Randy Cunningham Receives Eight-Year Sentence
After the GOP representative's emotional plea for leniency, the judge sends him to federal prison for bribery.
San Diego - A judge rejected Randall "Duke" Cunningham's tearful bid for mercy today and sentenced the war hero, "Top Gun" instructor and disgraced former congressman to 8 years, 4 months in federal prison for bribery.
Looking thin and haggard, Cunningham, with head downcast, listened as US District Judge Larry A. Burns imposed the sentence.
"You've undermined the opportunity [that] honest politicians have to do good," Burns said.
Burns ordered Cunningham to pay $1.8 million in restitution and refused his request for a week to say goodbye to his family. Cunningham was led from the courtroom by US marshals.
Burns said the only reason he didn't give Cunningham 10 years was because of his military service during the Vietnam War.
Cunningham, a Rancho Santa Fe Republican, confessed to taking $2.4 million in bribes and evading more than $1 million in taxes.
Kudos to the normally horrible and right-wing biased San Diego Union for breaking and pursuing the story of Cunningham's disgusting corruption.
But I say we need to go further. CA-50, Cunningham's district, is traditionally Republican. But people around the nation are getting fed up with Bush's horrible record running the nation and with the Republican culture of corruption. Democrat Francine Busby is running to replace Randy Cunningham in an April special election. We have a chance to really punish the Republicans for their corruption by taking one of their previously "safe" districts. Support Francine Busby for Congress and show the Republicans that corruption has its consequences.