for office this year, CREW's list is likely only the tip of the iceberg. CREW invites anyone who is aware of a particularly disgraceful candidate to forward information about that candidate's misdeeds to:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.