Is Flake picking up momentum on PMA probe?

posted at 12:55 pm on March 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Five times Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has tried to get Congress to hold John Murtha, Pete Visclosky, and other PMA-connected members accountable for their corruption.  Five times, Democrats stonewalled Flake and refused to do so.  Now, however, Flake has picked up 25 Democrats for his sixth attempt at House-cleaning, and that has Nancy Pelosi worried:

A trickle of defections has Democratic House leaders wondering how long they can hold off calls for an investigation into the PMA Group and its ties to Pennsylvania Rep. John P. Murtha.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) got only 17 Democratic votes when he introduced a privileged resolution in February calling for an ethics investigation into “the relationship between earmark requests already made by members and the source and timing of past campaign contributions.”

But Flake has kept trying — the sixth version of his resolution comes up for a vote this week — and he’s picked up support from eight Democrats who voted against his initial resolution. …

“We are keeping our ear pretty close to the ground on this,” said a senior Democratic aide.

The aide noted that there has been “no groundswell of support” for Flake’s resolutions — and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remains dead set against an investigation. Still, he said, House Democrats — who took power promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington — “may only be one bad story away from seeing some big break.”

Flake may get some help in that “one bad story” from the New York Times, of all places:

Former PMA staff members familiar with the inquiry say prosecutors’ initial questions have focused on the possibility that Mr. Magliocchetti used straw campaign contributors — a Florida sommelier and a golf club executive, for example, appear to have given large sums in coordination with PMA — as a front to funnel illegal donations to friendly lawmakers, a felony that could carry a minimum sentence of five years.

More alarming to lawmakers and aides, however, is that prosecutors may turn their attention to the dinners at the Alpine and Capital Grille or other gifts they might have accepted from Mr. Magliocchetti — potential violations of longstanding Congressional ethics rules that could lead to more serious bribery charges if linked to official acts.

“All the combustibles are here for a very salacious set of allegations that could go far beyond his campaign finance problems,” said Stanley Brand, a veteran Washington criminal defense lawyer known for representing Democrats.

Why is Pelosi “dead set” against an Ethics Committee investigation?  Murtha had been one of her closest allies in the House.  He used his power to help her get to the Speakership, and in turn Pelosi has protected Murtha from trouble.  If Murtha goes, it will at the very least reflect badly on Pelosi, especially after her protection of Murtha from internal probes.

The PMA investigation may break without Pelosi.  The FBI has obviously picked up a strong scent from Magliochetti, and it’s not the aroma of steak from the Alpine Grill.  If the feds announce charges against corruptocrats like Murtha after years of obvious pork-barrel practices and years of Pelosi protection, expect this to be the Democratic Abramoff.  Some Democrats have already begun to prepare themselves for that possibility by defecting and supporting an internal probe, hoping to avoid getting caught in an anti-incumbent rage when the storm hits.

Murtha survived the Abscam scandal.  He won’t survive this one if the FBI begins rounding up Magliochetti and his subordinates.  And Pelosi may find herself out of leadership if the implosion leads to the loss of enough seats in the midterm elections to put the Democrats back in the minority.


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And Pelosi may find herself out of leadership if the implosion leads to the loss of enough seats in the midterm elections to put the Democrats back in the minority.

Oh God!! YES!

katy on March 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

OHHHHH, please, please let this be true!
L

letget on March 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Murtha seems to have political nine lives. Hopefully he has used the ninth already.

carbon_footprint on March 30, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The adults are in charge now.

Del Dolemonte on March 30, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Eric Holder will take care of it.

a capella on March 30, 2009 at 1:03 PM

move murtha to treasury

winston on March 30, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Hey Rep. Flake, a tip for you: hire a food taster.

Vashta.Nerada on March 30, 2009 at 1:04 PM

You can “drain the swamp”, but there is a lot of scum still lingering about.

Zorg on March 30, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I’m still awe-struck that PA re-elected this fat old dog over Russell.

ErinF on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Never gonna happen. Obama just fires the head of the FBI per Nancy’s instructions and appoints Turbo Timmy to fix it.

