Lawmakers facing ethics charges fared badly on Tuesday

It turns out being under ethics investigation is not a great campaign strategy

By Jillian Rayfield
Published November 9, 2012 5:17PM (EST)

Though incumbents in the House usually have a 90 percent retention rate for elections, this year voters ousted a whole bunch of lawmakers who have been under investigation for ethics violations.

The New York Times reports:

"The list of those who lost this year includes Representative Laura Richardson, Democrat of California, who was reprimanded in August by the House Ethics Committee for illegally forcing her staff to help her run for re-election and then obstructing the investigation by altering or destroying evidence. There is Representative David Rivera, Republican of Florida, who last month was charged by the Florida Commission on Ethics with concealing a $1 million consulting contract with a Miami gambling business while serving in the State House."

Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Nevada Democrat, lost her race for U.S. Senate after allegations that she used her office to help out her husband's medical practice. And, of course, Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., lost out to Tammy Duckworth after he "had long been plagued by financial questions, including about tax liens, a foreclosure on a condominium and failing to pay child support," as the Times put it.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2012 Elections David Rivera Ethics Investigation Joe Walsh Shelley Berkley