Weekend Round-up:

  • The San Bernardino Sun reports on the release of documents in the [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-Calif.) investigation. In the documents Lewis’ wife, Arlene Willis, recommends the lobbying firm at the center of the investigation, Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, to San Bernardino County.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune traces the arc of success for defense contractors that have hired the Lowery law firm to lobby Appropriations Chair [sw: Jerry Lewis]. Orincon, a software engineering company, hired Bill Lowery in the late 1990s and, through the earmarking of funds by Lowery’s friend Lewis, saw their "growth curve turned sharply upward." Daniel Alspach, the head of Orincon, and "Lowery would visit Lewis’ office, meeting with Letitia White and sometimes with Lewis himself". From the mid-1990s to 2003 Orincon’s sales, "heavily dependent on federal contracts," shot from $10 million to $52 million. When Alspach eventually sold his company to Lockheed in 2003 Lowery cashed out too having collected thousands of shares in the company which he lobbied for. Trident Systems, Inc. follows a simliar path having found success after hiring Lowery lobbyist Letitia White to collect earmarks from Lewis. White and Trident owner Nicholas Karangelen own a DC townhouse together which serves as the mailing address for Karangelen’s Small Biz Tech PAC, which happens to be run by Lewis’ stepdaughter. White also has deal with Trident that seems to similar to Lowery’s receipt of shares in Orincon. Karangelen "has arranged to pay [White] a bonus based on the company’s profitability."
  • The Washington Post reports that conservative power house Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform "served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff’s clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns. As the money passed through, Norquist’s organization kept a small cut, e-mails show." Abramoff also used, with the acquiesance of the heads of the organization, numerous other non-profits associated with the conservative movement to funnel money, hiding his activities, in his illegal schemes. These organizations included the National Center for Public Policy Research, headed by Amy Ridenour and the Council of Republican Environmental Advocacy, headed by Italia Federici.