How much longer can Rep. Bob Ney last?
In another sign that the Ohio Republican's indictment is inevitable, a former aide to Ney is pleading guilty today to charges that he conspired with Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, former Tom DeLay aide Tony Rudy and others to provide "things of value" to Ney in exchange for Ney's "favorable official action" on behalf of Abramoff's clients.
Neil Volz, who served as Ney's chief of staff before going to work for Abramoff, says the "things of value" provided to Ney and his staff included the now-infamous 2002 golf trip to Scotland, a 2003 trip to Lake George, N.Y., "regular" food and drink at Abramoff's restaurant, "numerous" tickets to sporting events and concerts in Abramoff's luxury boxes at the MCI Center, Camden Yards and FedEx Field, and the use of those boxes for campaign fundraising events.
Although Ney has stepped aside from his post as chairman of the House Administration Committee, he has retained his seat in the House and is running for re-election. Ney won last week's Republican primary and will face Democrat Zack Space in November -- if an indictment doesn't force him to bail out of the race first.