Faces steep battle to stay in Congress
by Brian Leubitz
If we had never seen Top-2 pass, Laura Richardson would be a lame duck right now. Instead, after a 60-40 "shellacking" at the hands of Janice Hahn in a newly redistricted seat, she has another shot in the November election. Not a good shot, mind you, but a shot. But the odds are looking ever dimmer, especially after this bit of news:
Representative Laura Richardson, Democrat of California, has agreed to be reprimanded by the House and pay a $10,000 fine for compelling her Congressional staff members to work on her 2010 campaign.
The House Ethics Committee recommended the punishment in a biting report issued on Wednesday.(NY Times)
Now Richardson hasn't exactly had a great record with ethics in the past, just check out her tag page here for a few snippets of her history. But an official reprimand will do no help in her November campaign.
The actual incidents are basically what you would expect from this kind of charge. Richardson assigned her staff to make phone calls on her behalf, or scout her opponent, etc. And then to compound things, she tried to cover her tracks. The official reports describes this:
In sum, Representative Richardson's submission continues the approach she has taken in this matter from the outset: an utter absence of true remorse for her misuse of official resources and, equally as significant, for what she has put her staff through, as well as a near total deflection of responsibility for this matter.
From maintaining her property to dealing with foreclosures, Richardson has been something of a "distraction" for the California Democratic delegation. Janice Hahn, for whatever flaws she may have, makes a far better representative of and for the district.