Skip to comments.Weldon faces probe on daughter's deals
Posted on 10/15/2006 5:21:16 AM PDT by Alissa
The FBI is investigating whether Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, two people familiar with the inquiry said Saturday.
The inquiry focuses on lobbying contracts worth $1 million that Weldon's daughter, Karen Weldon, obtained from foreign clients and whether they were assisted by the congressman, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the criminal investigation.
Weldon, a 10-term Republican from the Philadelphia suburbs, long has denied any wrongdoing, and his top aide said Saturday no one had notified him of an investigation.
"I think if there was an investigation, somebody would have contacted us," said Russ Caso, Weldon's chief of staff.
Caso said Weldon and his staff were "100 percent caught off guard" when they learned of the investigation, first reported late Friday by McClatchy Newspapers. This account cited two individuals with specific knowledge of the existence of the investigation; they declined to be identified because of the confidentiality of criminal investigations.
Caso, whose boss is in a tight race for re-election on Nov. 7 against Democrat Joe Sestak, tried to cast doubt on reports of the investigation. "Unidentified sources mean nothing," Caso said. "There's no substance in that story. It's a flimsy story."
Two people familiar with the investigation told the AP on Saturday that the inquiry was being handled by agents from the FBI's field offices in Washington and Philadelphia and was being coordinated by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the FBI declined comment Saturday.
Those two people familiar with the investigation confirmed that federal agents were examining Weldon's work between 2002 and 2004 to help two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers connected to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. They had hired Solutions North America Inc., a company operated by Karen Weldon and Charles Sexton, a Republican ally of the congressman.
Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services committee, is a Russian speaker regarded by some as a foreign policy expert who has clashed at times with the Bush administration.
Over the last few days, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has mailed fliers to voters in Weldon's district accusing Karen Weldon of getting help from her father on lobbying projects.
Michael Puppio, Weldon's campaign manager, questioned the timing of the mailing and published reports about the investigation. He accused Democrats of "attempting to smear the congressman and his entire family" in the final weeks of the campaign.
Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the DCCC, said it's "bizarre, paranoid and absurd" for the Weldon campaign to imply there's a link in the timing of the mailing and the published reports.
The Weldon investigation comes at a critical time for Republicans who are fighting to maintain a majority in the House of Representatives in a midst of scandals.
On Friday, Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, which has touched on federal lawmakers, former aides and members of the Bush administration.
At the same time, an inquiry is under way on Capitol Hill into whether Republican House leaders or their top aides covered up questionable behavior of former Rep. Mark Foley toward teenage males who worked as House pages.
And they forgot all about Harry Reid.
Why am I not suprised?
3 or so weeks before the Election, THIS is typical AP "Media" BULLSHIT!
From the local news in Marin County.....
Point Reyes Light - May 22, 2003
Supes to fight Miwok's casino
By Andrew Pridgen
Upset that the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria want to build a casino in Sonoma County or even Marin County, the County of Marin is hurriedly seeking state and local legislation to limit Indian tribes' abilities to build casinos wherever they please.
Congress [Boxer] restored the tribal status of Marin and Sonoma Coast Miwok earlier this year after Rancheria chairman Greg Sarris vowed that the tribe would not get into the gambling business. All the Miwok wanted, he said, were the health, housing, and education benefits that other recognized tribes receive.
However, within four months after tribal status was restored, Sarris announced the tribe had been working with Las Vegas-based Station Casinos Inc. to erect a huge casino on 1,679 acres at Lakeville Road and Highway 37.
Sonoma County supervisors immediately went on record against the proposal but promised to make a "good-faith effort" to help the Miwok find a suitable casino site in Marin or Sonoma county. Sarris did not rule out Marin County as a casino site if plans to build in southern Sonoma County fall through.
Alarmed that the Miwokscasino might end up here, Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey will hold an emergency meeting this week with the county's lobbyist in Sacramento, Cathy Christian, and with US Senator Dianne Feinstein to introduce state and federal legislation to put restrictions on where Indian casinos can be built. Kinsey sympathetic but...
Kinsey "is very sympathetic to the historical persecution they have faced though he's not interested in supporting a casino in Marin County or Sonoma County," his aide Liza Crosse told The Light Wednesday.
