Washington Post has a story out today that doesn’t cast the congressman in a very good light. Quid pro quo or just politics as usual? Looks like a bit of both and that’s the problem.
See, the group the story is talking about is Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with helping disabled people find work (the group’s goal). And not that we need a lesson in ethics, but something I think we sometimes forget is it doesn’t have to be illegal to be unethical, and it looks like Murtha’s group is certainly toeing that line…
PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha’s defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha.
Lobbyists and corporate officials serve as directors on the nonprofit group’s board, where they help raise money and find jobs for Johnstown’s disabled workers. Some of those lobbyists have served as intermediaries between the defense contractors and businessmen on the board, and Murtha and his aides.
That arrangement over the years has yielded millions of dollars in federal support for the contractors, businesses and universities, and hundreds of thousands in consulting and lobbying fees to Murtha’s favored lobbying shops, according to Federal Election Commission records and lobbying disclosure forms. In turn, many of PAID’s directors have kept Murtha’s campaigns flush with cash.
Does this call into question Pelosi’s backing of Murtha even more, especially since the Dems are supposed to be all about ethics, ethics, ethics? Does backing Steny Hoyer appear like a sage decision now?
Don’t know yet, but we’ll have more on this story as it develops.