Saturday, February 27, 2010

Is It Ethical for Lawmakers to Steer Government Contracts to Large Campaign Contributors?

As the Washington Post reports, a House committee says yes:

The House ethics committee ruled Friday that seven lawmakers who steered hundreds of millions of dollars in largely no-bid contracts to clients of a lobbying firm had not violated any rules or laws by also collecting large campaign donations from those contractors.

In a 305-page report, the ethics committee declared that lawmakers are free to raise campaign money from the very companies they are benefiting so long as the deciding factors in granting those “earmarks” are "criteria independent" of the contributions. The report served as a blunt rejection of ethics watchdogs and a different group of congressional investigators, who have contended that in some instances the connection between donations and earmarks was so close that it had to be inappropriate.
However, the matter is also currently before a federal grand jury, which is investigating whether the donations violated federal law.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.