Murtha's PMA Group ConnectionsBy Anupama Narayanswamy Feb 10 2009 8:51 p.m.
Half a dozen firms that Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., has sponsored earmarks for in the current defense appropriations bill hired PMA Group, the Washington based defense lobbying firm in 2008. Last night ABC news reported that the FBI raided PMA Group offices in November.
Earlier this year federal investigators raided another company with ties to Murtha, Kuchera Industries, a company that has never hired PMA Group but has received several earmarks from Murtha in the past years. In the 2008 election cycle Kuchera's employees have given $11,500 to Murtha's campaign.
In March 2008, Murtha submitted these letters requesting funding for 26 different projects in his home state and for other defense contractors based outside Pennsylavania including two projects to be awarded to Kuchera. The exact amounts directed to the companies do not have to be disclosed in these letters.
MTS Technologies is another company based in Johnstown, Pa., Murtha's home district, that has hired PMA Group to lobby on defense appropriations and the company's employees have given as much as $23,000 in the last election cycle. MTS has two earmark requests to their name sponsored by Murtha. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, PMA Group's clients have secured earmarks worth a total of $299 million. In 2008 lobbyists for the PMA Group have given $15,930 to Murtha, and most of these donations were made in the last four days of October, according to lobbyists' campaign donation records filed with the House Clerks Office.
17 of the 26 companies slated to get earmarks sponsored by Murtha have made a total of $150,000 in campaign contributions to the Congressman's campaign in the last election cycle. Of these 26 companies the largest donation comes from employees of Argon ST, a defense contractor based in Fairfax, Va. They have given over $30,000 to Murtha's campaign in the last two years, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. In the past too, the company has received earmarks from Murtha and have hired the PMA Group to lobby on their behalf.
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