Jul 31, 2009
Dennis Ross Boasts NRCC Chairman Sesssions’ Endorsement In Midst of Earmark Scandal
Florida State Rep. Dennis Ross accepted the endorsement of NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) yesterday as news broke that Sessions was involved in an earmark scandal.
"Dennis Ross' decision to promote NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions' endorsement as news broke of Sessions' involvement in an earmark scandal raises serious questions about Ross' judgment," said Jessica Santillo, Southern Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Does Dennis Ross agree with NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions' decision to spend $1.6 million taxpayer dollars for improving blimps to an out-of-state company with no experience in government contracting or building blimps?"
- The St. Petersburg Times reported that NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions announced the NRCC's endorsement of Dennis Ross in a letter. [Dennis Ross gets NRCC backing in bid to replace Adam Putnam, St. Petersburg Times, 6/30/09]
- Politico reports that NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions "steered a $1.6 million earmark for dirigible research to an Illinois company whose president acknowledges having no experience in government contracting, let alone in building blimps." Lobbyist Adrian Plesha, a former Sessions aide with a criminal record, was paid more than $446,000 for lobbying on behalf of the Illinois company. Exclusive: Earmark critic steered cash to blimp, former aide, The Politico, 7/30/09
- Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group that tracks earmarks said, "This underscores that the lack of accountability undercuts transparency in earmarks. Right now it is all self-policing and there is no punishment for fudging the facts or obfuscating the details. We find all kinds of shenanigans: lawmakers laundering the true beneficiary behind government agencies, listing the prime contractor as the beneficiary when it is really a local subcontractor or, in this case listing an address that has little to do with the true earmark recipient." [Lawmakers' Honor Required in Reporting Earmark Details, CQ, 7/30/09]