Misty Water Colored Memories

Ah, Randall “Duke” Cunningham. It seems like only yesterday the eight-term family values Republican congressman from California resigned in disgrace after admitting in open court that he took at least $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and accepting a deal under which he plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud,  wire fraud and tax evasion. The hookers . . . the bling . . . the houses . . . the yachts. Oh, what halcyon days they were!

Lest we forget, offering/paying bribes to legislators is every bit as criminal as accepting them. Brent Wilkes, one of Cunningham’s defense industry benefactors, is currently on trial in a California federal court for conspiracy, money laundering and fraud. The Justice Department says that Wilkes bribed Cunningham to the tune of about $600,000.

Freelance journalist Seth Hettena, who wrote a book on Cunningham’s demise, is reporting on the trial for Wonkette. Yesterday’s testimony spotlighted the magical night of August 15, 2003. Wilkes had taken Cunningham to Hawaii, set him up in a $6,600-per-night oceanfront cottage and ordered up a couple of whores. The two paragons of propriety and their female companions spent twenty minutes or so lounging naked in a hot tub, long enough for an argument to erupt over which gentleman would have the pleasure of boinking the young, hot hooker and which would get saddled with the hagged-out former Safeway employee hooker.

Arguing with a congressman you’re trying to bribe over who gets which hooker strikes me as abysmally stupid and counterproductive, but apparently Mr. Wilkes won. Cunningham and the Safeway chick went off to be alone:

Cunningham himself has provided a fuller explanation during a jailhouse interview earlier this year with federal investigators: “Cunningham said that he wore a condom because he wanted to be protected. According to Cunningham, he was somewhat embarrassed on this occasion because he had some difficulty in completing intercourse.”

Cunningham’s humiliation appears far from complete, as he’s currently locked up in a jail directly across the street from the courthouse and may well end up testifying.

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