Former Ohio Congressman Bob Ney, who went from a rising star in state politics to a convicted felon, appeared on 10TV’s Capitol Square to discuss his career.
"I am a disgraced Congressman. I will always be a felon. I'm not going to ask for a expungement or pardon," said Ney on the Sunday show.
In his new book, "Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill," Ney attacks his former congressional colleague Republican Rep. John Boehner.
"He was considered a man that was all about winning and money. He was a chain-smoking, relentless wine drinker who was more interested in the high life -- golf, woman, cigarettes, fun and alcohol," Ney wrote.
When asked to respond to Boehner's response that Ney is a "sad" and "disgraced former congressman,” Ney told moderator Jim Heath, "He can say these are baseless, they aren't. Everything I have said in “Sideswiped” will be proven, and not by felons or known liars."
Ney, a recovering alcoholic, said he is no longer angry with Boehner, who he claims convinced him to drop out of his reelection bid in 2006 by promising a well-paying private job.
"I'll give him credit in a sense that he has to make this system that is very dysfunctional work," said Ney. "I write about the corruption and the tobacco checks and everything associated with Boehner, and he's not the only one by the way. The barrel is corrupt all the way around. Good people, corrupt system."
Ney was the only Congressman convicted in the 2006 Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. He said many of the same rules that existed when he left congress are still in place and blames Boehner for not fixing them.
"He, as the most powerful man in the House, could snap his fingers today and change all this," Ney said. "Everything Jack Abramoff and I did, all the corruption, the dinners, the booze, the traveling is now codified into federal law. It's now legal. I can do all kinds of things if I'm a lobbyist and you're a member of Congress."
Heath asked Ney, who was first elected to the Ohio House at age 26, why he never questioned Abramoff's gifts.
"I didn't care," said Ney. "Is Jack the corrupt apple in the barrel or is the system corrupt? I think the system is corrupt."
Tune in to Capitol Square each Sunday at 11 a.m. on 10TV.