So, a businessman is awaiting sentencing for his role in a $2.2B stock fraud.   Two congressman are declining to return campaign contributions from him, and refusing to release an earmark for the guy’s pet project. 

The one that kind of fascinates me is Moran –

In an interview with Politico, Moran said he had been unaware of Samueli’s legal problems but would stand by the couple, the campaign contributions and the earmark. Politicians, he said, cater to the worst impulses in politics when they rush to return contributions from troubled donors.

“They see somebody down, so they want to kick ’em, so they can look good in the eyes of the media,” Moran said. “That kind of annoys me. It disgusts me, actually. I don’t enjoy kicking people when they’re down. Frankly, I’m proud that he saw fit to contribute to me, and I don’t intend to try to embarrass him by sending him back the money.”

So … that’s what returning dirty money is about?  Kicking people when they’re down, just to make yourself look good?  It doesn’t have anything to do with, say, maintaining public trust that our elected officials aren’t riddled with corruption? 

Seriously, Moran thinks that not embarassing this guy who’s been convicted of defrauding investors is more important than cutting financial ties to convicted fraud perpetrators?  The guy was convicted of cheating the public!  I mean, I could see if the guy was just under suspicion and hadn’t been indicted yet.  Or maybe even indicted, but not yet convicted.  But the guy was convicted!  Of massive financial fraud! 

Let’s review.  What do we do when a campaign contributor is convicted of massive financial fraud?  We cut ties with them.  Which includes … returning their money.  So that the public doesn’t think we’re in bed with them.  Simple, yeah?