Monday, June 1, 2009

Democratic congressman subpoenaed over lobbyist ties

Indiana Democratic congressman Pete Visclosky has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury over his ties to The PMA Group -- a lobbying concern whose staff members contributed $150,000 to his campaigns since 2001. The group's clients netted $23 million in earmarks for 2008 alone.

In a statement issued to Politico, Visclosky said:

"Federal law enforcement officials have issued grand jury subpoenas to my congressional office, campaign committees, and certain employees to request documents relating to PMA."

"It is my intention to fully cooperate with the investigation consistent with my constitutional obligations to Congress and my duties and responsibilities to my constituents.

"I will continue to work hard to represent the people of Indiana's First Congressional District as I have done since being elected to Congress. I am confident that at the end of this process, no one will conclude that I have done anything wrong or harmed my constituents in any way.

"The investigation is at an early stage and I respect the investigative process. For that reason, I will have no further comment on the matters under review."
Visclosky steered more than $23 million to clients of the lobbying group, the Chicago Tribune reported earlier this year. Another key player that's been fingered in the probe is powerful Democratic Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), whose former chief of staff, Paul Magliochetti, was PMA's founder.

PMA Group’s top beneficiaries include Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds defense programs, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who also sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee.

But few lawmakers have stronger ties to the firm than Visclosky. His former congressional chief of staff worked as a lobbyist for the firm, and he received at least $100,000 in contributions from donors tied to PMA Group between 2006 and 2008, according to Federal Election Commission reports. PMA Group was the top donor to Visclosky’s 2008 re-election campaign.

From his seat on the House Appropriations Committee and its defense funding subcommittee, Visclosky has also reciprocated – helping to secure more than $23 million in earmarks in 2008 for clients of PMA Group.
-John Byrne

This entry was posted on Friday, May 29th, 2009 at 12:07 pm and is filed under Uncategorized, media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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