Corruption By The Numbers

Although I often use materials I’ve read in journals and other publications as the starting point for blog posts, I rarely reproduce an entire article or commentary. When I received the following analysis in an email, however, I asked for permission to do just that.

There is a widespread impression that Democrats are less upstanding and law-abiding than Republicans. That may be a side effect of the excessive public piety affected by so many Republican officeholders, or the belief that a willingness to compromise on matters of policy (a willingness today’s GOP evidently considers unprincipled) signifies a corrupt “wheeler/dealer” mentality.

Until I read this, my own impression had been that there isn’t much difference between the parties when it comes to bad behavior, so I was pretty surprised by this data. (Honesty also compels me to admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude–I am deathly tired of the incessant moral/religious posturing that has come to characterize the GOP.)

Here it is, unaltered:

“I made a comment recently where I claimed that Republican
administrations had been much more criminally corrupt over the last 50
plus years than the Democrats. I was challenged (dared actually) to
prove it. So I did a bit of research and when I say a bit I mean it
didn’t take long and there is no comparison.

When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive
branch of presidential administrations, it’s so lopsided as to be
ridiculous. Yet all I ever hear about is how supposedly “corrupt” the
Democrats are. So why don’t we break it down by president and the

Obama (D) – 8 yrs in office. Zero criminal indictments, zero
convictions and zero prison sentences. So the next time somebody
describes the Obama administration as “scandal free” they aren’t
speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.

Bush, George W. (R) – 8 yrs in office. 16 criminal indictments. 16
convictions. 9 prison sentences.

Clinton (D) – 8 yrs in office. 2 criminal indictments. One conviction.
One prison sentence. That’s right nearly 8 yrs of investigations. Tens
of millions spent and 30 yrs of claiming them the most corrupt ever
and there was exactly one person convicted of a crime.

Bush, George H. W. (R) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment. One
conviction. One prison sentence.

Reagan (R) – 8 yrs in office. 26 criminal indictments. 16 convictions.
8 prison sentences.

Carter (D) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment. Zero convictions and
zero prison sentences.

Ford (R) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment and one conviction. One
prison sentence.

Nixon (R) – 6 yrs in office. 76 criminal indictments. 55 convictions.
15 prison sentences.

Johnson (D) – 5 yrs in office. Zero indictments. Zero convictions.
Zero prison sentences.

So, let’s see where that leaves us. In the last 53 years, Democrats
have been in the Oval Office for 25 of those years, while Republicans
held it for 28. In their 25 yrs in office Democrats had a total of
three executive branch officials indicted with one conviction and one
prison sentence. That’s one whole executive branch official convicted
of a crime in two and a half decades of Democrat leadership.

In the 28 yrs that Republicans have held office over the last 53 yrs
they have had a total of (a drum roll would be more than appropriate),
120 criminal indictments of executive branch officials. 89 criminal
convictions and 34 prison sentences handed down. That’s more prison
sentences than years in office since 1968 for Republicans. If you want
to count articles of impeachment as indictments (they aren’t really
but we can count them as an action), both sides get one more. However,
Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by
Ford (and a pardon carries with it a legal admission of guilt on the
part of the pardoned). So those only serve to make Republicans look
even worse.

With everything going on with Trump and his people right now, it’s a
safe bet Republicans are gonna be padding their numbers a bit real

So let’s just go over the numbers one more time, shall we? 120
indictments for Republicans. 89 convictions, and 34 prison sentences.
Those aren’t “feelings” or “alternate facts.” Those are simply the
stats by the numbers. Republicans are, and have been for my entire
lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the

So those are the actual numbers. Feel free to copy and paste!” – Kevin
G Shinnick

Wow. Just wow.


  1. If I am demo,,its because I want to help others succeed in life,and bypass the crap conservitives dole out. this didnt suprise me at all.

