Randall Harold Cunningham, usually known as Randy or Duke, was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California's 50th congressional district from 1991 to 2005. Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. Prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes.
In September 1996 Cunningham attacked President Bill Clinton for appointing "soft on crime" judges. "We must get tough on drug dealers," he said. "Those who peddle destruction on our children must pay dearly." He favored stiff drug penalties and voted for the death penalty for major drug dealers. Four months later, his son Todd was arrested for helping to transport 400 pounds (181 kg) of marijuana from Massachusetts to California. At his son's sentencing hearing, Cunningham fought back tears as he begged the judge for leniency (Todd was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, in part because he tested positive for cocaine three times while on bail). Cunningham's press secretary responded to accusations of double standards with: "The sentence Todd got had nothing to do with who Duke is. Duke has always been tough on drugs and remains tough on drugs."