Entry in progress—B.P.
The Center for Public Integrity
Stimulating Hypocrisy: Scores of Recovery Act Opponents Sought Money Out of Public View
By John Solomon and Aaron Mehta | October 17, 2010
The law promised to pump $787 billion into the American economy to “create new jobs and save existing ones, spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth, [and] foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending.” A portion of the money was passed out to various government agencies, which in turn decided what projects should be awarded grants.
While the legislation passed through Congress without any traditional earmarks, lawmakers have worked behind the scenes, cajoling agencies to secure stimulus money for their favored projects for constituents and donors.
The practice — known among lobbyists as “lettermarking” — has been controversial for years. For instance, infamous superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, since convicted on charges related to fraud and bribery, often arranged for lawmakers to send letters to agencies pressing for appropriation funds, then followed up with donations to the lawmakers who acquiesced.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, October 18, 2010 • Permalink