This guy was a McCain supporter. Hid dad, a retired Army General and defense industry bigwig, connected to Plame outer Armitage, died on Feb. 9, 2008.
Republican congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona -- whose district includes Flagstaff, one of my favorite little towns -- has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Some of these charges stem from a complex scheme in which he allegedly received kickbacks after cajoling others to buy land from a buddy. The other charges derive from his family's insurance firm, which offered insurance to pregnancy centers. He is said to have helped himself to the clients' premiums.
Renzi's name came up in the U.S. Attorney scandal investigation; emptywheel has the details.
Here's the part that really interests me: Renzi may be a spook. (A tip of the chapeau to Laura Rozen.) His background is certainly mysterious:
Exactly what Renzi did for the next two decades is blurry. He has said he worked overseas for the Defense Department, but research turned up no information on which agency, where he was assigned or what duties he had.
Renzi founded an insurance company in 1989 and bought a six-bedroom home in Virginia two years later for $765,000. He and his wife, Roberta, lived there with their children for more than a decade.
Suggestive, though hardly conclusive. I would note that most spooks don't make anywhere near the kind of money needed to buy palatial digs of that sort. On the other hand, most insurance execs don't brag about working overseas for the DOD.
There have long been rumors of links between the intelligence community and the insurance industry. Insurance fraud has funded covert ops, or so some have claimed. Wally Hilliard, the flight school owner whom many consider spookier than Caspar, made his money in insurance.
Renzi sat on the House intelligence committee, which is supposed to oversee the spooks. That's one reason why I think we should learn more about the man's background.
A key beneficiary of Rep. Renziís legislation was ManTechInternational Corp., a Fairfax, Virginia based defense contractor where Rep. Renziís father, Retired Major General Eugene Renzi, is an executive vice president. The company, which has an office in Sierra Vista, Arizona, was the largest contributor to Renziís 2002 congressional campaign and the second largest in his 2004 campaign.
If Rep. Renzi accepted campaign contributions from ManTech in exchange for pushing through legislation benefitting the company, he would be in violation of federal bribery laws.
Here's the webpage for ManTech, which sounds like the name of Jeff Gannon's bordello. Aside from Major General Renzi, some interesting folks run the firm. One director is the notorious neocon Richard Armitage, of Iran/contra and Plamegate ill-fame. Another is Richard Kerr, a former Deputy Director of the CIA.
Evidence indicated that someone back in the DC-Virginia area took a keen interest in establishing a political career for the Major General's son.
And where did Rick Renzi (who moved to Arizona from out of state in order to obtain this office) get the extra money he used to get his name spread across the geographically huge district he was running? $436,590 came from Renzi's own deep pockets.
A significant portion of the remainder came from out of state. As the Open Secrets report mentioned above shows, Renzi received more than twice as much in contributions from the Washington, DC area than he did from Flagstaff, Arizona, the largest city in his district