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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Some Dirt on Rep. Jerry Lewis

There was news yesterday that lobbyist documents related to Rep Jerry Lewis (R - Ca), Chairman of the Appropriations Committee were subpoenaed by a grand jury. The NYTimes has a very interesting article focusing on the lobbyist and her relationship with Rep. Jerry Lewis.
WASHINGTON, June 2 — Letitia Hoadley White arrived on Capitol Hill 25 years ago as a 22-year-old receptionist with a bachelor's degree in fashion design, fresh from a job at Women's Wear Daily.

When her boss, Representative Jerry Lewis, Republican of California, assigned her to work with the appropriations committee in 1986, Ms. White found her calling: cramming spending bills with narrow provisions to finance lawmakers' pet projects. When she left the Hill three years ago, she quickly became K Street's queen of earmarks,.....

In the two years after she left, Mr. Lewis, then chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, was in a fierce competition for the chairmanship of the House appropriations committee, which has authority over all discretionary spending. The Republican leadership had begun assigning chairmanships in part based on how much campaign money a member had raised for other members. Mr. Lewis and his rivals for the post, Representatives Ralph Regula of Ohio and Harold Rogers of Kentucky, each began a fund-raising blitz. And each concentrated on the industry that had benefited from spending appropriated by their subcommittee, which in Mr. Lewis's case was defense.

Ms. White leapt to the forefront of Mr. Lewis's effort, organizing a steady stream of fund-raisers for him and other Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club, a social venue for members of the party.

Isn't that all you need to know? Under Republican House leadership Committee Chairmanships were up for auction to the highest fundraiser? You really couldn't design a system more likely to create improper lobbyist/Representative relationships.


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