Poof, all gone.

Knucklehead on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Future lobbyist Jack Murtha; we never really get rid of these pukes.

Bishop on March 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Knucklehead on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

yup, something like that.

katy on March 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM

I’m still awe-struck that PA re-elected this fat old dog over Russell.

ErinF on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Word. I refuse to even set foot in PA (I live in Ohio) while Murtha represents them.

Darbraun on March 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Wait a minute……….are you guys trying to tell me that the Dems and the Messiah are crooks? Oh my God! But I thought when The One got elected, daisies would sprout in colors all over the world, and my car’s gas tank would be perpetually full, and my mortgage paid….you mean The One lied……….oh my God!

Cinday Blackburn on March 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I notice that Flake won’t file an ethics complaint against Murtha, apparently because the dems would file one against some of the less than sterling reps. I kinda wish he would and let the chips fall where they may. It would strengthen his reputation as a reformer and some of those old style Republican crooks need to be outed anyway

E9RET on March 30, 2009 at 1:12 PM

I’m still awe-struck that PA re-elected this fat old dog over Russell.

ErinF on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Yeah I followed the Colonels campaign and it’s truly amazing. I really liked Russell.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Wait a minute……….are you guys trying to tell me that the Dems and the Messiah are crooks? Oh my God! But I thought when The One got elected, daisies would sprout in colors all over the world, and my car’s gas tank would be perpetually full, and my mortgage paid….you mean The One lied……….oh my God!

Cinday Blackburn on March 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM

OT, but speaking of which, I wonder what ever happened to “Mindy-The-mooch” or whatever her name was. The woman that was crying while proclaiming The O’s Word and that he would fill her gas tank, pay her mortgage, “if I help him, he’ll help me!”… Hosanna, hosanna.

I’d love to see a follow-up interview with her now.

Darbraun on March 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I’m still awe-struck that PA re-elected this fat old dog over Russell.

ErinF on March 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

The district has received so much pork, and Murtha has had some federal offices located there that it is pretty much like a company town – Murtha, Inc.

Wethal on March 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Fingers crossed… Buying popcorn (to eat… and throw at the screen ala Rocky Horror Picture Show).

RalphyBoy on March 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Nancy recalls those “culture of corruption” ads that Rahm ran in 2006 – the ones that led to the Dem takeover of the House. Even GOP candidates who had no personal connections with Foley or Abramoff got smeared with them.

What comes around, goes around. Change the faces, and a few words (PMG, AIG, etc.), and Eric Cantor has his 2010 campaign.

Wethal on March 30, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Murtha is a POS and those who had the opportunity to get rid of him but reelected him, instead, deserve whatever crap they get because of it.

Jvette on March 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

“Tonight is a great victory for the American people,” Pelosi said in a late-night speech in Washington. “Today the American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction.” She described the vote as a mandate “to restore stability and bipartisanship” in Washington and for “a new direction” in the war in Iraq.

“The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,” Pelosi said.

okeedokee…

katy on March 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Why is Pelosi “dead set” against an Ethics Committee investigation? Murtha had been one of her closest allies in the House.

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctive native criminal class ……. except congress.
- Mark Twain

MB4 on March 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Pelosi, or any politician blocking an investigation, into potential, or flat out illegal activity, is aiding, and abetting is it not?

She needs to step down, regardless how this investigation turns out. In my humble opinion.

capejasmine on March 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM

“The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history, scroom them royal” Pelosi said.

MB4 on March 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Why is Pelosi “dead set” against an Ethics Committee investigation? Murtha had been one of her closest allies in the House.

But for Murtha’s efforts, Steny Hoyer would be Speaker, which is why there is no love lost between Steny and Nan.

Funny thing is, both Steny and Nan come from the MD Dem machine.

Wethal on March 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM

That would be like Christmas everyday. No Pelosi, no Murtha. Imagine the domino effect because neither one will go down alone. Then we can get Rangel, Dodd and Frank woo-hoo. Sorry, I’m getting delirious.

ctmom on March 30, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Only a firing squad will get rid of this scum.

