Campaign Cash Coincidences? Murtha Gives Earmarks to Murtha Donors


Lobbyists, campaign cash and earmarks: Roll Call’s Tory Newmyer, with help Taxpayers for Common Sense, shows ($$) the correlations:

Every private entity that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) favored with an earmark in this year’s defense bill recently has given political money to the lawmaker, according to an analysis of House Appropriations and federal elections records by Roll Call and Taxpayers for Common Sense.

PACs and employees of those 26 groups together have contributed $413,250 to Murtha since the beginning of 2005. He collected nearly a quarter of the sum — $100,750 — in the two weeks leading up to March 16, the original deadline for lawmakers to file their earmark requests.

Murtha’s not alone in this. Anu ran contribution numbers from earmark recipients favored by Rep. James Moran, a fellow appropriator, for the current election cycle: companies that are in line to receive some $24 million in earmarks contributed $75,800 to Moran’s campaign committee. We didn’t even get around to running the numbers for his leadership PAC yet. [Update: After running the PAC numbers, Anu found that contributions figure rises to $99,900…]

Yesterday, Newmyer did a fine piece on the web of connections between earmark recipients and a trio of appropriators (Murtha, Moran and Rep. Peter Visclosky) running through lobbying firm PMA Group.

Some of my Sunlight colleagues have been fooling around with a tool that makes it easy to trace these kinds of connections for individual earmarks, which we’ll be releasing soon — stay tuned.