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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.
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
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature