"Troubled." How droll. It's Pete Visclosky (D, IN-01), by the way. I repeat it because the AP can't seem to.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky has promised to return money from donors with ties to a troubled lobbying group, but critics say his ties to PMA Group run deep.
The northwest Indiana congressman's former chief of staff worked as a lobbyist for the firm, and Federal Election Commission reports show he received at least $100,000 in contributions from donors tied to PMA Group between 2006 and 2008. PMA Group was the top donor to Visclosky's 2008 re-election campaign.
See how that works, AP? You mention the party affiliation, particularly when the guy's tossing tens of millions of dollars the way of some lobbyists. Not that he's remotely the only Democrat involved with this "troubled" firm, of course; merely the second-largest purveyor of government money to PMA. Okinawa Jack Murtha (D, PA-12) still keeps first place, don't worry.
More on this winner from the Chicago Tribune, which manages to mention the Congressman's political affiliation in the second paragraph. There's also this fun passage:
"He's comfortable, he's like somebody you are used to, but nobody really speaks well of his accomplishments," he said. "Nobody can really say he's developed something here. On the other hand, he's like an old granddad who's been around a long time. It's what people are used to."
Eisenstein said Visclosky operates in something of media vacuum, with the district he covers swallowed by Chicago news to the north and west, and news from Indianapolis to the south.
"There's a real disconnect between his reputation and whatever he does because there's just not that much coverage," he said.
You know, that doesn't sound like "reliably safe seat" to me. Particularly if the PMA thing ends with anybody being frog-marched. Indiana GOP, please take note. And hey, look: something's being planned for the Indiana State House on March 25th. Maybe an enterprising candidate or two might want to think about stopping by and giving his or her opinion on what people like Visclosky are doing with our tax money.
PS: The part that embarrasses me here is that apparently Democratic politicians come so cheap, these days. 100K for 23 million? You'd have to be a saint to pass up such a fine deal as that.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.