  2. Thank you Sheila and Kevin; these numerical FACTS ease this old mind considerably. It has NOT been my warped imagination placing more corrupt action and blame on the GOP; nor has it been my 80 year old failing memory absolving the Democratic party of “alternative facts” and accusations against them, and thus those of us supporting them, of blame. Neither is it “fake news” we find when we research these issues to answer our questions regarding leadership of this country and our own understanding of the issues.

    Thank you!

  3. I wonder what the congressional delegations records look like by political party?

  4. I Googled Kevin G. Shinnick; reading the Wikipedia information (I trust them), I can only wonder if we have another Al Franken level of leadership in the making? It takes an in-depth sense of humor view of our political world today to provide a 20/20 vision to their core.

  5. A quibble and an observation:

    Ford was not president for 4 years.

    I think much of the impression of corruption by Democrats comes from looking at corrupt big city machine politics, most of which were/are Democrats. I believe many of you are from the Indy area where it might be a bit different, however, to those of us in NWIndiana, we see Chicago/Cook county and Lake County, IN.

  6. I can see why Republicans want less regulatory oversight. These are people who appear to take offense at having to comply with laws and regulations.

  7. When you’re talking about executive branch appointments…those are the stats. I wouldn’t consider that “evidence of political party corruption”.

    For instance, how many fraud indictments were issued to the finance industry under President Barack Obama? How many went to jail?

    I’ll wait for your analyst to work on that statistic.

    While I wait, the fraud committed by our financial industry was the worst ever in our history. It toppled governments, pension funds across the globe, and even caused the destruction of one of the largest financial firms in the world. Trillions of taxpayer dollars were used to bail them out.

    Not one person was jailed.

    We learned from Wikileaks that Citibank basically chose Obama’s cabinet. I wonder if that helped keep folks out of jail?

    Trying to prove which political party is less corruptive is a senseless exercise. Kind of like proving which shareholder-owned media conglomerate is less #Fake. 😉

    The platform for the GOP attracts ignorant thugs. The platform for DNC attracts Elite crooks. Both are part of the Kleptocracy we call the United States of America.

  8. I recommend “It Really Is Worse Than It Looks,” by Ornstein and Mann.

  9. After reading the email quoted in today’s topic, I’m left thinking that it’s certainly a great message for building the esprit de corps, for claiming a moral victory; on the other hand, those claiming moral victories in any election competition, and yes elections are competitions, still are unable to impact change via policy.

    Mr Kinnick’s email is a soothing balm to be applied lightly on an as needed basis.

  10. While the email’s author did a great job providing the numbers, I’d be interested in seeing the names, charges, and outcomes behind those numbers. Some of the names might remind people of the lawlessness in certain administrations (Oliver North, I’m looking at you).

  11. How far back should we go with our search for law breakers and do we start with the elected officials bought and paid for by the financial institutions, work our way through the entire staff of each of them? Do we include only those elected or appointed officials whom charges have been filed against and legal action taken or do we include those whose charges were dropped – and why and how they were dropped? How much in outright payoffs and what perks or benefits should be included in our research? I would like to begin with the sexual charges and accusations; so many of them have been dropped due to either clearing them or paying off the accusers. (What happened to Trump’s sexual abuse charges?) My favorite terminology for this too frequent governmental problem was “Weinergate”…which was somehow expanded to include accusations against Anthony Weiner’s wife who was Hillary Clinton’s assistant and a very embarrassed victim. Then it was carried further during the shitstorm about Hillary’s E-mail many accusations and investigations ending in nothing requiring charges against her. The attempt to include “Weinergate” photos on Hillary’s single server, the primary culprit even though Colin Powell, Condi Rice and other government officials used with government approval. Hillary’s admitted careless use of the regretted single server option carried over to her presidential election and we know how that ended.

    Mr. Shinnick’s “investigation” concentrated on only those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations. If some of you want to know the full scope of all government officials and their staff members criminal accusations and/or convictions with or without prison terms; do your own research and get back to us. I, for one, appreciate the information provided which kept to the specific individuals his report includes. We now have vital political party information heretofore unknown to the majority of blog readers and still not known to the general public.

