Democrat Dirty Laundry: PMA-Tied Cash Pours in to Critz’s Campaign

April 26, 2010

PMA-Tied Cash Pours in to Critz’s Campaign
Majority of Critz’s Campaign Contributors Benefitted from Earmark Favor Factory 

SPIN CYCLE: Speaker Pelosi Vowed that Democrats Would Lead the “Most Honest, Most Open, and Most Ethical Congress in History”

“Our goal is to restore accountability, honesty and openness at all levels of government. To do so, we will create and enforce rules that demand the highest ethics from every public servant, sever unethical ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, and establish clear standards that prevent the trading of official business for gifts.” (Nancy Pelosi’s “A New Direction for America,” Page 21)

RINSE CYCLE: Lobbyists and Companies with PMA Ties Funnel Campaign Cash to Critz


Many of the defense contractors that benefited from the late Rep. John Murtha’s power to dole out Pentagon contracts are lining up to help elect his top aide to the seat.


Defense contractors, local business officers and lobbyists that relied on earmarked federal contracts from Murtha (D-Pa.) recently chipped in $142,400 to elect Mark Critz, an analysis by The Washington Post shows. Those donations made up more than 52 percent of the individual contributions that Critz raised in the first-quarter of 2010 as he seeks to replace his late boss, new campaign records reveal.


Critz is a friendly face to many defense industry officers who had donated to Murtha’s campaigns. He served as local district director for Murtha’s office in Johnstown, Pa., and helped recommend to Murtha which companies should get earmarked contracts when Murtha chaired the powerful House defense appropriations subcommittee.


Murtha, who was considered one of the most influential members of Congress after four decades in office, died on Feb. 8 at 77 from complications of gall bladder surgery. With the widely popular lion no longer on the ballot, Republicans find that they have a shot at winning a House seat they had previously given up trying to seize.


On top of the individual checks Critz received, global defense contractors such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics and other defense companies gave $21,400 through their political action committees.

Four former lobbyists of the PMA Group, a once-powerful lobbying shop, also chipped in to elect Critz. Murtha arranged for his spending panel to steer hundreds of millions of earmarked contracts to PMA clients. The firm shut its doors amid a criminal investigation scrutinizing more than $1 million dollars in campaign contributions it gave to Murtha and other subcommittee members. Critz’s money came as well from top officers of companies that were longtime beneficiaries of Murtha’s largess in doling out military contracts: Argon ST, Progeny Systems, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Advanced Acoustic Concepts and Mountaintop Technologies. (Carol D. Leonnig, “Cash Pours in for Murtha’s Top Aide in Pa. Race for Seat,” The Washington Post, 4/26/10)

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