The following is thanks to Bluegrassreport:
"Sunday, October 15, 2006
"Rep. Hal Rogers (KY) and Republican Corruption Scandals
"In the past few days, there have been reports of a federal investigation into whether Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) had improperly used his clout in Congress to steer business to his daughter:
"FBI Probing Rep. Weldon, His Daughter By Kimberly Hefling and Lara Jakes Jordan, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The FBI is investigating whether Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, two people familiar with the inquiry said Saturday.
The inquiry focuses on lobbying contracts worth $1 million that Weldon's daughter, Karen Weldon, obtained from foreign clients and whether they were assisted by the congressman, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the criminal investigation."
Is it me, or does the Weldon story sound a little too similar to this front-page Sunday New York Times story from May regarding our own Rep. Hal Rogers (R)?
"In Kentucky Hills, A Homeland Security Bonanza By ERIC LIPTON, The New York TimesPublished: May 14, 2006
"...It is a route that has benefited Mr. Rogers, creating jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes. The congressman has also taken 11 trips — including six to Hawaii — on the tab of an organization that until this week was to profit from a no-bid contract Mr. Rogers helped arrange. Work has even been set aside for a tiny start-up company in Kentucky that employs John Rogers, the congressman's son.
"Kentucky companies turned up in each phase of the early tests of the identification cards.
"One of the companies, Senture, which sells call-center services, had a particularly close relationship with Mr. Rogers. Senture had just opened its doors in May 2003, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that Mr. Rogers attended. In 2004, Mr. Rogers arranged the financing for a $4 million Homeland Security contract for Senture to field calls from truckers.
"Now, Senture would land even more department work, as BearingPoint, a Virginia company hired in 2004 to test prototype transportation worker cards, selected Senture to set up a call center for the test. About the time that contract was first advertised, but before it was awarded, John Rogers, the congressman's son, was hired by Senture as a computer systems administrator.
"You may recall that following the Times story was the following very harsh editorial of Rogers by the ultra-conservative National Review, entitled "Hal Rogers: A Congressional Disgrace":
"Hal Rogers: A Congressional DisgraceNational Review Online: "Kentucky Congressman Abuses His Power
"(National Review Online) This column was written by the editors.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Harold "Rogers, the smooth-talking Republican congressman from Kentucky, has emerged in recent weeks as an exemplary figure of congressional disgrace. Private companies have courted his favor with political donations, golf excursions, and exotic vacations — and he, in turn, has channeled millions of taxpayer dollars in their direction. From his powerful position as chairman of the Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee, he has plied constituents and corporations alike with funds from the national treasury. It is the work of the likes of Hal Rogers that has driven Congress' approval rating to 22 percent — and if more people knew of him, that number would only sink lower.
"As the man in charge of Congress’s homeland-security budget, Rogers’s abuse of federal funds is not just a financial scandal — it is a matter of national security. Instead of directing his budget with the sole aim of providing for the public defense, he has turned the power of his position to his benefit — and, by extension, to the benefit of the companies who finance him and the local constituents who keep him in office.
"As The New York Times recently recounted, lawmakers decided in 2002 to implement a standardized, tamper-proof, biometric ID card that would be issued to transportation workers nationwide. Rogers took this as an opportunity, inserting language into appropriations bills requiring that the new ID card rely on old technology that was produced at a plant in his district. Frustrated Homeland Security officials had to endure a lengthy delay and pay $4 million for a comparison study to show that the technology they preferred was superior to the one required by Rogers.
"As the new ID card was developed and tested, Rogers kept up his meddling. He required that the new-technology production sites be relocated in Kentucky, and he helped award millions of dollars in contracts to various Kentucky companies that had together donated around $100,000 to his political campaigns. One of these companies employed Rogers' son as a computer-systems administrator."
"Keep a close eye on this story...
Posted by Mark Nickolas on Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 11:52 AM in Hal Rogers, Legal/Courts Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/6433299
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Rep. Hal Rogers (KY) and Republican Corruption Scandals:
Foley, Ney, Weldon........If we can continue to take at least one republican down every week until Nov 7th it will be a democratic sweep.
Posted by: Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 12:26 PM
Kenneth Stepp, you reading this stuff?
You've been looked at as a sacrificial lamb, or perhaps a self-made but admirable Don Quixote, all through this campaign. Now's your chance to go after Rogers.
I haven't been able to say if you could win or not, Kenneth, but I've always given you top marks for balls and determination, which has some value even against an entrenched incumbent. Now let's see if you can't actually pull this thing off.
Wouldn't that be something! Imagine the look on Hal's face! That alone would be worth the work you've put in.
Posted by: Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 12:31 PM
Just a note- the earliest and most savage exposes of Abramoff and company came from the ultra ultra ultra conservative American Spectator.
Posted by: Scooby Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 01:11 PM
". . . So anyway - you know things are bad when National Review gets in a Repug congressdog's face like that. Sure must suck to be Hal right now.Ahhh but he has his cronies and OUR cash to keep him warm...
Posted by: Rich Miles Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 06:44 PM
get over it hal can not be beat and you know it
Posted by: Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 07:21 PM
No bid contracts to favor Hal Rogers' son? That does make Hal Rogers look pretty bad. Maybe the FBI will investigate Hal Rogers. Kenneth Stepp, http://www.steppforcongress.blogspot.com
Posted by: Kenneth Stepp Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 07:35 PM