Friday :: Sep 15, 2006

Could Jerry Lewis be next?

by Duckman GR

Questions are being asked about Congressman Jerry Lewis and his ties to big time lobbyists and Federal Contractors. Compare these two lists just linked, notice the similarities? No wonder, since he's the chair of the House Appropriations committee and a good friend to have in Washington DC.

Not only that he can be bought, but that he seems to have some trouble with the truth as well, to wit:

Why did he say in a 2006 news release that he never recommends lobbyists to municipalities?

It's a pertinent question because Lewis used congressional letterhead in a 2002 recommendation of a Washington lobbying firm to San Bernardino County. Lewis' referral was on behalf of a different lobbying firm, The Skancke Co., which is run by Tom Skancke and was one of two lobbyists employed by the county.

"It's a pleasure to be writing this letter on Tom's behalf and strongly recommend San Bernardino County's retaining of the Skancke Company's service," Lewis wrote on Sept. 5, 2002.

In a news release issued earlier this year, Lewis stated, "It is an ironclad rule in my office that we do not recommend lobbyists, even if a constituent asks for that recommendation."

Perhaps that is why some critics are suggesting that Mr. Lewis’ support can be bought, not like his Republican colleague Randy Cunningham, but through campaign contributions such as those used to bolster his 2004 Appropriations Chair bid.

Lewis, meanwhile, was preparing his bid to become House Appropriations Committee chairman _ a contest in which fundraising is key. Lewis' Future Leaders PAC gave $407,000 to 69 House candidates in the 2004 election. The Cerberus-related money [a Federal Contractor] amounted to nearly a third of that amount.

Even one of his hometown newspapers recognizes his corruption, wondering why his conservative bona fides have been cast aside in his drive for personal gain and aggrandizement.

“Has the time come for Jerry Lewis, now that his disdain for conservative principles has been revealed through actions that seem motivated more by a desire for political gain than by any thought of what's good for not only his district but the country at large, to call it quits? Has Lord Acton's dictum that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, infected a career that's lasted for 28 years?”

As has been noted earlier, while contractors like General Atomics and Lockheed and SAIC and L-3 give thousands and get Billions in contracts,

while someone like Bruce Doyle Varner of the National Orange Show Foundation gives thousands to Lewis and bush and Feinstein, oh, er, um, well, she’s closes enough for their purposes, and gets hundreds of thousands in return, the County of San Bernardino hasn’t seemed to benefited all that much. After all, how many of Lewis top contributors actually have business set up in his district? Not many. And an earlier chart notes that SB isn’t faring all that well compared to the rest of the state. And Lewis doesn’t spend that much of his campaign expenses in his home grounds either.

In fact, out of the some 388 separate expenditure lines in this Open Secrets report, 43 are for San Bernardino. And out of some $2,349,002 in campaign expenses for 2004 and 2006, $328,388 went to San Bernardino businesses. And of that, $234,000 went to the National Orange Show, in San Bernadino, CA, for Lewis fundraisers.

Let me summerize. Out of $2,349,002.00 spent by his campaign, $89,000 went to his district. Perhaps you should practice what you claim, Mr. Lewis. And I'd like to see those earmarks he's been getting for his district too. I know he got a foad name changed to his, does that count?

His top contributor for 2004, L-3 has no divisions in his district either

As the Federal investigations of Lewis tighten we see why Howard Dean's 50 state strategy makes so much sense. Having a challenger running against these money machines, rather than enable lewis to run unopposed and donate $650,000 to the RNC, forces him to spend the money on himself. And with goppers selfish will always triumph over a perceived greater good.

San Bernardino=SB, California=CA

Per capita money income, 1999 SB - $16,856 CA - $22,711

Median household income, 2003 SB - $43,185 CA - $48,440

Persons below poverty, percent, 2003 SB - 16.0% CA - 13.8%

Retail sales per capita, 2002 SB - $8,828 CA - $10,264

Duckman GR :: 8:04 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!