Friday, May 29, 2009

Federal Probe Of Visclosky Widens

Indiana's First District U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky received more bad news from federal prosecutors this week. They've subpoenaed records from his congressional office, campaign committee and some of his employees as part of its investigation of a Washington-based lobbying firm, PMA Group, which has close ties to Visclosky. According to the AP, one out of every four dollars Visclosky raised for his campaign committee came from clients of the lobbying firm, most of whom are defense contractors. Visclosky's former chief of staff went to work for PMA Group a few years ago. The firm's clients were interested in Visclosky because of his key assignments on an appropriations for defense subcommittee, which is chaired by the corrupt Pennsylvania congressman, John Murtha (D) and Visclosky's chairmanship of the Energy and Water Subcommittee.

As Republicans in Indiana's Fifth congressional district ponder whether they want to return U.S. Rep. Dan Burton or elect one of four challengers taking him on in the primary next year, they should pay close attention to the role of lobbyists in corrupting Congress. One of Burton's challengers, Luke Messer, gave up his job as a state representative he said to spend more time with his family. Instead, he joined the law firm of Ice Miller as a lobbyist. Messer pushed gaming legislation supported by the firm's clients while he served in the Indiana House. A few short years later, Messer has decided he wants to run for Congress, which will take him far away from his family in Shelbyville and will be a much more demanding job than his former state representative job. In 2007, Ice Miller launched a Washington, D.C.-based affiliate to lobby Congress. The head of the firm's government relations practice, Lacy Johnson, has strong ties to U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, who represents Indianapolis' Seventh District. Johnson considered the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson his godmother. Sending Messer to Congress should fit nicely into the firm's efforts to expand its Washington presence.


Downtown Indy said...

Admittedly not on-topic but today Prezbo announced yet another 'protection' to be foisted upon us:

"President Obama declared Friday that the country’s disparate efforts to “deter, prevent, detect and defend” against cyberattacks would now be run out of the White House, but he also promised that he would bar the federal government from regular monitoring of “private sector networks” and the Internet traffic that has become the backbone of American communications."

Given that cyber attacks typically occur on 'private sector networks', I fail to see how 'regular monitoring' would not be employed as claimed.

I'm not buying the story. Especially when it's handed over to another 'czar.' The definition I pulled out of google is "A ruler who claims the same rank as a Roman emperor, with the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch)."

I despise the notion of 'supreme rulers' being appointed to government positions.

We've already seen the results of czars being placed in charge of transportation - an airline system where everyone is deemed a criminal until they are strip-searched, and where one's personal belongings have a better chance of being stolen (er, 'lost') by the transportation czar's army than they do of arriving intact at one's final destination.

Jon said...

What is especially interesting is the FBI sometime around 2000 had a program called carnivore that could selectively scan internet traffic. Bet the suits will be happy with the prez's new policy.

Shorebreak said...

Visclosky should have teamed up with Bush and Obama Administration folks before he started paying hommage to defense contractors. By all rights, that money should have gone to the Carlyle Group or to someone in the family.

It kinda makes you feel sorry for folks like Visclosky, doesn't it? They see all these other people who are openly milking the system and getting away with it, so they think that they can do the same thing. Somehow or other, they've completely missed the fact that when you're not a member of the team, you have to pay the right people if you want to play.