Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Murtha Donor Charged with Taking Kickbacks

Murtha received $65,000 more than any other official. Murtha returned the favor in earmarks -- politics as usual. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), whose name has surfaced in the investigation also received $4000.

From Open Secrets --

Richard Ianieri, the defense contractor charged today with accepting $200,000 in kickbacks from a subcontractor, was president of a company that gave more money to Rep. John Murtha than any other lawmaker. That company, Coherent Systems International, received millions of dollars in earmarks from Murtha, and continued giving money to the Pennsylvania Democrat after Ianieri left Coherent and Argon ST bought it.

The criminal complaint filed yesterday reportedly did not name the subcontractor, according to Roll Call.

In total, the employees of Coherent, and employees and political action committees of Argon and its subsidiaries, have given $81,950 to Murtha's campaign committee and leadership PAC since the 2004 election cycle, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis.

Murtha has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the congressman ranks as the top recipient of funds from now-defunct lobbying firm, PMA Group, and its defense-related clients.

The firm worked for a number of companies that sought federal earmarks from the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which Murtha chairs. We've written extensively about this issue and you can find the most recent roundup of data here.

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