The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Indiana Congressman’s Ties to Currupt Lobby Firm Run Deep

Posted by iusbvision on March 14, 2009

Pay to play and worse…..

Chicago Tribune:

WASHINGTON – He represents an area known for its rampant corruption, but Rep. Pete Visclosky has always had a reputation for staying above the fray.

That consensus is being challenged by revelations about the northwest Indiana Democrat’s ties to a troubled defense lobbying firm.

PMA Group was once one of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, specializing in securing defense earmarks for its clients. Now, the firm is disintegrating amid a federal investigation into allegations that its founder, Paul Magliochetti, a former top aide to Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., steered donations to lawmakers through sham donors.

PMA Group’s top beneficiaries include Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds defense programs, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who also sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee.

But few lawmakers have stronger ties to the firm than Visclosky. His former congressional chief of staff worked as a lobbyist for the firm, and he received at least $100,000 in contributions from donors tied to PMA Group between 2006 and 2008, according to Federal Election Commission reports. PMA Group was the top donor to Visclosky’s 2008 re-election campaign.

From his seat on the House Appropriations Committee and its defense funding subcommittee, Visclosky has also reciprocated – helping to secure more than $23 million in earmarks in 2008 for clients of PMA Group.

“It’s pretty clear that Visclosky has deep ties to PMA Group,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive president of the Center for Responsive Politics.

“It’s also clear that (campaign funds) are being delivered to him on a targeted basis, based on his committee assignments. He’s been in a position to help them from his perch,” she said.

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