Study: Democrats Are “Several Times” More Likely To Be Corrupt Than Republicans

To be fair, the measurement used for corruption is appearance in federal court. While that’s something, it’s not a perfect measure. Appearances in court are not convictions. And federal courts aren’t state courts.

That being said, for what it’s worth:

This has been a bad couple of weeks for Democrats. The economy is sagging, support for President Barack Obama is declining, and Anthony Weiner and John Edwards are doing their best to draw attention to one of the Democratic Party’s main weaknesses — its corruption problem.

According to a 2009 study published in the esteemed American Political Science Review, Democrats are several times* more likely than Republicans to find themselves in federal court on public corruption charges. The study’s author, New York University professor Sanford C. Gordon, doesn’t really explore why this is, but I have some theories.

To the extent that this is true – and I suspect there’s a level of truth to it – the simplest explanation is that the highest concentration of Democrat politicians are usually in urban areas. Big cities like Chicago and New York. And given the sprawling nature of those municipal government, and the propensity toward brutal “ward politics,” they lend themselves to political corruption. But here’s an interesting footnote to the column:

…Gordon found that the partisan composition of the defendants in corruption cases varies depending on which party controls the presidency. For example, Gordon finds that Democrats were 2.57 times more likely than Republicans to face federal public corruption charges during the Clinton administration but 6.13 times more likely than Republicans to face federal public corruption charges during the George W. Bush administration. Those numbers are based on representative samples of federal public corruption defendants during both administrations.

In other words, Democrats are always more likely to be in courts over corruption than Republicans, but far less Republicans face federal prosecution when a Democrat is President. Which kind of says something about cronyism, no?

(via Wizbang)

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • robert108

    “In other words, Democrats are always more likely to be in courts over
    corruption than Republicans, but far less Republicans face federal
    prosecution when a Democrat is President. Which kind of says something
    about cronyism, no?”

    No, it doesn’t.  It says that, when they are out of power, Dems will play any dirty trick they can, including making false accusations of corruption, to get back into power.

  • syantiss

    “far less Republicans face federal prosecution when a Democrat is President.” I think you mean to say far less Democrats…

    • JustRuss

      far less of both apparently, since even with a democrat president they are 2.5 times more likely to face charges.

    • Bat One

      I believe in both cases that should read “far fewer…”

    • flamemeister

      Actually, “far fewer.”

      • syantiss

        Okay… Okay… Grammatical errors aside… I think Rob meant to type Demoncraps rather than Republicans in the first part of the sentence…

  • syantiss

    Naw… Yah don’t say… Who’d have thunk it…

    • ellinas1

      Yeah!…….I say……. I have thunk it.

      From the same study:
      Sanford C. Gordon
      New York University (NYU) – Wilf Family Department of Politics
      April 22, 2009
      The 2007 U.S. Attorney firing scandal raised the specter of political
      bias in the prosecution of officials under federal corruption laws. Has
      prosecutorial discretion been employed to persecute enemies or shield
      allies? To answer this question, I develop a model of the interaction
      between officials contemplating corruption and a prosecutor deciding
      whether to pursue cases against them. Biased prosecutors will be willing
      to file weaker cases against political opponents than against allies.
      Consequently, the model anticipates that in the presence of partisan
      bias, sentences of prosecuted opponents will tend to be textit{lower}
      than those of co-partisans. Employing newly collected data on public
      corruption prosecutions, I find evidence of partisan bias under both the
      Bush (II) and Clinton Justice Departments. However, additional evidence
      suggests that these results may understate the extent of bias under
      Bush, while overstating it under Clinton.

      Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
      Keywords: partisan bias, public corruption, U.S. Attorneys, Justice Department, Bush administration, Clinton administration

      • Bat One

        I wonder, is the purported bias you mention sufficient to offset or completely account for the reported higher rate of corruption among Democrat officials?  Or does it indicate instead that Bush administration prosecutors were more zealous in pursuing corruption case than were Clinton Justice department officials?  In other words, does the possible bias explain the higher propensity for corruption among Democrats, or does it merely indicate more tolerance for corruption under Clinton?

        • ellinas1

          Nice try, but no desert for you that has a dark tertiary color with a yellowish or reddish hue.
          If the bias that I mentioned is reputed, claimed or alleged, then the whole study is purported.

          • Bat One

            I’m in training and on a pretty strict meal plan for the next few weeks.  Talk to me about desert after July 4th.