  12. This while the Rs are strutting and salivating in Europe as though they own the world like fascists Hitler/Mussolini. Maybe Mikey Pence, if a true Christian, WILL be an improvement though I, or one, am not ready for more sophomoric experimentation and morality legislation. Now, along with his opposition to none-of-his-business same sex will he also oppose the LatterDaySaint trend toward repealing laws criminalizing multiple spouses?

  13. JoAnn, apparently there’s a website for ranking every politician for every imaginable charge including charges of sexual improprieties. I do not vouch for the charges listed, but rather am sharing what’s available online to everyone who has Internet access and who has an interest in comparing political scandals by party.

    Here’s one for listing Republican sex scandals.

  14. Every human institution is both capable and limited by more or less similar diversity. There are the smart and the not so, the educated and those figuring things out for themselves, the ambitious and the casual, the big picture thinkers and the detail wonks plus infinitely more flavors of human thinking. It is both the strength and weakness of our species. Strength, in that many bases are covered, challenge, in our ability to work together towards common goals.

    However in my view there are between our political parties institutional qualities that transcend the personalities within them.

    To be specific it occurs to me that Democrats see a collaborative world and Republicans a competitive world.

    Government is the ultimate collaboration. Find the common solution. Free enterprise the ultimate competition. Eat or be eaten. It’s no wonder people are naturally drawn to one pole or the other based on how they view life.

    It’s a wonder when those opposite worlds find common goals.

    Crime is the ultimate competition. Crime against society and crime against individuals. The law of the jungle, the failure of society. It is not surprising to me that it’s more prevalent among two groups – the competitive and the disaffected.

    Humanity without collaboration fails, the examples are numerous. Can collaboration exist in a dog eat dog world? It has managed to in the past but some significant ingredients that allowed that have been disrupted by the mix of media, entertainment and advertising that we live in today.

  15. Shiela, the first I saw of this was in a comment by Vernon Turner to your June 29th column, “The Piety Police.” Since I have copied and distributed the information, it now seems that I should be giving credit to Kevin G Shinnick. Correct?

  16. I’m guessing that the first Trump Administration indictment will happen before year’s end.

  17. Pete, not to discredit your high-flown words about government being a collaborative venture, but seriously, speaking as a pragmatist, all the high-minded thoughts about a philosophical collaborative government amount to doodly squat if, at first, we don’t win an election.

    Rather than getting the cart of high-minded thoughts of collaboration before the practical horse leading to winning an important election deserves our intentional consideration.

  18. Gosh, Pete. Wow and thanks. “Humanity without collaboration fails…”. Nail on head.

  19. Numbers don’t lie; only their manipulations to suit factless conclusions are prevarications. Those who incessantly lie and cheat and steal are statistically more likely to be caught, indicted and sent to prison than those who do not, obviously. There is no perfection in politics: Democrats as well as Republicans are in on the act, but the numbers tell us that the Republicans are more numerous than Democrats in the realms of lying, cheating and stealing. So, again statistically, if I were a true independent (which I am not) and looking for a party to support, I would be a Democrat even though I might dissent from an issue-by-issue everday view of Democratic caucus views on specific legislation (tax cuts for the rich, abortion. looting of our national parks etc.). My now-deceased wife during her doctoral program had a statistics professor who gives us some idea of how statistics can be manipulated when he told her class that statistics prove that one out of 3 billion passenger on a plane carried a bomb, so he said he always carried a bomb in order to reduce the risk. Then there are Republicans who defy Aristotle as they mindlessly generalize from the particular, a no-no in Aristotlean logic, but then who cares about logic when trolling for votes among the masses? Shinnick has done a public service, if anybody is listening – and I am.

  20. Gerald Stinson, is it possible that the Democrat Party you remember is no longer the Democrat Party of today? I ask that simply because I remember your stating that you were 90 years old in a previous post on this blog, placing you squarely in the age group of my late father who was a lifelong ‘died in the wool Democrat’ of the FDR type Democrat, a man born just across the Ohio River from Evansville in Henderson County, KY.

  21. Maybe Trump should try a bromance with Kim Jong Un: Two homely fatties. China is enjoying her romance with Capitalism which is not doing so well for far too many Americans.

