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Tag Archive: Political Charities

Lobbyists Fish For Lawmakers:

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Every year lawmakers go up to Alaska to go fishing at "a five star resort"; and every year lobbyists from the oil and gas industry follow those lawmakers to these fish-filled waters to hook them on their own line. American Radio Works went behind the scenes of this annual ritual in the circle of Washington political life and found a number of Senators, energy industry lobbyists, and our friend [sw: Dennis Hastert] (R-Ill.) getting together to break congressional ethics rules.

The event is organized under the aegis of a charity, the Waterfall Committee, supported by former Sen. and current Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski and his wife Nancy. In 1996 "the House and Senate banned lawmakers from accepting free trips to recreational charity events like this one". The Senate Ethics Committee went so far as to write Murkowski a letter to "expressly forbid senators from accepting free travel or lodging to attend this event." It appears that numerous members of Congress may have violated this rule by attending.

 

TPM Muckraker, Think Progress, and Soap Blox Chicago have posted on this trip as well.

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Weekend Wrap:

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  • Florida Today asks Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) why he won't "disclose his funding requests for the coming year". Weldon has been criticized for his earmarking of funds to a company, Map Roi, with ties to a Tom DeLay crony and Jack Abramoff associate Ed Buckham.
  • According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) is losing support among Democrats after he was implicated in a second guilty plea in a federal bribery investigation. Both House Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), called for an ethics investigation of the embattled lawmaker.
  • The Boston Globe reports on limiting donations to political charities, which can often serve as another way for lobbyists or favor-seekers to curry favor with lawmakers.

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