Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Feds raid homes in investigation of GOP Congressman

By Heraclitus

The news just keeps getting better for the Republicans. Bob Ney, a Republican Congressman from Ohio,
pled guilty on Friday to charges of corrruption stemming from the investigation of legendary influence-peddler and, well, crook, Jack Abramoff. That was more or less successfully buried over the weekend. But now the FBI has raided the homes of Curt Weldon's (R-PA) daughter and of one of his closest political allies. The investigation centers on whether Weldon used his influence as a Congressman to help a lobbying firm run by his daughter and Charles Sexton, the political ally in question. Basically, Weldon lobbied, in Congress and elsewhere, for one of his daughter's largest clients, a Russian oil and gas firm, when charges of corruption were hurting its business in the US:

The congressman, for example, intervened on Itera's behalf when U.S. officials canceled a federal grant to the company. He also encouraged U.S. companies to do business with Itera at a time when its reputation had been sullied by accusations of Russian corruption.

Weldon said in a prepared statement that he had done nothing wrong and would cooperate in the investigation "100 percent." Michael Puppio, a campaign spokesman, said Weldon hoped that "reliance on leaks would cease and the media would rely on facts that are verifiable."

Weldon said that the House ethics committee looked into the allegations in 2004 "and found that I had engaged in no wrongdoing." He said he was "extremely disappointed that we are discussing this topic three weeks before an election that could determine control of Congress."

Granted, this has none of the skeezy punch of Masturgate, and so will probably play out in the media much more quickly, but it can't help the Republicans. Unless, of course, people decide that the FBI is playing politics, and Democratic politics at that, by conducting these searches now. Stranger things have happened.

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  • Strange things always happen. The fact that Bush hasn't been impeached yet is strange enough, but they certainly will play the "political timing" gambit to the hilt and mention Bill Clinton as often as possible every time a Republican gets caught.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 4:41 PM  

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