Sweetness0726 on March 30, 2009 at 1:25 PM

She needs to step down, regardless how this investigation turns out. In my humble opinion.

capejasmine on March 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM

The world may be ugly, but each man must do what he must
Give in Queen Pelosi, in a year you will be dust
Now come let our Lady of Justice possess you
In her breathtaking, hair-raising bed
She will tingle your spine
As she captures your heart and your head

PercyB on March 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM

My dad had a sign in his office

“when you are up to your ass in alligators, it is difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.” …

I think this appropriate.

Cindy Munford on March 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Pelosi, or any politician blocking an investigation, into potential, or flat out illegal activity, is aiding, and abetting is it not?

She needs to step down, regardless how this investigation turns out. In my humble opinion.

capejasmine on March 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM

She’s lip deep in this stew of $#!t and can’t afford an investigation. When the fit hits the shan it will get all over a whole lot of crooks from both sides.

thomasaur on March 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Only a firing squad will get rid of this scum.

Sweetness0726 on March 30, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Now gaze on our goddess of justice
With her shimmering, glimmering blade
As she kisses these criminals she sings them a last serenade

PercyB on March 30, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I’d love to see a follow-up interview with her now.

Darbraun on March 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I heard that these days she lives in a real nice neighborhood in the North Shore area of Chicago….(not really, I don’t know, but this wouldn’t surprise me).

dmh0667 on March 30, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Term Limits. Balanced Budget. Truly transparent legislative process. Yearly fiscal, tax and ethics audits of each and every member of Congress.

These would have prevented the corruption.

OrdinaryColoradan on March 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM

She needs to step down, regardless how this investigation turns out. In my humble opinion.

capejasmine on March 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM

You will pry the Speaker’s gavel from her cold, dead hands. (If the GOP ever takes back the House, it might send her into cardiac arrest.)

Wethal on March 30, 2009 at 1:40 PM

heard that these days she lives in a real nice neighborhood in the North Shore area of Chicago….(not really, I don’t know, but this wouldn’t surprise me).

dmh0667

Movin on up! To the East Side…

(except that the Jefferson’s got there on their own via running their own business)

OrdinaryColoradan on March 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Yep, “most ethical Congress, ever”.

GarandFan on March 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM

G-d bless Jeff Flake.

If he only ever gets a hanf full of “wins” in his legislative career, it would be nice if this were one of them.

myrenovations on March 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Jeff Flake: My district rep in Congress.

Jeff Flake for Senate in 2010, “my friends”

Mr_Magoo on March 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

“Tonight is a great victory tragedy for the American people,” Pelosi said in a late-night speech in Washington. “Today the American people voted for change, but what they got was a bunch of Democrats taking advantage of our country and driving it into the dirt.” She described the vote as a mandate “to ignore stability and bipartisanship” in Washington and for “a new way of claiming credit for” ending the war in Iraq.

“The American people voted to ignore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most corrupt, most ignorant and most unethical Congress in history,” Pelosi said.

there. FIFY

scalleywag on March 30, 2009 at 2:13 PM

There is power in prayer… keep praying folks. These cheeseballs will be brought to justice. Most ethical congress (small “c”) evah…hehe. Please God, let this happen.

HomeoftheBrave on March 30, 2009 at 2:14 PM

wooohoooo This is gonna get good!

becki51758 on March 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM

The lefties want Murtha out. They know he’s become a liability.

Connie on March 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM

gop loves pork, lobbyists and donations from the bailed out companies too.

Good luck with that Flake.

getalife on March 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I predict that this gets swept under the rug. Fight the good fight Flake. But I think the only thing that fights the kind of Washington that everyone, including normal Democrats hate–is Congressional Term Limits.
I know I sound like a broken record but we have to limit Individual Power. We need a citizen government and once you enter the US Congress you stop being a citizen and become a despot. (Flake excepting, for now, but any of them could all fall.)

