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Tag Archive: Curt Weldon

Digging Deep into Weldon

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Mrs. Panstreppon, the nom de blog of one of the deepest diggers among citizen journalists, once again demonstrates how much can be done with a little curiosity, a little perserverance and a modem. This time she traces some of the intricacies surrounding the ongoing investigation of Rep. Curt Weldon, one of the inbumbents who won't be returning to office in 2007. Mrs. Panstreppon dug out information from Weldon's personal financial disclosure, from non-profit tax returns, corporate records of businesses, real estate records and other sources to trace the connections between Weldon, his daughter and the various entities that employed her as a lobbyist.

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Eight Men (Plus) Out

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The mid-term elections are over and the people have decided that they want their corrupt members of Congress to come back home. In a Bloomberg article today, Rep. Rahm Emanuel states that eight seats flipped due to the corrupt activities of the current, or recently resigned/indicted/plead guilty, occupant. After reviewing the Bloomberg article and the members of Congress tied to congressional scandals it seems that Rahm has presented a lowball number of congressmen sent home. So let’s take a look at these members of Congress who will no longer be wearing the congressional uniform of solid blue suits, American flag lapel pins, and an unfailing arrogance of power.

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Under Investigation Watch: Piling On Curt Weldon

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Rep. Curt Weldon can’t seem to catch a break. First, he found out that he was under federal investigation after his lobbyist daughter and her client, Itera, had their offices raided by the FBI. Then, to much ridicule, he attempted to blame the entire FBI raid on a liberal conspiracy involving Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, and Jamie Gorelick. Now the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times have decided to pile on with stories that are textbook examples of what is wrong with Washington. They describe an Italian defense contractor fêting Weldon at a five-star hotel in Italy and a $2 million earmark to another defense contractor, Dynamic Defense Materials.

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More Investigations, Congressmen Aim for Less Transparency

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Maybe the HBO show The Wire should have focused on congressional wheeling and dealing in Washington rather than the inner city drug trade in Baltimore. Just after I wrote a post about corruption and scandal tilting over a dozen congressional races yet another congressman, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., finds himself the subject of an FBI investigation with a grand jury already impaneled, wiretaps monitoring cellphones, and raids on six locations in Pennsylvania and Florida. Bill Allison has already discussed some interesting tidbits of the case and Weldon's page at Congresspedia covers the details and history of the investigation and Weldon's connections to the Russian energy giant Itera and the Serbian brothers who previously were tight with mass murderer Slobodan Milosovic. But just today we got a taste of how Weldon has been trying to suppress discussion of this whole matter by being, um, less than transparent.

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A Footnote on Disclosure Prompted by the Ongoing Weldon Investigation

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The Washington Post, and reporters R. Jeffrey Smith and Carol D. Leonnig, have more on the investigation of Rep. Curt Weldon, his daughter, and some of his close political allies. What's interesting to me is how much of the information in the story comes from documents that federal law requires lawmakers and the lobbyists that try to influence them to disclose, and how little of that information is actually available to the public in a useful, searchable form. For example, Smith and Leonnig report on privately funded junkets to Serbia, Russia and Jacksonville, Fla., taken by Weldon and a member of his staff; if it weren't for the efforts of groups like the Center for Public Integrity and now the Center for Responsive Politics, those reports would be available only to researchers who trekked down to the Capitol.

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In Blog Daylight:

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  • Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) likes to spend his campaign cash on himself, according to Harpers.org. Over the past eight years Weldon has spent $80,000 of his campaign funds on meals, $30,000 on hotels, purchased a personal computer, and went to a number of spas, to name just a few of Weldon's indulgences.
  • Ken Silverstein also has more (see updates) at Harpers.org on Shirlington Limousines, the limousine company that allegedly delivered members of Congress, defense and CIA officials, and prostitutes to "hospitality suites". TPM Muckraker has more updates on this "play for pay" scandal. You can read it here, here, and here. Josh Marshall also has more here.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) after a second associate of Jefferson's pled guilty yesterday, according to MyDD. Of course, a member of Congress has to refer Jefferson to the ethics committee since outside complaints are not allowed to be considered anymore. Somebody? Anybody? (crickets chirping)
  • Out of touch Representative of the day: Mary Bono (R-CA). (from Raw Story)

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Mid-Morning News:

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  • If you're looking for a job you might want to become friends with Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), says Ken Silverstein at the new Harpers.org blog. Or you could become one of his daughters.
  • Another U.S. contractor in Iraq pleads guilty, this time for bribery. According to the Washington Post, "Philip H. Bloom admitted his part in a scheme to give more than $2 million in cash and gifts to U.S. officials in exchange for their help in getting reconstruction contracts for his companies. Bloom's firms won $8.6 million in reconstruction deals, with an average profit margin of more than 25 percent."
  • Tom DeLay is like Waldo. He's in every page (scandal) - you just have to look hard enough to find him. From the Houston Chronicle.

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