Swamp springs a leak – lobbyist pleads guilty

September 17, 2010 13:35

EX-LOBBYIST PLEADS GUILTY TO CORRUPTION: Paul Magliocchetti, the former head of PMA Group, will plead guilty to charges of corruption next week, the Associated Press reports.

From OpenSecrets.org

Magliocchetti had originally pleaded not guilty in late August, but with his son also pleading guilty to related charges, and the threat of other family members being forced to testify against him, Magliocchetti will change his plea on Sept. 24. Charged with making hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal campaign contributions, Magliocchetti faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Before Magliocchetti faced an 11-count indictment of various corruption charges, he had been one of Washington’s power players. As head of the PMA Group, Magliocchetti was a successful lobbying, utilizing his connections with the House Appropriations Committee to secure earmarks while making significant campaign contributions to preferred members. Since 1989, Magliocchetti and his employees at PMA Group contributed $3.4 million to federal politicians and political interests. Since his indictment however, the PMA Group has disbanded, with its employees scattering to various other lobbying firms.

OpenSecrets.org previous coverage

Paul Magliocchetti, the former head of now-defunct lobbying shop PMA Group, was indicted Thursday in federal court on charges he made hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.

And contribute Magliocchetti did: A Center for Responsive Politics analysis indicates that he and his spouses together donated more than $792,000 to federal-level candidates and political committees since the 1990 election cycle.

The majority of that total — $475,000 — came recently, during the 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles, the Center’s analysis finds.

In all since the 1990 election cycle, Magliocchetti and his spouses (he divorced and remarried) contributed to the campaigns and/or leadership PACs of 135 federal-level political candidates. Of them, he and his spouses contributed at least $10,000 to the campaign committees and leadership PACs of 18 federal-level candidates.

Among the top recipients of Magliocchetti cash:

Magliocchetti also donated $17,000 to the late-Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), for whom he once worked as an aide. The Office of Congressional Ethics investigated Murtha and other lawmakers for having questionable ties to PMA Group.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($36,500), National Republican Congressional Committee ($20,000) and Democratic Party of Pennsylvania ($11,500) rank as federally registered campaign committees receiving five-figure sums from Magliocchetti and his spouces.

For a full Center vetting of Magliocchetti-related campaign contributions, click here to download a spreadsheet: Magliocchetticontribs.xlsx or Magliocchetticontribs1.xls (Note: You must credit the Center for Responsive Politics when using this data.)

Magliocchetti hasn’t donated a dime this election cycle to federal-level candidates, with his last contribution coming in early November 2008, weeks before federal officials raided the PMA Group.

He now faces a world of legal hurt. His son, Mark Magliocchetti, on Thursday pleaded guilty to one count of making an illegal campaign contribution, portraying his father in a sworn statement as as “the mastermind” of a campaign contribution fraud scheme, the Washington Post reported today.

As our own Summer Lollie reported this morning: “Magliocchetti was charged with three counts of making false statements and eight counts of illegal campaign contributions, allegedly reimbursing employees, family members and friends who made contributions.”


Former congressman John Murtha also had ties to the PMA Group as reported in FrontPageMag.com:

‘By the time of his death, Murtha had been caught intervening on behalf of a law-breaking Pennsylvania company convicted of selling military equipment parts illegally overseas; had steered unprecedented billions in federal earmarks to friends, family and donors; had earned multiple “most corrupt in Congress” designations from both the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the right-leaning Judicial Watch; and had remained intimately tied to PMA Group, a former lobbying firm under federal investigation, and Kuchera Industries, a defense contractor also under federal investigation.’

And more about John Murtha and PMA from Judicial Watch ‘Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2009′:

‘Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman’s largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks — tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA’s offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, “Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills.” When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, “cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file.” The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha’s nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: “Newly obtained documents…show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military.”‘

Maybe when the Republicans take the House and Congressman Darrell Issa becomes chairman of the Congressional Oversight committee he can get a little more of the swamp drained including that bunch of crocs at the White House.


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