Who's Sorry Now?

As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative John Dingell has gained a reputation as Capitol Hill's fiercest -- and most feared -- watchdog on fiscal prudence. His well-publicized investigations have focused on everything from wasteful military spending to sloppy accounting for federal research funds at universities. So whose name should be high on the list of congressional check bouncers? Yes, John Dingell's.

The Michigan Democrat admitted writing nine checks that his House bank account could not cover during a five-week period in early 1990. All were inadvertent, he asserted through a spokesman, and were covered as soon as...

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