Sunday, December 30, 2007

Your Nominees for the Golden Duke Awards!

Your Nominees for the Golden Duke Awards!

TPM is pleased to announce that we will be giving away our First Annual Golden Dukes to recognize great accomplishments in muckiness including acts of venal corruption, outstanding self-inflicted losses of dignity, crimes against the republic, bribery, exposed hypocrisy and generally malevolent governance.

The awards are named in honor of Congressman-turned-inmate Randy "Duke" Cunningham. It's been a heady few years for Muckraking, what with the meta-Abramoff scandal and so much more. But here at TPM we still believe that Duke is the iconic modern scandal. Few so well combine outlandish corruption, national security, sex, and sheer cartoonish ridiculousness.

The Nominees

We'll be giving away awards in six categories:

Best Testimonial Trainwreck
John Tanner for his unfortunate performance in front of the House Judiciary Committee
Sara Taylor for her muddled, bumbling, and oh-so-evasive testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee
Kyle Sampson for his own sorry showing in the Senate during the DOJ politicization hearings
Lurita Doan for her unprecedentedly incoherent testimony to Rep. Henry Waxman and his House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Alberto Gonzales for his spectacular series of self-contradictions in regard to the NSA warrentless wiretapping program

Outstanding Achievement in Improbable Forgetfulness
Alberto Gonzales for spouting more I-don't-recalls than we care to count
Sara Taylor for forgetting what she had for breakfast last week
Bradley Schlozman for generalized phony forgetfulness
Lurita Doan also for generalized phony forgetfulness
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) for not recalling what he did that fateful day in the Minneapolis airport

Outstanding Achievement in Corruption-based Chutzpah
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) for his phony resignation and brazenly inventive interpretation of the American legal code
Scott Bloch for commissioning private company Geeks on Call to purge his government-issued laptop of possibly incriminating documents
Rudy Giuliani for his astoundingly audacious use of public dollars in the now infamous Shag Fund scandal
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for her undisclosed purchase of some prime real estate at half the market price from friend and campaign contributor Bob Penney
Ginger Cruz for her generally outlandish behavior, including but not limited to making "inappropriate sexual remarks" and threatening employees with supernatural retribution

Best Scandal -- Local Venue
Vincent J. Fumo for his impressive 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice in addition to the bamboozling of two state-funded charities for the purpose of personal purchases
Michael Corona for using his position as Sheriff of Orange County to enrich himself, his wife, and his mistress
Rachel Paulose for her bigoted and hostile management style following the publicly funded coronation extravaganza that she held for herself
Richard Roberts for his use of funds from Oral Roberts University, over which he presides, to support his own lavish spending habits as well as the campaign of a local official for the Tulsa mayoral office
State Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merrit Island) for soliciting sex from and undercover officer, then attributing his decision to a fear of black men in public places

Best Scandal -- Sex and Generalized Carnality

Glenn Murphy for sexually assaulting an unconscious man at a Young Republicans get-together
State Rep. Richard Curtis (R-Vancouver) for soliciting a gay prostitute and then starting an argument over the fee
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) for generalized whore-mongering in multiple jurisdictions
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) for poorly executed bathroom sex
State Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merrit Island) also for poorly executed bathroom sex

Best Scandal -- General Interest

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) for multiple counts of backroom wheeling and dealing for personal gain
Rep. Don Young (R-AK) for using the US Treasury to pay off a campaign contributor
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) for poorly executed bathroom sex followed, of course, by some ballsy legal acrobatics
Alberto Gonzales for the politicization of the DOJ, boldfaced lying, and refusal to resign
President George W. Bush for the general politicization of the US government

It's in the judges' hands now. The winners in all six categories will be announced on December 31, 2007.

The Judges

We're happy to have a very distinguished panel of expert judges to sort through your nominations and choose the ultimate winners. They are:

Susie Bright, author, sexologist, analyst of erotic endeavors
John Dean, former Nixon White House Counsel, author, critic, columnist, muckster-turned-muckraker
Hendrik Hertzberg, essayist, political reporter, general TPM hero
Matthew Yglesias, blogger, representative of the rising generation, advocate of the typo-challenged
Dahlia Lithwick, law and legal affairs writer

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