No surprise here:
The House ethics committee indicated Thursday that it was reviewing the links between a number of lawmakers and the now-defunct lobbying firm The PMA Group.
The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the panel is called, issued a statement responding to a resolution (H Res 500) the House adopted June 3. The resolution directed the ethics committee to notify the chamber if it was examining the PMA matter.
The Democratic lawmakers with links to PMA include John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee; Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana, a senior member of Murtha’s panel who was recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in regard to his ties to PMA; and James P. Moran of Virginia, another senior member of the subcommittee. Dozens of other lawmakers have sponsored earmarks for PMA clients.
The Democratic leadership pushed the resolution through after being hammered by Republicans for ignoring the PMA ethics allegations…
PMA secured defense earmarks from lawmakers while its principals showered them with campaign contributions. The firm closed this year after being raided by the FBI.
Consider that phrase again: ‘PMA secured defense earmarks from lawmakers while its principals showered them with campaign contributions.’ This is in Congressional Quarterly – a non-partisan publication with a tendency to show more respect to Members of Congress than they deserve. Even CQ can’t put lipstick on this pig.
That said, it’s unlikely that the Ethics Committee will give Murtha, Visclosky, and Moran the punishment they have earned – not unless they round up some Republicans to give it ‘balance.’ It will be up to the local media – and the opponents of these incumbents – to make sure these charges stick.