Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Sunlight Foundation Blog (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Members, staffers on both sides of "Chinese wall" between earmarks, fundraisers?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

By The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group

If nothing else, Jeffrey Smith’s story in the Washington Post proves that Mark Twain’s critique of congressional investigations still holds: “One does not blindfold one’s self in order to investigate an object.” So it is in the matter of PMA Group, the lobbying group that was a top donor to members of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee who were top earmarkers for PMA Group’s clients.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct–better known as the House Ethics Committee–looked at the hundreds of thousands of dollars that PMA Group and its clients contributed to lawmakers and the millions that lawmakers earmarked for PMA Group clients, and concluded, “…simply because a member sponsors an earmark for an entity that also happens to be a campaign contributor does not, on these two facts alone, support a claim that a members actions are being influenced by campaign contributions.” (See page 9 of the largely unsearchable 305 page PDF the committee released.)

It appears that only an ethics committee member could come to such a conclusion. On Saturday, Carole D. Leonnig reported on emails exchanged among earmark recipients who clearly understood that campaign contributions were given to improve the chance of getting earmarks; the Ethics Committee noted that, while it “did find that there is a widespread perception among corporations and lobbyists that campaign contributions provide enhanced access to Members or a greater chance of obtaining earmarks,” that “the record indicates that Members, by and large, take great care to separate their official and campaign functions, particularly with respect to earmark requests.”

Smith’s article suggests that that “great care” consisted of having staffers who reviewed earmark requests invite the requesters to fundraisers:

Moran’s former defense aide, who now works for Boeing, similarly vetted earmarks and attended fundraisers, according to the reports, as did a military aide to Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). “To suggest having a staffer on personal time attend his boss’s fundraiser is in some way improper is absurd,” said Tiahrt spokesman Sam Sackett.

Read all about it

The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group is part of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based organization that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.