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Yes, West Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus
American Spectator ^ | 10 Apr 06

Posted on 04/10/2006 6:56:24 AM PDT by rellimpank

House Democrat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was aware of the story being developed against one of her members, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), and his questionable finances and the ensuing political troubles, yet did nothing to act on that knowledge.

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Mollohan's income and assets grew from the mundane (no more than $565,000 in 2000) to the magnificent (about $6 million, give or take a couple hundred thou in 2004). As the weekend wore down, while House Speaker Dennis Hastert was calling for Mollohan to step aside as ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, the West Virginia Democrat's leadership was standing by him

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: 109th; alanbowlbymollohan; alanmollohan; corruption; corruptpoliticians; democrats; disclosure; houseethics; mollohan; pelosi; wheelingwv; wv1
--and it's not even about "Sheets" Byrd--
1 posted on 04/10/2006 6:56:25 AM PDT by rellimpank
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To: rellimpank

If he was a republican, CNN would be running this story non-stop.

2 posted on 04/10/2006 7:09:44 AM PDT by NapkinUser (Secure our borders, no amnesty.)
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To: rellimpank

Great headline. LOL!

3 posted on 04/10/2006 7:18:26 AM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
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To: NapkinUser
Congressman's Special Projects Bring Complaints
By JODI RUDOREN, NYTimes, April 8, 2006

(snip)The most ambitious effort by the congressman, Alan B. Mollohan, is a glistening glass-and-steel structure with a swimming pool, sauna and spa rising in a former cow pasture in Fairmont, W.Va., thanks to $103 million of taxpayer money he garnered through special spending allocations known as earmarks.

The headquarters building is likely to sit largely empty upon completion this summer, because the Mollohan-created organization that it was built for, the Institute for Scientific Research, is in disarray, its chief executive having resigned under a cloud of criticism over his $500,000 annual compensation, also paid by earmarked federal money.

The five organizations have diverse missions but form a cozy, cross-pollinated network in the forlorn former coal capitals of north-central West Virginia. Mr. Mollohan has recruited many of their top employees and board members, including longtime friends or former aides, who in turn provide him with steady campaign contributions and positive publicity in their newsletters.

The conservative National Legal and Policy Center in Falls Church, Va., filed a 500-page complaint with the United States attorney for the District of Columbia on Feb. 28 challenging the accuracy of Mr. Mollohan's financial disclosure forms. The forms show a sharp spike in assets and income from rental properties from 2000 to 2004. (excerpt)

National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC)
WV’s Mollohan Subject of Federal Investigation; He’s Top Democrat on House Ethics Committee, Huntington News.
Appropriations, Local Ties And Now a Probe of a Legislator, Wall Street Journal (Subscription required).
4 posted on 04/10/2006 8:10:49 AM PDT by demoRat watcher (Keeper of the Anthropocentrism Ping List)
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To: NapkinUser
FYI: Mollohan was first elected in 1982 to a seat long held by his father.

More details from the Wall Street Journal (Link in post #3)

The House Ethics Committee, on which Mr. Mollohan is the senior Democrat, cautions lawmakers about ties to private entities because of the risk of actions inconsistent with their obligation to the public. The ethics panel has been unable to function -- despite the Abramoff corruption scandal, Washington's biggest in years -- because of a partisan squabble over staffing in which Mr. Mollohan has led his party's forces.

The article goes on to note that Mr. Mollohan received campaign donations from MZM Inc. MZM gave $23,000 to one of Mollohan's PACs. Mollohan claims he has given the MZM donations to charity.

Mrs. Barbara Mollohan manages rental units in The Remington, a 52-unit condo building in DC. Half of these quarter million dollar units are co-owned by the Mollohans and Joe Jarvis. Jarvis has been awarded several contracts from earmarks provided by Mollohan through the Dept of Energy.

Mr. Mollohan is well-positioned to press for earmarks. He has sat on the Appropriations Committee since 1986 and is the senior Democrat on a subcommittee handling appropriations for science projects and the departments of State, Justice and Commerce.

The technology park which is home to the ISR glass tower has a building named the Alan B. Mollohan Center for Innovation.

Government contractors and executives of the nonprofit groups in his network regularly give to his campaign and to an affiliated political-action committee, Summit PAC. A third conduit for funds is the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, named for the congressman's father. It holds an annual charity golf tournament at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W.Va., named a top-100 course by Golf Magazine. The tournament has been very successful. It received $455,000 in contributions in 2003 -- the latest available figures -- from government contractors and other firms. The donors included at least two of the federally funded nonprofits, ISR and Vandalia.

The West Virginia High Technology Consortium is another Mollohan-backed nonprofit. The consortium has announced plans to take over ISR (and its glass tower) in the near future. Hmmm... How good of them to come to the rescue.

