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I’ve been writing for years about the indecently close ties between House Democrat John Murtha and the defense lobbying firm PMA, so was not surprised to learn, via ABC News, that the “FBI searched the Virginia headquarters of the PMA Group in November, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. PMA was founded by former Murtha aide Paul Magliochetti and specializes in winning earmarked taxpayer funds for its clients.”
See particularly this 2006 story that lays out the cozy relations between Murtha and PMA. Here’s an excerpt:
PMA was founded in 1989 by Paul Magliocchetti, who—as described in a past pitch to a potential client that I was able to obtain—is a former GAO auditor and department manager, and ex-staffer on the House defense appropriations subcommittee, where he had “responsibility for $30 billion in Navy procurement accounts.” PMA has dozens of lobbyists, virtually all of whom came from the Hill or the Pentagon. According to the pitch, all of its personnel “maintain strong contacts” with “Congressional defense oversight committees” and “all Appropriations subcommittees.” PMA, according to the pitch, “becomes part of your organization and complements your existing resources.” The firm maintains “active liaison with key members of Congress and their staff to safeguard client interests,” and helps “design and tailor procurement strategies that maximize successful pursuit of government contract opportunities.”
PMA has close links to a number of key members of the defense appropriations subcommittee. Its lobbyists include Rich Kaelin, the former chief of staff to Pete Visclosky, and Melissa Koloszar, former chief of staff to Jim Moran.
But PMA’s best friend in congress is Murtha. Numerous firm clients have received lavish earmarks from the congressman’s subcommittee, and PMA is widely known in insider circles as the unofficial gatekeeper to Murtha’s 12th district. Six PMA lobbyists work for DRS, including Julie Giardina, a former Murtha staffer, and Daniel Cunningham, who formerly worked for the Army and who is extremely close to the congressman (the two men are golfing buddies and a Hill source told me that Murtha even uses Cunningham as his unofficial driver). A third key lobbyist on the DRS account is Greg Hansen, who according to the pitch, is a retired Navy captain who has contacts “at senior levels” at various Navy agencies.
It’s hard to say at this point exactly what’s up, but clearly the congressman and his lobbying friends have a lot to explain.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:
Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.
A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”