Lewis Case Grows “Knottier”:


Justin Rood at TPM Muckraker delves deeper into the Feds investigation of Appropriation Chair Jerry Lewis (R-CA). Of particular interest is the role of one Letitia White:

For over two decades White worked for Lewis, and was reportedly known as his “gatekeeper.” His allies were her allies. For instance, Lewis fought for a decade on behalf of San Diego contractor General Atomics, forcing the Pentagon to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on GA’s Predator UAV, which the generals didn’t want. … Over the next three years, GA paid White’s lobby firm — Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez — over $300,000. They weren’t alone: from 2003 through 2005, the firm billed over $4.6 million to White’s clients, nearly all defense contractors, according to records at politicalmoneyline.com. “People know that if you keep Letitia White happy, you keep Jerry Lewis happy,” government watchdog Keith Ashdown told the Copley News Service in December.

White — and her husband, who made a sudden career switch to defense lobbying when Lewis took over the Defense Appropriations chair – have kicked back their share to Lewis, usually giving the maximum allowable to Lewis and his PAC. So do her clients: General Atomics has given $15,000 to Lewis’ campaign and PAC in recent years.

What’s the net result? A circle of pork: General Atomics gets hundreds of millions of dollars in business, Lewis gets hefty campaign donations, Lowery’s firm gets fat, and White pulls down megabucks. Hakuna Matata.

Hakuna Matata indeed.