The trouble for Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) continues to mount over her lavish dinner with bribery contractor Mitchell Wade and the $10 million appropriations request she filed for his company MZM. Today the Associated Press reports that Harris’ staff initially rejected the MZM appropriation before being overruled by Harris:
Former senior members of U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris’ congressional staff say they initially rejected a defense contractor’s $10 million appropriation request last year but reversed course after being instructed by Harris to approve it. … “She said, ‘It’s important to me, so submit it,’ ” said an ex-staffer who was involved in the process. “She wanted it in.” … “Katherine was pretty adamant about it,” the former staffer said.
Wade has already pled guilty to giving Harris illegal campaign contributions. The story of Harris and Wade has progressively gotten worse for Harris. Last year, she dined with Wade to the tune of $2,800 (the House Ethics Manual states that members should not accept gifts over $100). At that dinner she received tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from Wade. Then she insisted, over her staffer’s objections, on inserting a $10 million appropriation – the largest earmark on her plate – weeks late into the defense appropriations bill.