More on Mollohan's circle of friends:

Mollohan, has $2 million worth of property on Bald Head Island, N.C., co-owned with Laura Kurtz Kuhns, a former staff-member. Ms. Kuhns seems to be at the center of all of this District 1 corruption. Quoting the Wall Street Journal again:

Since 2000, she has run Vandalia, which has won $28 million in the past five years in federal funding to rehabilitate historic buildings and invest in depressed real estate in the district, largely through Mollohan-backed earmarks. Besides ISR, she serves on the board of MountainMade Foundation, a small federally funded nonprofit dedicated to promoting West Virginia crafts. She's also on the board of the only out-of-state foundation to get Mr. Mollohan's backing, the National Housing Development Corp. It is a California group that has won $31 million in earmarks over five years.

Mrs. Kuhns claims innocence, noting that "All of these entities are rigorously audited."

Jack Carpenter is vice president of the consortium and chairman of the MountainMade board.

Raymond Oliverio is executive VP of the consortium and concurrently serves as treasurer for the Robert H. Mollohan Foundation.

Nick Fantasia, mayor of Fairmont, is chairman of the Vandalia Redevelopment Corporation.

Gina Fantasia--Mayor Fantasia's sister--is Vandalia's legal counsel. She previously worked for the Institute for Scientific Research.

The Wall Street Journal adds more detail on Mollohan's interwoven "non-profit" money-laundering schemes:

ISR is the largest nonprofit funded by Mr. Mollohan's efforts, winning at least $76 million of federal spending through his earmarks in the past five years. It paid its top three executives a total of $777,000 in 2004, the latest available figures. The president of ISR, James Estep, said in an interview that it has created hundreds of West Virginia jobs and nurtured dozens of high-tech companies. From his office overlooking the I-79 Technology Park -- on 500 acres largely purchased with federal funds -- Mr. Estep pointed to bulldozers at a building site. "This was cow pasture in 1995. Now there are 1,000 people working here," he said.

The research center will offer laboratory and office space and huge manufacturing bays built into the mountain. Mr. Estep said he won't have trouble drawing tenants. Until then, he said he would fill part of the new building with a small robot-manufacturing firm spun off from the West Virginia High Technology Consortium -- another group funded by Mollohan-backed earmarks. The robot firm, known as Innovative Response Technologies and now a for-profit, recently won a $10 million Navy contract for 3,500 mobile "BomBots" for remotely inspecting possible roadside bombs.

Mr. Mollohan earmarked $3.75 million in the 2004 and 2005 Defense Department spending bills to develop the robots, funneling the money to the nonprofit consortium. The new Navy contract will be shared with another defense firm in Mr. Mollohan's district that has also been a contributor to his campaign, called Azimuth Corp.

All of the infusions of federal taxpayers' money into this overpriced "technology hub" will do nothing to guarantee its future existence. It is highly unlikely that, without corporate affiliates, the hub will thrive, let alone survive.

But then again, how does one define success? Mollohan and his inner circle have succeeded in becoming extraordinarily wealthy...
5 posted on 04/10/2006 9:21:59 AM PDT by demoRat watcher (Keeper of the Anthropocentrism Ping List)
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To: Clintonfatigued; fieldmarshaldj; Kuksool; JohnnyZ; Coop; William Creel; zbigreddogz

More info on (allegedly) ethically challenged West Virginia Congressman Mollohan. This could be a potential upset in the making (President Bush carried the district handily in 2004).

6 posted on 04/10/2006 10:51:54 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (
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To: AuH2ORepublican


7 posted on 04/10/2006 11:31:37 AM PDT by Coop (Proud founding member of GCA - Gruntled Conservatives of America)
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To: Coop

Check this out (plus the story and posts above it):

8 posted on 04/10/2006 11:59:15 AM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (
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To: AuH2ORepublican

Do we have an even remotely realistic challenger for this seat? Has this guy already won the primary? Can they use the Torecelli option here at the last minute, or do they have to pick someone pretty fast?

9 posted on 04/10/2006 1:46:53 PM PDT by zbigreddogz
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To: zbigreddogz

The filing deadline for major-party candidates already passed, and the primary is on May 9.

Given that Mollohan is running unopposed in the Democrat primary, I don't know what would happen should the scandal blow wide open prior to May 9. Maybe he can withdraw prior to the primary, but more likely he'd stay in and win the nomination and then withdraw, with the WV Democrat Party (or maybe the county committees within the district) naming the Democrat nominee. Another thing to keep an eye out for is someone jumping into the race as an independent---the deadline for independent candidacies is May 8.

Of course, it is more likely that Mollohan would stay in the race until the end, and it will be up to Republican state Delegate Chris Wakim to exploit Mollohan's corruption and try to capture a district that by all rights should be in the GOP column.

10 posted on 04/10/2006 2:27:35 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (
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To: rellimpank

There may be more column inches on this in the single issue of the Spectator or in that of the single issue of the WSJ than in ALL the subsequent daily newspapers of West Virginia.

11 posted on 04/11/2006 8:07:13 AM PDT by mtntop3 ("He who must know before he believes will never come to full knowledge.")
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