From today’s New York Times:
Federal prosecutors are looking into the possibility that a prominent lobbyist may have funneled bogus campaign contributions to his mentor, Representative John P. Murtha, as well as other lawmakers, two people familiar with the investigator’s questions said Tuesday.
Employees of the PMA Group, the firm founded by the lobbyist, Paul Magliocchetti, have given a total of more than $1 million to political campaigns over the last three election cycles, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
In the first half of 2007, the PMA Group and its clients contributed more than $500,000 to three congressmen, Mr. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, and his close allies on the panel, Representative James P. Moran of Virginia and Representative Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana.
The lawmakers, meanwhile, earmarked more than $100 million in defense spending for PMA clients in the appropriations bills for 2008, according to a study by Taxpayers for Common Sense, which tracks earmarks.
Recall that even though Moran is an embarrassment–the Washington Post’s local beat columnist once declared him “unfit for public office” because of boorish, crass, obnoxious and arguably anti-Semitic behavior–the Post endorsed him for reelection because “Moran’s ability to secure millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements to help absorb the 20,000 military employees relocating to Fort Belvoir and the surrounding area is an example of why he is popular with his constituents, and why we support his reelection bid.”