Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rep. Conaway Gets Earmark Religion

Congressman Mike Conaway posted his 2010 earmarks on his website for the first time in nearly six years in office. He vows not to ask for any earmarks in 2011. Does this new religion come after past sins? The Standard Times highlights the impact of Mike's shift. It states:

Conaway said he has sought earmarks for his district, advocating for legitimate projects. “I believe I have a responsibility to do so. However, a few bad apples spoil the bunch,” he said.

Two Congressmen asked for radar earmarks, Representatives Mike Conaway and John Murtha. Conaway obtained $1.6 million for Global Delta, a Virginia based company. It is owned by James and John Albertine, professional lobbyists. When did Rep. Mike Conaway begin representing Fredericksburg, Virginia instead of Texas? Add the synchronicity of earmark advancement to Albertine donations in 2008 and it looks more suspicious.

Rep. John Murtha has an equally murky radar earmark. He sent $3 million to KDH Systems for swimmer detection sonar. It had no technology expertise, other than making bulletproof vests. Lobbying firm KSA Consulting helped KDH get the earmark. After John Murtha passed away, KSA Consulting closed shop.

It's clear the Albertine Brothers continue lobbying. The fate of Global Delta is murkier. How many of their lobbying clients donate to the Conaway campaign or CONAPAC? They didn't need to. The lobbying principals ponied up $23,800.

Conaway's new religion on earmarks should come with a confession.

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