  22. BSH, clearly there’s a difference between getting elected and effective governance. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

    I’m stuck on the point however that the difference between effective and tyrannical governance is the difference between collaboration and power.

  23. BSH – The party I revere of FDR and his New Deal certainly is not the party of today. The party of today, of course, is in a transitional economy, part Industrial and part Information. We don’t yet have our ducks in a row to live with in this new Information Age. In my day we were in the midst of the Industrial Age and no transition was in sight. In this last election we wrongly assumed that everyone was in the Information Age when millions were still in the Industrial Age in need of New Deal-like help and hope. We didn’t provide it; Trump preyed on our failure and eked out a win, at least electorally. We should not repeat that mistake and I hope Tony Perez will react accordingly in allocating people and resources for the election of 2018. BSH, you are right, my old party is not my party of today, but neither is the Republican Party the party of today. Indeed that party was one of New Dealers until Reagan, who with his union-busting and invitation of the Wall Street foxes into our henhouse set the stage for Citizens United and the buffoon we have sitting in the Oval Office today. I am not a Democrat out of inertia. When things change, I change. I would have been a Republican in Lincoln’s day, for instance. As a Democrat today, I am trying to guide some of my party’s principles in inclusive fashion to serve all of the people and not just those with fat wallets. You are right to remember that I am one who well remembers the Great Depression and some time spent in the South Pacific in WW II not as a draftee but as a 17-year old volunteer. A spring chicken I am not!

  24. Todd: “For instance, how many fraud indictments were issued to the finance industry under President Barack Obama? How many went to jail?

    I’ll wait for your analyst to work on that statistic.”

    If memory serves me, the problem with indictments against the financial industry was that the things they did to ruin the world’s economy in 2008 weren’t illegal. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley deregulation of 1999, made it easy for the banks and financial industry to do what they did. Here’s the wiki link that describes it better than I can.

  25. Gramm-Leach-Bliley was signed/enacted by good ol’ Bill Clinton. Plus,it was a bipartisan house effort.

    Democrats vs Republicans? Outside of of identity politics,both political organizations are in the pocket of the donor/investor class.

    Democrats are only effective when the interests they support are in favor of the donor/investment class. Whilst the wishes of the donor/investment are quickly passed,the peasants must be told to settle for incrementalism. That’s why Hillary lost,not because of Russians,but because people see the shitshow and milquetoast attitude of the current Democratic Party.

  26. Come to think of it….Clinton enacts the Gramm-Leach-Bliley into law.

    Obama brings the ACA/Mitt Romney/Heritage Foundation/GifttoInsuranceCare to fruition.

    Who needs Democrats? When all they want to do is pass Republican legislation?

  27. This game of “they are both corrupt” isn’t solving the problem; only identifying it.

    The left offers solutions but it’s never good enough for the “conservatives.” Am I right? Or wait…for conservatives, nothing is a “right” even when this country was founded on “Civil Rights.” Human Civil Rights. Ugh. Do I have to spell it out?

    For the good of the country, we need “To Do” something rather than keep talking about it.

    There are solutions and we need to solve the problems by actually doing something different. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  28. Sadly enough, these so-called statistics only perpetuate partisan politics and maintain gridlock at all levels of politics. Lies, damn lies and statistics. Any researcher could not only find contradictory statistics, but given the original data one could manipulate it to show exactly the opposite outcome. The reality is that you’ll find the same level of corruption among both parties. Why? Because we’re all human. That’s what seems to have been lost in our politics — humanity. Both parties are guilty. We’ve allowed corporations to dictate our policies. We’ve let government become so large and powerful that it is managing every part of our lives, from whether it’s ok for a woman to have an abortion to whether one wears a seatbelt. We’ve given up so many freedoms in the false belief that our government is altruistic and will protect us. Wise men drafted our Constitution. They hoped it, not politicians, would protect our freedoms. That’s why they were adamant about the right to bear arms. As long as we continue with party politics, however, there is no “we the people” and therefore are headed closer and closer to an autocracy.

