12-term Dem Congressman embroiled in missing money question

posted at 2:43 pm on September 7, 2007 by Bryan

Politico has the tale. The name “Hsu” does not come up. The name “Murtha,” however, does.

A twisted tale of congressional earmarking has taken another turn.

The U.S. Navy wants a business owned by the family of Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski to hand over a piece of high-tech equipment bought with some of the $9.25 million in taxpayer funds Kanjorski steered to the company.

Except no one seems to know where to find the equipment — a high-pressure pump. The mystery of the missing pump, combined with newly unearthed evidence that federal investigators probed Kanjorski’s connections to the company, Cornerstone Technologies, has given new life to a story that seems unlikely to go away.

Kanjorski denies any wrongdoing:

“I have no relationship to the Cornerstone company and have had no involvement in the company’s legal proceedings, except I indicated my willingness to give a deposition,” he said in a statement to Politico. If Cornerstone owes the Navy something, he said, “that is a matter between the contracting parties.”

Cornerstone’s lawyer was unaware of the pump and said the Navy never mentioned it.

But…

An admitted science geek who became enchanted by the idea of using high-powered water jets to break down materials for use in composites, Kanjorski encouraged the creation of Cornerstone in the late 1990s to develop — and one day commercialize — the technology. It was formed by his nephew, Peter Kanjorski, and a scientist, Bruce Conrad, who were joined in the company by four of the congressman’s other nephews and his daughter.

In 1998, with the help of Rep. John P. Murtha, a fellow Pennsylvanian and the top Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Kanjorski earmarked $3.5 million for the research through the Navy.

Expect the MSM to do exactly nothing with this story. It fits the “culture of corruption” meme to a T. But it originates in the wrong party.

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