Last spring there was a small flurry in the news about the pay-for-play activities of the Washington D.C. Lobbying firm, PMA (Paul Magliochetti and Associates) Group. As a result of a continuing FBI investigation into allegations of fraud and bribery, “including reimbursing employees for campaign contributions made to congressional members who supported PMA Group interests,” the firm shut down.
The PMA Group seems to have lavished money on members of defense related committees in both parties, and while the big money went to the most powerful committee members — Democrat John Murtha is a notable example — two Missouri legislators, Todd Akin (R-2nd Dist.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R.-8th Dist), pulled in some of the moolah. Over the period beginning in 2001, they each placed $1,000,0000 in earmarks for PMA clients, while receiving campaign donations from the PMA group that totaled $7,500 and $11,000 respectively.
Did they do anything wrong? Who knows? Certainly, compared to the amounts of campaign dollars and earmarks associated with other lawmakers, both Akin and Emerson are small potatoes. Which is why it was interesting to find Akin headlining this Washington Examiner “Dirty Money Watch” column from last Friday. I would suggest that the author just enjoys tormenting the terminally sanctimonious, but the column does seems to be doing an on-going series on recipients of PMA Group payouts.
It is interesting to note that, according to this report in The Hill, the House is pursuing an ethics investigation involving its members’ relations with the PMA Group. Maybe we’ll hear more over time. Maybe Akin and Emerson will, as the author of the Examiner column suggests, return the money.