April 22, 2009

CQ POLITICS: Here’s Another Reason Trial Lawyers Love Democrats.

Rep. Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana, third-ranking Democrat on Rep. John P. Murtha’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee — yesterday asked the Federal Elections Commission for permission to use funds from his campaign committee to pay the lawyers he’s hired to represent him in what has been reported to be an investigation of fundraising practices.

Given Visclosky’s anemic first-quarter fundraising effort — he raised just $11,800 from individuals in amounts over $200 this year, compared to $266,250 he raised in the first quarter of 2007 — it’s a sure bet that at least some of the money he’ll use to pay his lawyers will be funds he rolled over from earlier campaign fundraising efforts.

That left-over money has to include money that came from officers, employees, and clients of the now defunct lobbying shop PMA Group in previous years.

This is exactly the same thing that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich last week asked for permission to do — use campaign funds (allegedly obtained illegally) to pay the legal bills incurred in defending himself against charges that he raised money illegally.

There’s a certain symmetry here.

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