TODAY IN CORRUPTION....

TODAY IN CORRUPTION. The New York Times' big piece on the FBI's myriad public corruption investigations makes the interesting observation that 9-11 actually helped to shift the bureau's focus more toward public integrity, as it was an area for which the FBI had almost exclusive authority and provided the agency an opportunity to maximize impact at a time when personnel all across federal law enforcement bureaucracies was being shifted to counterterrorism.

Meanwhile, the big news on the FBI anti-corruption front today is confirmation that the bureau is investigating California's Jerry Lewis, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, for action he's taken on behalf of a longtime lobbyist crony and Brent Wilkes associate. (The mad-dog goo goo group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had requested just such an FBI investigation four months ago.) Lewis occupies one of the most powerful positions in Congress; this could be a very, very big deal.

--Sam Rosenfeld

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