Just when you think that the House Ethics Committee might actually be doing its job in the form of the Rangel admonition, it reverts to form on the investigation of the now-defunct lobbying firm PMA that was headed by Paul Magliocchetti.
Indeed, PMA may be the biggest cover-up in the history of the Ethics Committee, which today issued a report clearing the late Rep. John Murtha and Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Bill Young (R-FL).
This action was certainly calculated by Nancy Pelosi to protect the late Murtha. It is the strongest evidence to date that earmarking and corruption are still bipartisan enterprises. Republicans cannot attack Pelosi’s toleration of corruption as long as Republican members of the Ethics Committee sign off on a report like this. The Republican members of the Ethics Committee are:
Jo Bonner, Alabama (ranking)
Mike Conaway, Texas
Charles Dent, Pennsylvania
Gregg Harper, Mississippi
Michael McCaul, Texas
The report is two inches thick, but don’t waste your time reading it. All you have to do is go to page 3. It states that the Committee:
…found no evidence that Members or their official staff considered campaign contributions as a factor when requesting earmarks. The Standards Committee further found no evidence that Members or their official staff were directly or indirectly engaged in seeking contributions in return for earmarks. Rather, the evidence showed that earmarks were evaluated based upon criteria independent of campaign contributions, such as the number of jobs created in the Member’s district or the value to the taxpayer or the U.S. military, and without Members or their official staff linking, or being aware that companies may have intended to link, contributions with earmarks.
This statement is laughable on its face. All one has to do is review the campaign disclosure reports of Murtha and the rest, who received massive amounts of money from earmark recipients, the timing of which often coincided with earmark requests.
Darn those crooked government contractors. All the honest Congressmen had no idea what they were up to.