Washington Babylon — April 17, 2009, 9:17 am

Federal Raid on Lobby Shop Leaves Democrats Cash-Strapped

From the Washington Post:

Three senior House Democrats revealed sharp declines in donations for the first quarter of 2009 after the shuttering of a lobbying firm that in previous election cycles helped steer millions of dollars in donations to their political committees from its lobbyists and earmark-seeking clients.

Reps. John P. Murtha (Pa.), Peter J. Visclosky (Ind.) and James P. Moran Jr. (Va.) have taken in 58 percent less in combined campaign contributions this year compared with the first quarter of 2007, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Examining only donations from individuals who gave more than $200 — a category that captures what most lobbyists and their clients contribute — the drop-off is more severe. The lawmakers have received $185,000 from those individuals this year, a 76 percent drop from almost $760,000 from such individuals in the corresponding period two years ago…

The three have been particularly successful in raising money from lobbyists, especially the PMA Group, a firm founded 20 years ago by a former committee staffer close to Murtha. Earlier this decade, the firm hired top aides of both Visclosky and Moran…PMA closed this spring after the FBI raided its offices last fall as part of an investigation into the firm’s Capitol Hill ties.

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