EDITORIAL: Earmarks of Scandal

April 2, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi should listen to the wise Democrats who are pushing for an ethics inquiry into the far-too-cozy relationship between lawmakers and the PMA Group of superlobbyists.

The Justice Department is investigating whether PMA used illegal straw donors to lard the campaign kitties of cooperative lawmakers. The firm — which shut itself down after being raided by federal agents — fed and fed richly off the defense appropriations subcommittee led by Representative John Murtha, the House baron of Pentagon spending.

Beyond the criminal investigation, the House needs to look into any violations of its own ethics rules. And the Democrats need to deliver on their party’s ethics promises — and more and more of them know it. As Representative Ron Kind told The Hill newspaper, “As long as this is not dealt with in the right manner, it’s just going to be a cloud hanging over us.”

Read more: (Editorial, “Earmarks of Scandal,” The New York Times, 4/02/09)