Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You'd Think They'd Learn The Lesson

Few people outside of northern West Virginia know the name Alan Mollohan.  Even though he was just run out of his congressional office in November last.  How quickly political thieves fade into history in this country. 

For his shameful story, go here:

Here's the nut of the story from 2009 that got the voters in his district aroused:
Mollohan has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice since 2006 for not reporting his income and misusing his position on the House Appropriations Committee by funneling millions of dollars of earmarks to friends and associates, including five West Virginia non-profits created by the congressman: Vandalia, MountainMade, the Institute for Scientific Research, the West Virginia High Technology Consortium, and the Canaan Valley Institute.
Though the man was never indicted, Mollohan was sent into ignominious exile on election day.  The people, as it turns out, will allow only so much corruption before they call a halt to it.

Well, we may be heading down that road again.  This time in Kentucky.  The exact same road:
Hal Rogers’ empire of nonprofits under scrutiny
By John Bresnahan, Politico

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), the new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has funneled more than $236 million in federal funds since 2000 to a web of nonprofit groups he created back home in the Bluegrass State, according to a new report by an ethics watchdog group.

Another group of private firms linked to Rogers and the nonprofit companies received another $227 million in federal loans, grants and contracts during the same period, a three-month investigation by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found.

Rogers’ family members, current and former aides, donors and business associates have benefited personally from the congressman’s largesse with federal dollars, according to the report. For instance, Rogers’ son, John, worked for one Kentucky company - Senture - that received a $4 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security with Rogers’ help back in 2004.

Rogers, dubbed the “Prince of Pork” by his critics for obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks during his 27-year stint on the Appropriations Committee, has come under scrutiny in recent years from conservatives and anti-spending groups — including for earmarking money for a cheetah conservation program where his daughter Allison worked, among dozens of other projects.

The nonprofit groups set up by Rogers comprise an alphabet soup of acronyms: the Center for Rural Development, Inc. (CRD), Forward in the Fifth, Inc. (FIF), Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, Inc. (SKED), Southern & Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association, Inc. (TOUR SEKY), Eastern Kentucky Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment, Inc. (PRIDE), Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education, Inc. (UNITE), and the National Institute for Hometown Security, Inc. (NIHS).

Rogers touts these groups on his official website as having “brought local communities together by revitalizing the environment, providing hope in the fight against drugs, building small businesses, and creating jobs by increasing tourism in one of the most beautiful regions of the country.” [link]
In Alan Mollohan's case, the Justice Department ultimately decided not to pursue an indictment, because what the congressman had been doing was not illegal.  It was just unethical as hell.

So too with Rogers's misuse of taxpayer money.

Let's hope the good people of Kentucky send this joker to the same retirement home Mollohan rests in these days come November, 2012.