Flake Seeks Ethics Investigation Into Earmarks and Campaign Contributions
In light of the federal investigation of the PMA Group, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Monday offered a privileged resolution to require the House ethics committee to investigate “the relationship between earmark requests already made by members and the source and timing of past campaign contributions.” The FBI raided the lobbying firm’s offices in November, apparently part of an investigation of campaign contributions made by people identified as PMA employees. Flake said that the several thousand earmarks in the omnibus 2009 appropriations bill released today include several for PMA clients. While he said there is no evidence of wrongdoing in these projects, “when we are seen to be earmarking funds for campaign donors, we give unnecessary fodder to those who would question our motives.” House leadership will have until Wednesday to decide how to dispose of Flake’s resolution. Flake’s office identified eight earmarks in the bill benefiting PMA clients worth a total of about $8 million.