  29. Have you counted all the legal actions that has been generated after Hillary Clinton lost the election?

  30. Onesimpleperson: “Any researcher could not only find contradictory statistics, but given the original data one could manipulate it to show exactly the opposite outcome.”

    No, you can’t “find contradictory statistics” for how many criminal indictments, convictions and prison sentences per presidential administration, or “manipulate the original data.” Sure, somebody could falsely state the number of criminal indictments, convictions and prison terms, but it’s a matter of public record, and those “alternative facts” could be easily disproved. There are statistics that can be manipulated or debated, particularly in the theoretical realm. However, these are irrefutable facts. No one can manipulate or “spin” the number of criminal indictments, convictions per administration, any more than one can manipulate the date or the time, their birthdate, or that 2+2=4. People were either indicted, convicted and/or sentenced to prison, or they weren’t. There’s no ambiguity, no room for interpretation or debate.

    As for corporations dictating policy — one party’s enacted regulations to protect employees, consumers and the environment, the other cut them to increase corporate profits, one party cuts taxes and creates loopholes for the 1%, the other didn’t (and in fact, raised taxes on the wealthy), one party had corporations declared citizens so they could have yet more influence over government, the other opposed it, one party invited corporate heads and lobbyists to quite literally dictate their executive orders and write their legislation (Trump’s administration even created a website for corporate wishlists), the other didn’t. I do think the 1% has too much influence on both parties, elections, policy, legislation, but claiming there’s no difference between them, isn’t just a false equivalence and intellectually disingenuous, it’s ludicrous with Trump and the GOP catering solely to the 1%, slashing protections for the working and middle class to 1960’s levels, rolling back civil rights, plundering the working and middle class to make the rich richer, and targeting programs beneficial to the former to try to mitigate some of the massive debt they’re saddling future generations with, while they personally enrich themselves, siphon taxpayer money to subsidize their jet set lifestyles, with Trump directly pocketing taxpayer money, and Democrats fighting all of it.

    The Democratic Party has its problems, but they’re insignificant when compared to the flagrant corruption and cronyism of Trump’s administration, to the GOP cravenly sacrificing the vast majority of Americans to pander to their wealthy donors. Apparently, you can’t recognize a flawed ally from an existential threat, and I’m guessing you may help to guarantee the full blown authoritarian corptocracy Trump and the GOP are rapidly pushing towards because of it, by not voting or throwing away your vote on a third party, putting your idealism (or cynicism, or apathy) ahead of the people already suffering very real harm which will only grow infinitely worse. I really hoped this past year would provide some perspective for the purists, but I guess not.

  31. Frank Mulder: No, the indictments and guilty pleas of Trump campaign and administration officials aren’t included. By the time Trump leaves office, I expect there will be a significant increase in the number of Republican indictments, convictions and/or prison terms to further widen the gap between Democrats and Republicans.

  32. I’d seen this accounting before, and not by the way, the numbers are equally unequal when it comes to sexual assaults and harassment. I’m pretty much in agreement and was particularly taken by one of the comments that followed this post :

    “However in my view there are between our political parties institutional qualities that transcend the personalities within them. To be specific it occurs to me that Democrats see a collaborative world and Republicans a competitive world. Government is the ultimate collaboration. Find the common solution. Free enterprise the ultimate competition. Eat or be eaten. It’s no wonder people are naturally drawn to one pole or the other based on how they view life. It’s a wonder when those opposite worlds find common goals.”

    This dichotomy is exacerbated by the fact Republicans are, on the whole, not only more vicious, they seem to be better at promoting their propaganda. Part of their success is due to word merchandising, i.e. calling the Coal Welfare Bill the Clean Air Act and the Clear Skies Initiative … or calling the Tax Rape Bill the Tax Reform Act … or attempting to gut Obamacare’s admittedly limited healthcare reforms with Repeal and Replace, while replacing those improvements with nothing.

