Larry Pressler, a former Republican U.S. senator running for Senate as an independent in South Dakota, is taking an anti-corruption message to a new level.
Mr. Pressler is scheduled to campaign this week with John Good, the FBI agent who oversaw the congressional sting operation known as “Abscam,” upon which parts of the movie “American Hustle” is based.
“When the hidden cameras were running, and $50,000 in cash was ready for a bribe, at a moment when Senator Pressler thought no one on the outside was looking, we saw his true character,” Mr. Good said in a recent statement announcing his endorsement of Mr. Pressler. “At a time when attack ads from extremists on both sides of the aisle are attacking Senator Pressler’s integrity, I had to do what I could to tell anyone who will listen that Senator Pressler is an honest politician, and there aren’t many of them around.”
Mr. Pressler said he was invited to a room and offered a bribe by undercover agents posing as Arab sheiks in 1978 and turned it down, while six congressman and one senator who accepted bribes ended up going to prison.
“We were running low on cash from politicians taking the money, but Larry Pressler took a stand and said no,” Mr. Good said. “In the meeting room, we got rid of him as quickly as we could because it was obvious he was doing nothing wrong.”
Mr. Pressler is trying to gain momentum in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson long thought to be a relatively easy pick-up for Republicans, who have nominated former Gov. Mike Rounds to run. Democrat Rick Weiland and former state Sen. GOP Gordon Howie, running as an independent, are also in the race.