April 7 2011 12:00 AM

Marcus Stern: 'He'll carry that denial into the wild blue yonder'

marcus
Marcus Stern, Congressional corruption uncoverer.

Yesterday, CityBeat received a packet in the mail from none other than disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, containing his version of events that led to his guilty plea on corruption charges in 2006.

"Perhaps it is time to end my silence and tell the untold story, at least to record it here for my family and friends before I take my last flight into the wild blue yonder," Cunningham, a decorated fighter pilot, wrote.

As soon as we published the document, we sent it to Marcus Stern, the Copley News Service reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering Cunningham's quid-pro-quo relationship with defense contractors.

Here's what Stern, who now reports for ProPublica, responded via email:
"After all this time in prison, Cunningham still sees himself as a hero and patriot brought down by the deviousness of inferior people. No surprise, I guess. He'll carry that denial into the wild blue yonder, no doubt."
Snap!

Stern, a co-author of the book The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught, also provided us with the transcript of Cunningham's plea.
“Between the year 2000 and June of 2005 in our district, you conspired to accept bribes in exchange for performance of official duties. Did you do that?” Judge Burns asked Cunningham.

“Yes, your honor.”

“Did you take both cash payments and payments in kind?” Burns asked.

“Yes, your honor.”

 “Did you follow up by trying to influence the Defense Department?”

“Yes, your honor.”

Calendar

  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5