Just how damaging has the House Bank scandal been to members who wrote bad checks on the now-defunct institution? Devastating. Of the 20 worst abusers listed by the House ethics panel, four have been defeated in primaries and one, New York Democrat Stephen J. Solarz, faces an uphill road to renomination in his primary on Sept. 15. Six others decided not to run for reelection. Check-bouncing proved riskier for Republicans than Democrats: Seven of 15 Democrats among the top 20 abusers are likely to be back next year, but 3 of 5 Republicans have already fallen.

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