          • Neiman

            I sympathize, I am a recovering sweetoholic and I lust after carbohydrates, the bad kind. I lost 30 lbs last summer, put a lot back on for several reasons and after my two eye operations later this month, back to low carbs and the treadmill.

          • Bat One

            I need to lose 6 more pounds by July 4th to get to 200.  I’m doing the Peachtree Road Race again this year.  That is, if the heat doesn’t kill us first.  Glucosamine, Ibuprofen and Gatorade – breakfast of champions!

          • Spartacus

            Mojave, Sahara, Gobi? … I know… E started it.

          • robert108

            Leave all the desert for your terrorist buddies.

          • Spartacus


          • ellinas1

            The painted dessert would be a browny.

  • borborygmi

    That being said, for what it’s worth:     absolutely nothing

  • mikemc1970

    In all fairness Rob, Democrats don’t consider tax fraud a crime. Other peoples money, you know.

    • Bat One

      If the prevalent attitude among Democrats is that the laws and rules apply to others but not to them, that would certainly explain the higher incidence of corruption on the Left, wouldn’t it?

      • mikemc1970

        If you want an honest opinion, I think it’s more of a DC born hubris. The longer the politicians stay in office the greater the disconnect with the people who put them there. Which is why I support term limits.

        • Bat One

          I’ve been a reluctant supporter of term limits.  I say reluctant because there is no specific provision in the Constitution, nor in the Federalist Papers, that details the notion of term limits, and it certainly would be a restriction on the freedom of both office holders and the voting public.

          The practical argument against term limits is that we need experienced people who fully understand the complexity of the federal government and how things actually work in Washington.  But the answer, I think, is to reduce the size and complexity of the government, rather than electing and reelecting the same self-serving lifers over and over again.  After all, look what that’s gotten us!

          • syantiss

            I wouldn’t be all that necessary if we’d just repeal the 17th…

  • sbark

    New book out on exactly how Dem’cat culture of corruption led to the Fannie Mae economic crisis…..

    The book is entitled “Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon,” and it’s by Gretchen Morgenson (who is an economics writer/business writer to the New York Times) and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner. And this book apparently is a cover-to-cover indictment of Wall Street and the Democrat Party, Fannie Mae and subprime mortgages.  This book answers the question that the American people have: Who is responsible for this debacle?  

    • Bat One

      Its on my list.  It’s fascinating that for all the braying the Left does about Wall Street, Obama and the Demos got far more in campaign contributions from the “Masters of the Universe” and the lesser titans than did the GOP.  Says a lot about the Democrats’ obvious lack of loyalty.  Obama would throw anyone under the bus if it was deemed to be politically expedient.

      • robert108

        Actually, it says that the Dems are much more into “crony capitalism”(fascism).

  • Teejay

    Just imagine what the results of this study would have looked like if we had a truly independent, non-partisan media.  They turn over every stone looking for dirt on Republicans.  Imagine what the media would find if they went on similar fishing expeditions against the dems.  For example, the media managed to get 24,000 email messages that were sent to and from Sarah Palin during her stint as governor.  The Washington post is now asking for 100 volunteers to help them go through each message in an obvious effort to find something, anything to taint the governor.  Now imagine a similar effort looking into the illegal foreign contributions that helped elect Obama.  Or where all the TARP and stimulus money ended up.  Or how about the crony capitalism between Obama and GE or GM.  There is a lot of low hanging fruit for the mainstream media but they are too busy chasing Sarah Palin.

  • Mountainmouth

    The democrats look out for the little guy – IF THERE IS SOMETHING IN IT FOR THEM. 

    Chicago style politics now on dispaly

  • banjo kid

    The handling of the Rangel case was enough to show me the dems are not going to persecute their own people . along with several others who are still in the congress that should not be , and several who have appointed jobs that should be scrubbing the floor of a cell .

  • SigFan

    Lacking any kind of moral touchstone or foundation it only stands to reason that the left would be more likely to be involved in corruption.  They do not, in many ways, understand the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.  It is just what they do, when they want to do it, and their just due in their minds. 

  • sbark

    Think also about so-called public utility companies. They get a basic monopoly in exchange for accepting limits on their returns. The gas, rural phone and electric companies are the classic example.

     the next industry that’s about to become a utility: banking. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law July 21, 2010. It’s going to utilitize the banking industry, putting smaller competitors out of business and cementing the competitive position of banks favored by the government.The Left and Obama regime isnt shy about turning banks into utilities because most of the “sheeple” in the U.S. believe the government can really take care of them. So they don’t realize they’re being shafted. The American Banking Association says Dodd-Frank will put 1,000 banks out of business in the next 10 years—as the big banks who support Dem’cats get the benefits.

