(Followup to this post)
The bad news, of course, is that majority party Democrats are adamant against having any investigation into whether there are links between campaign contributions and earmarks in bills – which is very interesting, given that they control Congress, and thus can presumably make sure that the proceedings are fair…
The House voted Wednesday to kill a resolution calling for an ethics investigation into potential quid pro quo between lobbyist campaign donations and lawmakers.
Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., sponsored the proposal that would have forced the House Ethics Committee to launch a probe into ties between the source and timing of campaign contributions by lobbyists and subsequent legislator requests for special projects or earmarks.
While open-ended, Flake’s resolution was a direct response to the ongoing federal investigation into the PMA Group, a lobbying company accused of making fraudulent donations to lawmakers using names of people who did not exist.
The firm, which has contributed millions to politicians in the last decade, has close ties to senior Democratic appropriators including Reps. John Murtha D-Pa., and Pete Visclosky,D-Ind. The FBI raided PMA’s headquarters in November and is investigating the group’s founder and president, Paul Magliochetti, a former Murtha aide.
Ah. That might be the problem, right there.
Well, the good news is that Rep Flake had House Republicans with him on this one: 165 noes, only 2 yeas, 6 present and 5 not voting. The two yeas (Jones and Tim Murphy) are of course unacceptable, and the six presents will need to explain themselves on this one; but we also picked up 17 Democrats who broke with their caucus over whitewashing this issue. The final vote was thus 226-182; and if you compare the vote roll with the list of PMA earmark placers you’ll see that not a single Republican on that list voted against this resolution. The only one who even voted “Present” (Hastings, WA) never took any money from PMA anyway. On the Democrat side, Ellsworth ($2,000) voted for the resolution and Chandler ($250) voted present; the rest of the list voted to whitewash… with the possible exception of Speaker Pelosi, who isn’t on this list at all*. One might wonder why the 17 Democrats on this top twenty list all voted for whitewashing their relationship with big corporate donors while the 3 Republicans all voted for transparency; but only if one was not paying attention to the situation in the first place.
Or, perhaps, if one was so foolish as to actually believe the increasingly self-evident blather about “the most ethical Congress in history” that the Democrats kept promising. Because God help us all if this is what they actually meant.
*I’m assuming that there’s some sort of arcane procedural reason for that, actually. I’m also assuming that she would have voted yea anyway.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.