Liberal Group Puts Two Democrats on Its 'Most Corrupt' List

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - A liberal watchdog group has listed what it considers the "13 most corrupt members of Congress," and while 11 of them are Republicans, two are Democrats.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) says the "most tainted Members of Congress" include Democrat Reps. William Jefferson of Louisiana, who is under investigation for alleged misuse of his office; and Maxine Waters of California, whose relatives reportedly made lots of money doing business with people and businesses that Waters has helped.

Rep. Jefferson recently made headlines when National Guard troops escorted him to his flooded home in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, then waited around for him to remove his personal belongings -- even as life-and-death rescue efforts were going on all around him.

The list of "most corrupt" Republicans includes Sens. Bill Frist of Tennessee, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Conrad Burns of Montana.

CREW said it has "compiled and analyzed all these members' transgressions in tandem with the federal laws and congressional rules they may have violated."

The group is asking concerned citizens to request government investigations of the 13 people listed in its report.

CREW said it was "compelled" to research and report on the corrupt members "because the ethics committees in both the House and Senate are completely inert."

"Americans send their representatives to Washington to make laws, not to break them," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. She said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's alleged ethics transgressions are "just the tip of the iceberg."

"It is time for our representatives to take their constitutional obligation to police themselves seriously, an obligation that members of both political parties have ignored to the detriment of the American people," Sloan said.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) describes itself as a progressive legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

Sloan, a former federal prosecutor, previously served as a staffer with the House Judiciary Committee, working at various times for John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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