Roll Call: Stench - Washington Post: Sleazy

There seems to be a disconnect between those who know the PMA scandal vs those who casually glance at the scandal. Most people in Northwest Ohio have glanced at the story, but if you go through and see when money is given and by who, then when those people get an earmark, there is a pattern and even with Marcy Kaptur. When this all started, someone who talks about news in the area dismissed it all as everyone is doing it. The facts can't be ignored regardless of the incorrect assumption that everyone is doing it; everyone is not doing it. Most likely because it involved Marcy Kaptur or this person was just cynical. Well the Washington Post and Roll Call both came out with scaving editorials about the dismissal and about the earmark process and those two publications have been following the scandal closer than anyone else, so they would know. Check out what both have to say on the links below.
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Roll Call:
The stench of scandal surrounding Members of Congress and PMA, the now-defunct lobbying firm raided by federal agents in 2008, was so acrid that the House last year passed a resolution asking the House ethics committee whether it was conducting an investigation.

Oh, yes, said the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. It claimed it had opened a probe in the spring of 2009. On Feb. 26, the committee cleared all Members of any wrongdoing.
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/55_101/editorial/43985-1.html

Washington Post:
SEVEN HOUSE members, including Northern Virginia Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D), collected more than $840,000 in political contributions from employees and clients of a lobbying firm, Paul Magliocchetti and Associates Group (PMA), during a two-year span. In that same period, the lawmakers, strategically situated on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, directed more than $245 million in earmarks to clients of PMA.

If you think those two facts are unrelated, you are qualified to be on the House ethics committee. The panel recently found that "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 member's actions are being influenced by campaign contributions."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/11/AR201003...

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http://www.rollcall.com/issues/55_101/editorial/43985-1.html

Last December, the new Office of Congressional Ethics delivered exhaustive reports, 30 to 40 pages long, on seven Members of the Defense panel, clearing five but referring two for further investigation by the ethics committee.
In clearing all seven, the committee asserted it had reviewed nearly 250,000 pages of documents and conducted interviews with “numerous witnesses.” But Roll Call contacted numerous firms and Member offices that would have been logical sources of information for the committee — and found that not a single one had been contacted or asked for documents....
....So what can we make of this? For sure, proving what much of the public suspects — that Members trade earmarks for campaign money, quid pro quo — is very difficult. But, it appears, the ethics committee didn’t even try.
It said it did so, but we suspect it merely reviewed the OCE’s reports, found no provable wrongdoing and cleared everyone involved. We’d call that a whitewash.

AMEN TO THAT ROLL CALL. Whitewash indeed!

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