By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2008, 1:38pm PT  

We soon may not have Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) --- the Florida congressman accused of conspiring to create vote-rigging software, and one of the country's most corrupt --- to kick around anymore, as reports The Miami Herald on Friday.

But that good news could lead to even better news...

Orlando Congressman Tom Feeney, a former speaker of the Florida House and one-time running mate of former Gov. Jeb Bush, has become the poster child for the declining fortunes of the Republican Party in Florida.

In 2002, Feeney carved a Congressional district for himself from a Republican-leaning swath of Orlando. Now, after three terms in Congress and a barrage of bad publicity, the National Republican Congressional Committee this week pulled plans to advertise on Feeney's behalf --- proof of their concern that he could lose his seat to Democrats on Nov. 4.

So with Feeney's days in Congress, perhaps, finally coming to a close, that could also mean we may get to see him thrown in jail sooner.

In the early days of my coverage of the Tom Feeney/Clint Curtis vote-rigging scandal (see the documentary film about that story now here, purchase a signed DVD in support of The BRAD BLOG here), it was explained to me by a Congressional staffer on the Judiciary Committee that one of the reasons they might have trouble calling Feeney --- a member of the committee himself --- on the carpet was because of the Congresional ethics rules.

"If we file ethics charges charges against another member of Congress," it was told to me, "and any part of them end up being untrue, we can face ethics charges ourselves."

Well, with Feeney out of Congress, as is looking more and more the case for him next week, neither Congress, nor anybody else, should have trouble in their quest to bring accountability to this horrible man, right?

By the way, though we'd have much preferred to see Clint Curtis get the chance to whip Feeney next week, the DCCC's hand-selected candidate, Suzanne Kosmas, who defeated Curtis in the recent primary, will have to do. If she can pull it off. And that's fine by us!

UPDATE 6:39pm PT: AP confirms the Miami Herald report about the NRCC giving up on Feeney:

WASHINGTON --- National Republicans have pulled television advertising for four of the party's incumbents, including Tom Feeney in Florida.

Feeney is among the at-risk Republican incumbents left to fend for themselves by a cash-strapped House of Representatives campaign arm in the crucial final days of the campaign amid a tough political environment for President George W. Bush's party.

The National Republican Campaign Committee also has canceled planned TV ads to help Reps. Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado, Michele Bachmann in Minnesota and Joe Knollenberg in Michigan, spokeswoman Karen Hanretty confirmed.

Musgrave, Feeney and Knollenberg are extremely vulnerable. Democrats, who are eyeing double-digit gains in their House majority, have been targeting them heavily. Feeney is battling Democrat Suzanne Kosmas of New Smyrna Beach.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.