April 24, 2009

WELL, YES: Congressional Ethics Still Lacking:

The FBI is again investigating the link between campaign contributions and spending earmarks. But you don’t need a federal probe to determine that Congress isn’t sufficiently serious about the abuse.

The FBI probe is reportedly concentrating on a lobbying group, PMA, and its flamboyant head, Paul Magliochetti, a former aide to Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee in the House. . . .

Rep. Murtha is hardly the sole beneficiary. Remember Alan Mollohan? He’s the West Virginia Democratic congressman whose cozy relationship with some campaign donors attracted FBI attention in 2006. According to press reports at the time, investigators were looking into allegations that he steered congressional appropriations to organizations that employed some of his major campaign contributors. Mr. Mollohan still represents West Virginia in the House. And according to a list of defense spending earmarks and campaign contributions compiled by the Seattle Times, as of last year he was still earmarking funds and receiving campaign contributions from the recipients. . . .

Meanwhile, the new Office of Congressional Ethics announced Wednesday it has launched six probes that could result in referrals to the House Ethics Committee. It is known to be looking into allegations that fundraisers for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., offered to raise money for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich if he would appoint Jackson to the U.S. Senate.

Plus, the irresistible allure of “reciprocal pork.”

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