The Richmond Register

Local News

September 19, 2007

McConnell, Rogers on ‘Most Corrupt’ list

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, R-5th District, have made it onto a national “Top 22” list that does not necessarily deem distinction.

“Beyond DeLay: The 22 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (And Two to Watch),” was released Tuesday by CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington).

The third annual report can be viewed at The site offers short summaries of each member’s transgressions, full-length profiles and all accompanying documentation.

Reports for McConnell and Rogers are similar in that they claim each was using his power in government to benefit themselves, their families and their campaigns.

Most of the report’s accusations against McConnell can be traced back to his former chief legal council, G. Hunter Bates, who served McConnell from 1997-2002. Bates, of Louisville, is chairman of the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents.

He later formed Bates Capitol Group LLC (or “Bates Capitol) and clients included: E-Cavern, Voice for Humanity, Appriss Inc. and Boardpoint LLC, all of which have received (funding) earmarks from McConnell, according to CREW’s report.

“All of these companies have made substantial contributions to Sen. McConnell’s campaigns,” the report states. It also accuses the Bates Capitol Group of hiring former McConnell staffers including: Holly Piper, wife of Sen. McConnell’s chief of staff Bill Piper, and former McConnell aides Patrick Jennings and Lesley Elliot.

One thing that concerns Don Stewart, a press secretary for McConnell, is the timeline of the allegations.

“All the things they mention (in the report) are from 2002 or prior,” Stewart said. “It makes you wonder why this year, the year they happen to be up for re-election.

“I think this list is made up of 18 Republicans and four Democrats,” Stewart said. “My guess is that there is some kind of coincidence here. I think most of the people on (the list) are up for re-election.”

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