Meeks is a badly written Dickensian character, a shameless huckster who hides behind a flimsy veneer of humility. He tries to convince people he's "a bridge builder" (just like George Parker, before he tried selling them one), and the kind of poor civil servant who only has a few thousand dollars in the bank. The problem is that he says that from behind the half-rolled-down window of the Lexus he's driving to his million-dollar house -- a house he quite innocently bought at a $400,000 discount from a guy who coincidentally contributed to and received money from him in his capacity as a congressperson. And when he's not at his mansion, Meeks uses his campaign and political action committee funds jet-setting to luxury hotels in places like Monte Carlo and the Virgin Islands -- missions he deems vital for his political office as representative of Queens, New York.
But the list is far from complete. He also stands accused of funneling thousands of dollars of campaign money through a company owned by his chief of staff's wife (literally named Patsy) and "losing" over 95% of the charity money he collected for Hurricane Katrina victims. But the most ballsy of all had to be when he went to Caracas to chat with Hugo Chavez about maybe jailing the enemy of a donor. Meek's level of grift is so staggering that the head of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has put the congressman on their yearly '"politicians to watch go to white-collar prison" list, adding: "Given the breadth of his misdeeds, it is surprising Rep. Meeks hasn't found himself in handcuffs already."
So why hasn't he been caught and sent to Scooby-Doo villain jail yet? As you may have noticed over the past six months, it's real hard to hold federal-level politicians accountable in this country. That's not going to get easier, since Meeks has become Queens County Democratic Party chairman, making him the head of the "Queens machine," which rivals the old Tammany Hall in both political favor-trading and thick New York accents. So until the Department of Justice is run by a Democrat who won't mind teaching middle school civics after their next election, Meeks will be free to continue with his dastardly schemes, which we can only assume will culminate in him dressing up as the damned specter of Mr. Met and haunting an ailing amusement park for insurance money.