The Corner

To PMA Go the Spoils

The current omnibus bill under debate today in the House is large and contains many objectionable items. But the most objectionable items may well be the earmarks that will go to clients of the PMA lobbying group. PMA, which could become the Democrats’ version of the Jack Abramoff scandal, will close its doors next month in the wake of a November FBI raid on its offices.

As Tory Newmyer was reporting in Roll Call as early as 2007, the firm and its clients have contributed big money to certain Democrats in Congress and then they have in turn received even bigger earmarks.

Unfortunately, the publicity surrounding this firm did not prevent some of the same Democrats who took large amounts of PMA money from inserting at least eight PMA earmarks into the current stimulus bill. Rep. Jeff Flake (R, Ariz.) identified these eight earlier this week:

●       NuVant Systems, Inc. Direct Methanol Fuel Cell – $951,500

●       PPG, Inc. Solar Energy Windows and Smart IR Switchable Building Technologies – $1,189,375

●       Alpha Micron, Inc. Adaptive Liquid Crystal Windows – $951,500

●       Quallion – Anti-idling Lithium Ion Battery Program $951,500

●       Parametric Technology Corp. – Advanced Engineering Environment for Sandia National Lab – $1,427,250

●       Parametric Technology Corp. Multi-Disciplined Integrated Collaborative Environment (MDICE) – $951,500

●       Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. – Hydrogen Optical Fiber Sensors – $951,500

●       Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. – CATALYST: Explorations in Aerospace and Innovation Education Program – $400,000

CQ Politics reported yesterday that among the sponsors of these measures were Reps. Pete Visclosky (D, Ind.), Tim Ryan (D, Ohio), and Mike Doyle (D, Pa.). Their report continues:

All but one of those earmarks is in the section of the bill written by the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which is headed by Visclosky. With $219,000 in checks to his political committees since 2001, Visclosky is the leading recipient of campaign contributions from PMAs political action committee and its employees, according to a review by CQ MoneyLine.

Doyle and Ryan ranked among the top 10 House members in PMA contributions.

Flake has set forth a privileged resolution calling for an investigation, which will receive a vote today after the vote on the omnibus bill.

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