In an article, Time for Hard Questions, Commentary Magazine reports that Obama poker buddy and political confidante, Larry Walsh is being investigated by the FBI.And Mr. Walsh’s County got his share of guess what — federal grants ( that would be “earmarks” I assume) which seem to be at the heart of the matter :
Will County auditor Steve Weber confirmed that his office had been asked by the FBI to assist in an investigation, but he did not elaborate on the specifics. Two FBI agents out of Chicago reportedly spent more than an hour in the Will County offices on Wednesday morning. According to sources, the Walsh investigation may be tied to lobbying firm Smith Dawson and Andrews, which was hired in 2006 for $10,000 per month to help Will County acquire federal grants. The firm, which is registered with the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, assists clients with communications and legislative strategies that better their public policy agendas, according to its Web site. Last month, Mr. Walsh announced that Will County was the recipient of a $750,000 federal government grant that would allow law enforcement and prosecutors to fight against domestic violence. One of the firm’s partners, James P. Smith, contributed $2,000 to help Mr. Walsh’s county executive election bid.
And Barack Obama? Well he sure got a lot of earmarks in there for Will County, although we do not know whether these are the immediate concern of or related in any way to the investigation. In Obama’s earmark disclosure you will find:
In 2006, Obama requested that Will County receive $1.3 million tosupport its Flood Studies for Unincorporated Will County.
In 2006, Obama requested $800,000 for the Will County Sheriff’s OfficeWireless Communications Technology Upgrades.
In 2006, Obama requested $1,953,331 for Will County’s Ridgewood Water and Sewage Project.
In 2005, Obama requested $2 million for the Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, to establish a Center for Academic and Community Learning, which is designed to address the significant educational needs of the less advantaged in the Will County region by providing academic assistance not only for students on campus but also for residents of the surrounding communities.
Another reference appears to relate to the Will County Health Department’s mental health program which I am informed got another $1.95 million.
Read the full story here.