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Jeff Flake: My district rep in Congress.

Jeff Flake for Senate in 2010, “my friends”

Mr_Magoo on March 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

That’s not a bad idea! I’m from AZ too. Shadegg is my rep. Do you know Sean Noble? He’s a consultant of some kind now but was Shadegg’s chief of staff for years… I hear he may run when Shadegg is done and he’d be great. At least until he actually gets power, sigh. I mean he’s a great family oriented guy and good on all the issues. He has a website. But power seems to ruin everyone!

I’d go for Flake in McCain’s seat. But we are going to need a Governer too. Jan Brewer has yet to impress me. But the mess Janet left is pretty daunting… and she didn’t really expect this to happen so I’ll give her some time.

petunia on March 30, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Stock market—-DOWN 315 points at 2:55 PM.

The adults are in charge now. The economy is fixed. Yadda yadda. Blah blah blah.

——–getalobotomy

hillbillyjim on March 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM

gop loves pork, lobbyists and donations from the bailed out companies too.

Good luck with that Flake.

takeahit on March 30, 2009 at 2:48 PM

That’s not the issue here. If your teleprompter bothered to read the NYT article Ed cited, it clearly states that this particular lobbyist is a protege of a powerful Democrat member of Congress-not a powerful Republican member of Congress.

Ask your teleprompter to read Page 2 of the NYT story, which explicitly states that Murtha and this guy Magliocchetti have been close friends for 20 years.

BTW, I’m still waiting for your answer to the question I asked you yesterday-did you support the troops and their Commander in Chief with your vote in November 2004?

Del Dolemonte on March 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Flake may get some help

pelosi isn’t the one to watch. it’s boehner. When will he have a little closed door with nancy and then squash Flake under his thumb? Anybody remember Shadegg? He got a little uppity and boehner took his committee postions away.

peacenprosperity on March 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Three cheers for Flake!

Most ethical congress ever? Hardly!

DannoJyd on March 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Word. I refuse to even set foot in PA (I live in Ohio) while Murtha represents them.

Darbraun on March 30, 2009 at 1:08 PM

that is a shame, and very unfair to the people who don’t support him and specter and the other creeps, but tell me, are all of the politicians in the state of Ohio pure? You can’t hold the whole barrel to blame for one or two bad apples. You should be a little more open minded….*sigh*

clinker46 on March 30, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Imagine #3 to assume the Oval Office.

It is paramount to eliminate Pelosi ASAP from the House. No reason to leave her clinging on to office with her fangs in our necks.

Go home, pelosi.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:29 PM

There’s something everyone here is missing: Democrats are not corrupt, they are spotlessly clean and do no wrong. Only conservative Republicans do wrong. Now that we have that settled, I have a beautiful bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell.

afotia on March 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Replace RINO McCain with a reliable leader, J.D. HAYWORTH is a solid and well experienced conservative to help lead nationally from Arizona.

As is with McCain/Napolitano/Obama/Pelosi, there will be absolutely no border security. If you thought GWB dragged his heels enforcing emigration laws, watch the laws themselves dissolve with the uniparty Socialists aligned with Obama.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Oct.2008, Esquire named Congressman Flake one of the Ten Best Members of Congress saying in part, “A true conservative, Flake is as rare as the dodo.”–Wikipedia

Though he’s great on fiscal conservatism, he is aligned with McCain and Napolitano to deny border security, promoting open borders and employment of illegal immigrants, dismissing rule of law.

So far as being libertarian-GOP, that doesn’t measure up. Sounds more blue-dog Democrat as he was raised.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Stock market—-DOWN 315 points at 2:55 PM.

The adults are in charge now. The economy is fixed. Yadda yadda. Blah blah blah.

——–getalobotomyhadalobotomy

hillbillyjim on March 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM

.
.
.

So far as being libertarian-GOP, that doesn’t measure up. Sounds more blue-dog Democrat as he was raised.

maverick muse on March 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM

.
Still a major improvement over Pelosi and crew.

darktood on March 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM