Pelosi PMA cover up gets shaky
A trickle of defections has Democratic House leaders wondering how long they can hold off calls for an investigation into the PMA Group and its ties to Pennsylvania Rep. John P. Murtha.It is going to be harder to keep a lid on this Democrat culture of corruption with the NY Times running a front page story on the main character. This should be taken as another sign of cracks in the cover up. Some of the facts in the timing of contributions and earmarks suggest the earmarks were "purchased." If Flake can't get the House to investigate its own mess, perhaps the media will step in.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) got only 17 Democratic votes when he introduced a privileged resolution in February calling for an ethics investigation into “the relationship between earmark requests already made by members and the source and timing of past campaign contributions.”
But Flake has kept trying — the sixth version of his resolution comes up for a vote this week — and he’s picked up support from eight Democrats who voted against his initial resolution.
And that has Democratic leaders worried.
“We are keeping our ear pretty close to the ground on this,” said a senior Democratic aide.
The aide noted that there has been “no groundswell of support” for Flake’s resolutions — and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remains dead set against an investigation. Still, he said, House Democrats — who took power promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington — “may only be one bad story away from seeing some big break.”
“It’s a very slow trickle at this point, but that could change,” the aide said.
According to press reports, the FBI is investigating whether PMA founder Paul Magliocchetti, a former Appropriations Committee staffer, made “straw man” donations on behalf of his employees or other individuals to members of Congress, which is illegal under federal election law.
Following an FBI raid in November, the PMA Group dissolved, and Magliocchetti has retired and moved to Florida.
Flake introduced his first PMA resolution as Congress took up the $410 billion omnibus spending bill in February. The 17 Democrats who backed that initial resolution included a number of recent arrivals who could face tough reelection fights next year — Reps. Debbie Halvorson of Illinois, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and Harry Teague of New Mexico.