Dem leader stimulates son's income
Yeah, right. If his dad did not know he would benefit from the bill I would be surprised. How do you think he got the job anyway? There are a lot of intelligent sons out there who would not be give the job as a lobbyist, because they do not have a parent on the hill. Even if he does not lobby his dad direct, he gets his foot in the door with people like Norm Dicks, Washington Democrat, who requested the spending.
A top House Republican is demanding an investigation into whether the more than $2 billion for national parks in the House stimulus package is proper in light of the fact that the chief lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association is the son of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey.
NPCA is a major player in advocating for national parks funding, and its senior vice president for government affairs is Craig Obey, son of the Wisconsin Democrat who has long been his party's top Appropriations Committee member.
The money included in the stimulus bill that passed Mr. Obey's committee - $2.25 billion - was about equal to the National Park Service's total yearly budget, and would be a staggering increase and almost three times the $802 million that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved for park spending in its stimulus bill.
On Wednesday evening, the House passed the $819 billion stimulus bill by a 244-188 vote, though every Republican in the chamber and 11 Democrats voted against it.
Republicans said a bill of this size presented too many opportunities for mischief, pointing to the parks funding as one such case. Just before the vote, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called for an investigation into the parks money.
"It really does beg the question of, is this an earmark, is this a family connection and should it have been disclosed at least in the spirit of what the Democrats said they wanted, and the answer is it should have been disclosed," Mr. Issa said.
Tom Hill, legislative representative for NPCA, said the group, including the younger Mr. Obey, refrains from lobbying Mr. Obey or his office to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
"Craig certainly never lobbies his father, and takes pains to make that crystal clear. NPCA has been laying the groundwork for years about the NPS maintenance backlog which [the Government Accountability Office] says is over $8.5 billion, and the House leaders have historically been very supportive of the national parks. The Senate tends to be more conservative, particularly where public land issues are concerned," he said.