Ex-Rep. trashes Boehner in new book

After a stint in federal prison, Bob Ney is back and alleging that Boehner "golfed, drank constantly" [UPDATED]

By Jillian Rayfield

Published March 6, 2013 4:17PM (EST)

Disgraced former House Republican Bob Ney, following a 17-month stint in federal prison in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, wrote a new book that trashes fellow Ohio Republican John Boehner as "a bit lazy," and paints him as a boozy golfer who "took the easy way legislatively.”

Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements, shortly before he resigned from his seat in 2006. The National Journal reports that in his book "Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill," Ney takes shots at Boehner, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John McCain, and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was among those who named Ney in his guilty plea in connection with the scandal.

From the National Journal:

Ney’s most dramatic accusations are against his fellow Ohioan John Boehner,  the man he once saw as his biggest rival to someday being speaker. He describes Boehner as “a bit lazy” and “a man who was all about winning and money. He was a chain-smoking, relentless wine drinker who was more interested in the high life--golf, women, cigarettes, fun, and alcohol.” He said Boehner “spent almost all of his time on fundraising, not policy.” He “golfed, drank constantly, and took the easy way legislatively.” Ney recalled Boehner handing out checks on the House floor and said his ties with a tobacco company were so tight that lawmakers could get free cigarettes from Boehner’s office. His golfing, Ney said, was “nonstop” and “paid for by lobbyists.”

Ney wrote: “If the Justice Department were ever to make John produce receipts for his addiction to golf just for the years from 1995 to 2004, he would be hard-pressed to comply. John got away with more than any other Member on the Hill.”

Ney, who was released in August 2008, also alleges that Boehner asked him to end his reelection campaign in 2006, after Ney won the primary, promising to set him up post-Congress. “If you resign the next day, I will personally guarantee you a job comparable to what you are making, and raise legal defense money for you that should bury all this Justice Department problem for you,” Ney writes that Boehner said, shortly before Boehner went back on the deal. "I had been lied to and ditched,” Ney writes.

Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel dismissed the allegations to NJ: "This is a convicted felon with a history of failing to tell the truth, making a lot of baseless accusations to try and sell books."

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Ney had served 11 months in prison, rather than 17 months. The post has also been updated to reflect that Ney was released from prison in 2008.

Jillian Rayfield

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

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Bob Ney House Republicans Jack Abramoff John Boehner Republicans