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Former Hooker Sidekick To Control Federal Purse Strings

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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APPROPRIATE APPROPRIATOR? Calvert

It's good times for Republicans who love cheap hookers and shady land deals. Congressional Republicans are promoting ethically challenged fatcat politician Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) to the powerful committee that controls federal spending!

The highly coveted Appropriations Committee seat opened up last month when fellow Californian Rep. John Doolittle stepped down after the FBI raided his home in an attempt to learn more about his relationship with corrupt super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

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Calvert's involvement in several land deals in his home state has raised the ire of a grand jury—and sane Republicans. Also raising eyebrows: a 2004 trip to Saudi Arabia Calvert took with disgraced ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham, a different convicted felon wrapped up in the Cunningham's bribery scandal, and a Saudi-American real estate developer whose father reportedly had close ties to Osama Bin Laden. Questions about Calvert's judgment first arose in 1993, though, following a run-in with police during which he tried to explain he was "just talking" with a methadone-addled prostitute in the passenger seat of his car while covering his unzipped fly with his hands.

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