Lobbyists and corporate officials talked bluntly in e-mail exchanges about connections between making generous campaign donations and securing federal funds through members of an important House Appropriations subcommittee, according to not-yet-public documents reviewed by ethics investigators.
In summer 2007, for example, senior executives at [Innovative Concepts] tried to figure out which of them would buy a ticket to a wine-tasting fundraiser for Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on defense. At the time, the company sought help from Moran's office in securing contracts through special earmarks added to the defense bill.
The fundraiser was hosted by the PMA Group, a powerful lobbying firm whose unusual success in obtaining "earmarked" contracts from members of the military subcommittee was a key focus of a recent House ethics investigation.
Moran raked in $91,900 in campaign checks to his personal campaign and leadership PAC that day. He secured an $800,000 earmark for Innovative Concepts in the 2008 defense appropriations bill.
Or they don't really want to. Which I can sort of understand; after all, the revelation that one has not only been lied too, but that one has enthusiastically participated in being lied to in order to get... nothing at all? Yes, that would strike someone squarely in the self-worth. I'd feel sorry for that, except that I have to live in the same corrupt political atmosphere.
At any rate, feel free to read the whole article, particularly the bits where the Democratic-run legislature let off the all-but-one Democratic appropriators, despite the fairly clear understanding that money was expected, and that money would be taken. Also, note that Jim Moran has at least two people on the GOP ready to replace him: Matthew Berry, who just picked up the uber-critical Volokh Conspiracy endorsement (via Instapundit); and Patrick Murray, who I just missed interviewing at CPAC. I would say that they'd both be superior to having Moran in that seat, and it'd be true: it'd also be implicitly insulting to either to suggest that they wouldn't automatically clear that particular bar anyway.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.