Bali Hai!


Out of all the congressional corruption scandals that have engulfed Washington since 2005 my personal favorite was and still is the Duke Cunningham bribery case. This scandal had it all, a bribery menu, a yacht named "Buoy Toy" illegally gifted to a member of Congress, quid pro quos of hookers for earmarks, and of course a cartoonishly corrupt contractor who liked to randomly yell "Boom shaka laka!" That contractor, Brent Wilkes, pled "not guilty" to the bribery charges that both his underling Mitchell Wade and the bribed Cunningham have admitted to, leading to the only trial in the sprawling corruption investigation. The trial has led to some terrific moments including testimony from the hookers hired by Wilkes for Cunningham and the ludicrous argument by the defense that all Wilkes was engaged in was aggressive lobbying. Now we get treated to this hilarious video of Wilkes and his team hosting Cunningham for a scuba diving trip. Wilkes is seen at the end doing his random shouting thing. Bali Hai!

The best places to follow the Cunningham case and the trial are TPM Muckraker, Seth Hettena’s blog, and the San Diego Union Tribune. Hettena and the writers from the Union Tribune have both written their own books about Duke’s corruption.