MAY 11, 2006
The corruption virus has hit sunny San Diego, California in a big way. While disgraced former Congressman Randy Cunningham sits in jail for taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors, his friend and former House colleague is being investigated for perhaps doing the same thing.
Federal authorities have launched an investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who happens to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The Republican from Redlands questioned the investigation saying: “For goodness sake, why would they be doing that?”
Here is a good reason. As head of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Lewis has approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal projects and a lot of the money has gone to clients represented by a lobbyist who happens to be the Congressman’s good friend. The lobbyist is Bill Lowery, a former San Diego Congressman, who owns a Washington firm that represents a defense contractor that has donated thousands of dollars to Lewis’s campaigns over the years.
Drawing further suspicion is the fact that a research organization called Taxpayers for Common Sense recently revealed that Lewis has earmarked at least $70 million in federal funds to a software company that happens to be one of Lowery’s biggest clients. The company, Environmental Systems Research Institute, has paid Lowery’s firm more than $320,000 in “lobbying” fees.
Instapundit calls Lewis a Porkmeister extraordinaire for his infamous multi-million dollar earmarks and Down With Tyranny writes that Lewis is the congressional king of earmarks who likely sucked up many millions in bribes from his criminal association with GOP lobbyist Bill Lowery.
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