That’s what I thought. When I saw the name Michael “Ozzie” Myers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I thought it had to be the one who was expelled from the House in 1980, over criminal charges stemming from the Abscam scandal.
And that’s who it is. Making this guy a really former “former congressman.”
I was an intern in Washington, D.C. when Myers was brought before the House for the expulsion decision. I was able to get a seat in the gallery for what would probably be the only time in my life we’d ever see such a measure undertaken. It’s been very rare in U.S. history.
It was rather difficult to sit through, as Myers, reputed to be a hard-bitten union-connected guy, made specious, half-hearted, somewhat whiny-sounding efforts to defend himself while his Democratic colleagues — in control of the House agenda — lined up to condemn his actions.
It’s hard to imagine Democrats doing that today. This was a different time. The Republicans didn’t say much. They were in the minority, and knew that if the Democrats didn’t want to kick Myers out, it wouldn’t happen. The roll-call vote was overwhelmingly to expel him. It was (checks Wikipedia) 2 October anyway; the election was only a month later. (Reagan would stun Washington, if not the rest of America, with a big win at the top of the ballot.)
Myers is 77 now, and has been charged with ballot stuffing in elections in 2014, 2015, and 2016, plus bribing former Judge of Elections Domenick J. Demuro in one of Philadelphia’s wards.
Some of you are old enough to remember the deathless slogan Myers endowed our culture with, when he was being recorded during an Abscam bribery transaction by the FBI in 1979: “Money talks in this business and bullsh** walks.”
Others may know the slogan, but have no idea that it came from Michael “Ozzie” Myers, who apparently is still crazy after all these years. I wish him the peace of reform and better choices in his remaining time on earth.