Shocker! House Ethics Panel Ends Visclosky Investigation

We almost, but not quite, have to play “guess the party affiliation”

A team of congressional investigators believed they had probable cause that Rep. Pete Visclosky sought campaign contributions in exchange for steering federal contracts to corporate donors, but a House ethics panel decided not to inquire further into the matter.

A report from the House ethics committee, released Friday, shows that a preliminary investigation found e-mail evidence suggesting that Visclosky’s staff arranged campaign fundraisers for corporate clients seeking earmarks, and the donors believed their donations were linked to whether they would win earmarks from the Indiana Democrat. The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended that the more powerful House ethics committee use its subpoena power to require Visclosky and his staff to answer questions under oath about his earmarking practice.


But the committee said they found no evidence of wrongdoing, and opted not to subpoena Visclosky or any other records to answer the questions the OCE had raised.

This on the heels of  Charlie Rangle getting away with his ethics issues after blaming the problems on his *cough* staff. ‘Memba when Liberals blamed Bush for what a few low ranking military folks did at Abu Ghraid? I guess the buck doesn’t stop at Rangle’s desk. It certainly doesn’t stop at the IRS with Charlie’s name on it, either.

Anyhow, digging deeper

The House ethics committee will clear seven members of Congress in a year-long probe that explored whether they may have violated ethics rules in steering hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to contractors represented by one powerful defense lobby firm.

The report, which was released Friday, will help lift a cloud from the reputations of the late John P. Murtha, the panel’s chairman, and several of his colleagues, including Reps. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and Bill Young (R-Fla.). The probe of senior members of the House Defense Appropriations panel had scrutinized their close dealings with the PMA Group, a now-defunct firm that rose to become one of Washington’s largest lobby shops and won hundreds of millions of dollars in defense and research contracts for its clients.

Five of the seven were Democrats, and, Visclosky is a Murtha protege. How’s that the swamp draining for the “most ethic Congress EVAH!” going, Nancy?

Crossed at Stop The ACLU

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