    Its the fundamental reason Mega Business is in bed w/ the Left—-the myriad of regulations favored by big Govt proponents hinder entry into a market by more efficient small business –it protects big bloated inefficient Big Business.   Just another Lie pushed by Left and Media.

    • syantiss

      Hmmm… So concentrate banking down to just the “too big to fails”… That seems wise… What could go wrong?

  • Jvette

    There is no telling how much corruption there actually is in the world of government. Most don’t want to shine a spotlight on others for fear of bringing scrutiny upon themselves. Apparently a lot of voters are willing to accept a corrupt politician who champions the things they are passionate about. Prime examples are Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel; both were reelected and they were reelected because their colleagues declined to fully prosecute and hold them accountable for their corruption.

    • sbark

      There is a reason a perv. like Anthony Weiner says he cant quit politics……”how can I then make any money”…….

      without his Congressional salary, he would have rather hefty bills and no apparent means to pay them off (via JWF):
      Unlike many of his peers in the House, Weiner doesn’t have a business or even a law degree to fall back on.Weiner, 46, took home $156,117 in 2010, according to his federal tax returns released by his staff. …He owes between $10,000 and $15,000 on his American Express card, according to his most recent financial-disclosure forms………a career politic……has never done nothing else in life, knows nothing else……..pretty much like Conrad, dorgan and Earl’ie……….exactly the type N.Dak got rid of for the same reason……….

  • bikebubba

    Could the lower indictment rate among Republicans be simply because the GOP tends to chase their miscreants out, while the Democrats allow return and recidivism?  :^)

  • Patrick Henry

    I suspect a very significant factor that causes (or results in) crime and corruption is the extent to which a defined group of people deny the authority of an absolute code of moral conduct by which we shall all be judged (both now and at a final judgment).

    In other (but not necessarily fewer) words:
    1) a cursory comparison of studies (such as the one referenced in this article) regarding the relative comparison of corruption of the two major political parties convinces me that there is a significantly higher incidence of corruption within the Democrat party.
    2) there is chronicled, a much more pronounced hostility toward God & religion from the Democrat party than the GOP.
    3) I believe that there is a cause & effect relationship between the level of respect for acknowledging the absolute authority of the moral code of conduct found in the Bible and the level of crime & corruption within a people-group.
    4) Therefore, the higher amount of crime & corruption in the Democrat party is mostly attributable to their more pronounced hostility to the authority of the Bible.

    It simply makes sense that people who reject a moral code will make a lesser attempt to obey it, and the only things that curb corruption to its current level among those who reject the Bible’s authority is (1) our system of punishment for those found guilty of crimes, (2) the social stigma that a criminal conviction carries, and (3) the threat of losing a lucrative job.
    So, logically, I believe the level of corruption in both parties would be far greater if these three things were removed.

    • Pinback_Sherman

      This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read in my life.

      • nutters suck

        you must be new here.

        you can read successively dumber things daily. just give nutters a little room and let them run with their amazing stupidity.

        for example, they still believe that the IRS unfairly targeted tea party groups, because the dolomite president told them to. they still think that the president takes more vacations than the last guy. they still have birthers with credibility in their circles. they claim that the president is gay, muslim, atheist, socialist, etc. and don’t get laughed right out of the room.

        in short, nutter pages like this one are where idiots thrive among their own.

        • Onslaught1066

          Hiya gusty, riding the retard train all the way to the end of the line, I see… Again.

          • nutters suck

            dearest simpleton-

            does this nutter website do the following:
            1. believe that the IRS targeted tea party groups
            2. criticize the president for vacations
            3. give birthers credibility
            4. accuse the president of being gay, muslim, socialist, atheist, etc.

            answers: yes, yes, yes and yes.

            continue to strive for a shred relevance as the lead troll on this echo chamber of stupid. maybe you’ll make it. but likely not.

          • Onslaught1066

            Hiya gusty, doubling down on retard, I see…Again.

            Shrewd move on your part, go with what you know.

  • joe

    hmmmm it appears that the ‘owner’ of this blog is a fat white conservatard from North Dakota, what are the chances this asshole Rob Port is biased?