20-Year Congressman Busted Bribing Opponent to Drop Out of the Race

Pop Quiz!

What’s the excuse congressmen use the most to dodge calls for term limits?
“If you don’t like me, just vote me out!”

Bob Brady Jimmie MooreIt sounds right on the surface, but when one digs further into the cesspool that is Washington, this excuse collapses like a house of cards. Incumbents rarely have serious opponents in their re-election bids, and when they do, they can take drastic and borderline-corrupt steps to get those people out of the race.

For an example, look no further than Pennsylvania Congressman Bob Brady. Next year will mark Brady’s 20th in Congress. Unsurprisingly, he has never supported term limits.

With each consecutive re-election, Brady’s incumbent power makes him more unstoppable at the ballot box. But the new unsealing of Justice Department records just proved that Brady remains paranoid of losing his seat. So paranoid, in fact, that he bribed a Democratic primary challenger in 2012 to drop out of the primary election.

Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Judge who received the bribe, was assumed at the time to be dropping out from a lagging campaign with a lack of funds. In reality, Moore had just gotten his skids greased by Brady – to the tune of $90,000 laundered through fake companies and consultants.

Brady has maintained his innocence despite an admission from Moore’s campaign that the money was accepted and concealed on Federal Election Commission reports. And despite the fact that Moore’s former staffer, Rev. Carolyn Cavaness, pleaded guilty to a federal felony of making a false statement in a federal proceeding.

After receiving the bribe, Moore dropped out and Brady won his Democratic primary with no opposition and $758,355 in his campaign coffers. He went on to capture the general election with 85 percent of the vote. It was just another day at the office for a crony congressman who’s addicted to power.

Rep Bob Brady PhiladelphiaIn cases like this, competitive elections are the only way to hold politicians accountable. When a congressman can borrow a tactic from the mafia and dole out protection money to keep his seat safe, then no number of elections will prove a viable path for removing him.

Only term limits can attack the heart of the problem by removing corrupt public officials and breaking up these pay-to-play schemes.

About Nick Tomboulides