Sunday, June 11, 2006


Josh Marshall describes a corruption story that is, even in the context of DeLay, Cunningham et al, breathtaking in its brazenness. Appropriations Committee chair Jerry Lewis hired a high-powered lobbyist, Jeffrey Shockey, to help him divy up the our loot. Before taking the gig with Lewis, Shockey worked at lobbying firm Copeland Lowrey. Now get this: Copeland Lowrey paid him seven figures in "severance" - while he was on the goverment payroll. And the payments were contingent.
Now, you don't have to be too stringent to see that there's a problem here. Shockey's working at Copeland Lowery as an earmark-finder. Then he goes to work as the deputy staff director of the earmark committee, basically an earmark-giver. And he's still being paid by Copeland Lowery, which is of course in the earmark business.

But it's actually worse than that. You have to go to the article in the Times to find out that "under an agreement with Mr. Shockey, the firm waited to see how much money the clients he signed paid the firm in 2005 to determine the full payment."

In other words, Shockey didn't just have a continuing financial interest in Copeland Lowery to the extent he needed them to make enough money to honor their buy-out agreement. His income was still directly tied to how much his 'former' clients paid the firm in 2005 -- while he was working as a congressional staffer.

There's more, of course.

Like I said, the chutzpah just takes your breath away.


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