    Even the present use of the term Conservative is false. True Conservatives, like Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith, understood that the only true purpose of government was to promote the Commonweal. So-called Conservatives, like notorious former Attorney General John Mitchell, like to cite Hobbes observation that “life is nasty, brutish and short”, but Hobbes was actually arguing that government was a way to ameliorate that fact.

    And speaking of Attorneys-General, I note that Mitchell went to jail, Alberto Gonzalez should have, and Jeff Sessions may well be the worst of the lot.

  33. Before believing these numbers I would like to see solid ans reliable source of them. Otherwise the whole article is just a propaganda.

  34. Sheila Kennedy has an admirable career and has earned the respect of many of the upper class echelon based on her credentials. So I tip my hat to this lady for a lot of hard work in life.
    However, this legacy is also part of the problem today.
    I have read two of her books because they caught my attention based on the title, not the person. That’s what a title is designed to do, I get it. But it is typically a reverse logic approach.
    We have different back grounds, yours starting in stability, mine starting in uncertainty.
    You speak of things you have seen only from the outside looking in. Much like many others, people consider you an authority in a field that you have seen, but never experienced. Your most prevalent fields would be Law and Education, neither of which actually produce a product or grow in an economically attainable path designed to improve the community one resides in.
    As an educator “Professor” you have had an impeccable career in the field of capitalizing on the study of opinions and theories. Don’t get me wrong, I love the field of Law because it despite the opinion of many who consider the law “Gray”, it is actually based on fact and finality. But logically, you are being paid to express opinions based on the work done by others long before you.
    As an Attorney or Politician, you again produce nothing that would be considered beneficial to the community around you. A politician governs based on written scribe, not inherent knowledge. Even at the ACLU, most of the work you accomplished could be considered one of vanity and manipulation as opposed to the imposition of change and direction.
    Please don’t take offense, it is not intended. But after a little research and reading a few of you books I find myself asking why are you telling me these things? I mean, we have a whole generation of people selling opinions based on aspects of life never realized. You degrade the “Right” with regards to racism, religion, and support for a man who actually did produce a product in life. And you do this from a position in life that has never lived the things you speak about.

    I was born and raised in Texas, father ran off with God in 1968, had one brother and two sisters, and ended up being raised in Public housing by a hard working single mother. I have lived hunger, sickness, and charity from others. I witnessed my first murder in second grade, my first crush was a lady who stood on the corner at nights who talked to me and treated me nice, and in most of my youth I had no real friends. I graduated high school because I promised my mother, never could afford to go to college, and was married at age 26 after finally stepping away from vises like cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol. I am a Republican, I own many guns, have strong moral character, extreme faith, and lived my life based on logical survival, not a utopian dream.
    As grim as it sounds, it turned out pretty good in my book. I am now 56, getting ready to retire, still married to the same woman of 30 years, raised three boys, and live comfortably on an 8 acre estate in far North Texas.

    In short, life offers many choices and the individual has to make them. I personally do not care much for people looking down on others based on social hierarchy. Walk in my shoes for a while and you will learn that the homeless person on the street typically carries better credentials than any college educated professor or politician when talking about things seen but never known. What you’re selling is a good product, make no mistake. But people buying it are just trying to support their own misguided beliefs that like is more than simple survival of the fittest. And injecting normalcy into things that defy simple logic tells me that you are selling a brand of manipulation like many before you.
    Fact Check- based on Logic
    1- Woman are equal to men- umm… no, they are not, it defies nature.
    2- Gays and Lesbians are normal – umm, no, it defies the laws of evolution.
    3- We should help one another in life – Nope, when there is one apple left, someone dies.
    Have a nice day 

  35. Why don’t you look at the political makeup of the courts also when comparing convictions. Maybe the reason it’s so lopsided is because the courts were loaded with democrats at the time of investigations and trials. Maybe the dems are so crooked that ALL major judges are bought and paid for dems. A real in depth look needs to be done in regards to democrat corruption and the ties they have to the judicial system. For all we know the dems run the country from the shadows through blackmail and murder. Look at the Clinton Kill List. Seems like they’re getting more brazen about it.

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