Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Follow the bouncing ball of corruption

OK, remember how Rep. Jerry Lewis - R, CA, is under investigation? He has close ties with former representative Bill Lowery who, if you'll recall, lost his seat in the House to former representative, now prisoner, Randy 'Duke' Cunningham. One of Lowery's employees at his lobbying firm is a former staffer for Rep. Lewis. Her name is Letitia White and she is also under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Apparently, while employed with Mr. Lewis, Ms. White was an ardent supporter of defense contractor Trident Systems, Inc. Upon leaving Mr. Lewis' employment, Ms. White set up as a lobbyist. Her first signed client? Trident Systems, Inc. who left two other lobbyists and paid an initial $360,000 to Ms. White for her assistance. Who did they need to lobby? Why, Mr. Lewis, of course. For her work, Ms. White got Trident an earmark contract worth $2 million in 2005.

Ms. White probably helped Trident win more contracts. She left Mr. Lewis and went to work for Lowery's firm in January 2003. Oddly enough, in December of 2003 Ms. White and one Mr. Karangelen bought a townhouse together behind the Library of Congress for a flat one million dollars. Mr. Karangelen is one of the owners of Trident. He and his wife stay in one half of the house while Ms. White shares the other half with her husband. Neither Ms. White nor Mr. Karangelen list the house as their primary residence. No word yet on how the cost of the price of the house was split.

Not criminal, yet, but it sure smells fishy. I swear, you just can't make this shit up. Washington, D.C. corruption and nepotism is rampant and ugly and it affects the spending priorities of our country. When the novel on this topic is thoroughly vetted, we're going to need multiple flow charts to demonstrate the ties of corruption. Go to Harper's and TPMmuckraker for the full details.

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