Along with Kinsey, Marin Supervisor Cynthia Murray of Novato this week expressed strong opposition to the casino. With Station Casinos Inc. bankrolling the casino (in exchange for 25 percent of its take), Sarris said it could be built anywhere from Sausalito to Santa Rosa. With one of the largest amounts of open space in the tribe's traditional territory being in West Marin, Kinsey wants to draft legislation that "would be important to Marin residents should there be any talk of building a casino here," Crosse said.
New legislation would also unite counties like Sonoma and Marin in a fight against this state's loose tribal-gambling privileges, Supervisor Murray said Tuesday. Environmental damage
"The consequences of the state and federal government denying local governments land use authority causes great fiscal, social, and environmental damage that are funded on the backs of taxpayers," Murray added.
However, whether state or federal law could be passed before ground is broken on the Graton Rancheria casino is uncertain.
"Maybe it would be too late," Crosse admitted. "That's just something we'll have to wait and see. The sooner [Kinsey] acts, the sooner we find out more. And the sooner different counties and the state start working together, the better."
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday announced they and several other California counties will also lobby Gov. Gray Davis to force gaming tribes to adhere to state environmental standards, local health and safety issues, as well as local authorities.
A pro-gambling governor
Whether such lobbying can succeed is unknown. As governor, Davis has presided over the largest expansion of gambling in US history, legalizing slot machines, casino-style card games, on-line betting, and high-stakes card rooms. Such card rooms are the biggest revenue producers for tribes but in other states have attracted criminal activity.
Indian gambling interests in California have contributed $2 million to Davis political campaigning and spread another $121 million among other legislators.
In addition, the Graton Rancheria casino has hired attorney Doug Boxer, son of Sen. Barbara Boxer, lobbyist Darius Anderson, and former Clinton spokesman Chris Lehane as advocates.
Both Boxer and Anderson own part of Kenwood Investments, the company that will help broker the land sale in Sonoma to the tribe.
Meanwhile, grassroots opposition met Tuesday night at the Novato City Council chambers. More than 60 residents, including members of the ad hoc group No Las Vegas in Northbay, spoke against building a casino in Sonoma or Marin.
Point Reyes Light Cover
boy, you can sure tell when Election Day is drawing near can't you!!
According to this report Weldon has demanded a retarction of the story and refutes many of the 'facts'.
Lets not forget the biggest one of all: Clinton used his influence to get Monica a job at Revlon!
retarction = retraction (spell check is our friend)
typical dem hit job....no named sources!!!....no msm coverage or mention of reid (d) but weldon...they will be all over this like white on rice!
2 standards ...every election and all the time...the republicans must run against 2 opponents that are one and the same...the lib/dems & their mouth piece msm ...the msm gets all their new from the dnc talking points!!!
*** They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the criminal investigation.***
If they cant speak and be named they shouldnt speak at all.
Speaking on condition of anonoymity is Bullshit. Whoeever spoke should be fired. Thats right found out and fired.
Or perhaps the news source made this story up themselves,and claims they got it from anonymous sources. The nes source should be arrested and prove their story or punished..
Very interesting! Thanks
Gee...you'd think there was a big-@ss election coming up in a few we...Oh. Nevermind, LOL!
"........used his influence to secure lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter"
Sounds like a job perk to me.
When It Comes To Family Members Who Lobby The Government, Reid Is In A Class By Himself. At least 17 senators and 11 members of the House have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants, most in Washington . . . . But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reids help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator. In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington. So pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevadas leading industries and institutions that its difficult to find a significant field in which such a relationship does not exist. (Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper, In Nevada, The Name To Know Is Reid, Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2003)
Who needs the Democrats when the GOP has enemies within Justice, State and the Pentagon who are willing and eager to eat their own, just before an election.
This is the BUSH Department of Justice, need I remind you? You know, the one which is keeping the Fitzgerald-Plame farce going, the one which is throwing solid Republican "Dog" Chapman to the wolves, and the one which gave Sandy Berger a wrist slap for treason. Janet Reno might as well still be running it.
Someone tell me with a straight face that the Democrats don't have friends in this Justice Department.
You have to buy the premise that THERE IS AN INVESTIGATION!
There is NO "BUSH Department of Justice" only the "Department of "Justice"(jack-booted thugs)" .
See this getting legs, soon to be drum rolled on every 15m "news break". Can't blame em though, since it is actual news when repub might possibly have wandered from the path of virtue, while dims wallow in corruption as a matter of policy. Example, death of "studds" who shamelessly buggered and defied those who thought "gee, tht's not right" now eulogized as hero to the underdog, vs Foley. Tar and feathers is the only answer.
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