Democrat Dirty Laundry: PMA Scandal Engulfs Top Democrats

May 1, 2009

PMA Scandal Engulfs Senior Level Democrats
Watchdog Groups Call for Investigation Into Three House Dems

Pelosi Claimed Number One Objective:  “Clean up the House” and “Drain the Swamp” of Corrupt Politicians in Washington

Walters: “When you become Speaker, what is your number one objective?”
Pelosi: “What we have to do is drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. Until we drain the swamp and bring integrity to the political process, we won’t be able to go forward.”
Walters: “It’s a big, dirty swamp?”
Pelosi: “It’s a big, dirty swamp. That’s why, on the very first day of Congress, we will break the link between lobbyist and legislation.”
Walters: “Year after year, we always hear whoever’s in power is going to be the, the new force of integrity. And it rarely is. So the Democrats are gonna be able to clean up that swamp?”
Pelosi: “Maybe it’ll take a woman to clean up the House. That is what I think, but we have to do it.” (ABC News interview with Barbara Walters)

Watchdog Groups Pushes for Probe into Three High Ranking Democrats

“A group of government watchdog groups said Thursday that the House ethics committee should investigate Hoosier congressman’s ties to a defense lobbying firm; the federal funding Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, got for the firm’s clients; and the campaign donations Visclosky received from the firm, its employees and its clients…

“Democracy 21, Common Cause, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG asked for the inquiry into Visclosky, Reps. John Murtha, D-Pa.; Jim Moran, D-Va., ‘and any other representative who the committee determines has been similarly involved with PMA.’

“The groups said the committee should ‘determine whether these House members were influenced by campaign contributions and other financial benefits in providing earmarks for clients of the PMA Group, in violation of House ethics rules, and whether any other ethics violations may have occurred in their activities related to these earmarks.’

“Visclosky, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has gone to bat for PMA clients. In 2007, for instance, he won earmarks – inserts in spending bills – for 16 PMA clients for $23.8 million.

“PMA and its clients’ employees have sent thousands of dollars in contributions to Visclosky’s campaign account…

“Meanwhile, Visclosky has asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to use some of the nearly $910,000 in his campaign account to pay for legal costs…

“Richard Kaelin, Visclosky’s former chief of staff and a former Visclosky assistant on the House Appropriations Committee, has been a PMA lobbyist…

“Taxpayers for Common Sense, which tracks earmarks, said Visclosky directed more than $33 million in earmarks to PMA clients in the past two years…

“Visclosky’s office has not yet responded to a media inquiry.” (“Probe sought in Hoosier lawmaker’s ties to lobbying firm,” Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 05/01/2009)