Thursday, February 19, 2009

Garrett, Earmarks and Donations

Over at the, Thurman Hart has a great story about the impending doom several of our Representatives face in what appears to be a donation for earmarks scandal. Our own Representative Scott Garrett received $500 from the PAC associated with this group. However, there doesn't seem to be an easily traceable link between Garrett and PNA.

That said, there is a fairly easy link that can be established between the $1 million and $1.5 million dollar earmarks I had written about a while back: Both Imperial Machine & Tool, Inc and Dewey Electronics had Capitol Resources Washington Representation LLC listed as their lobbyists in the House.

Readers may remember, Dewey Electronics received Garrett's earmark after the Army had already informed them two years ago that they were ending the program. Garrett had received $4,500 in donations from Dewey's executives over the years. While donations from Capitol over the years come to $500, a lobbyist of record in the Senate for Dewey was SISCORP.

At one time SISCORP had an individual named Robert M. Meissner working for them, who has donated $3,455 in recent years to Garrett listing SISCORP as his employer. However, Robert M. Meissner is only currently listed under Capitol as a lobbyist, a company which he founded. Senate records indicate Capitol set up shop back in 2002.

This just seems incredibly shady, especially since SISCORP's Robert M. Meissner donates from a street address in Fairfax; while Capitol's donates a few dollars here and there (none to Garrett) from a PO Box in Arlington.

Kind of fishy, don't you think?

I'd like to believe Garrett wouldn't work to secure an earmark for $8,500 in donations. I'd also like to believe that Meissner isn't intentionally trying to skirt FEC, House and Senate regulations. There could actually be an easy explanation for it.

Unfortunately, because the entire process is so tainted at this point the questions alone need to be raised in the interest of good government.

Congress needs to accept responsibility for us even having to wonder. Back in November, as part of the election, people demanded more transparency. Obviously, we're starting down that road, because a couple of years ago this post would have taken me two months instead of a couple of hours. However, we have a long way to go.

No comments: