Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is Pete Sessions full of hot air?

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) better watch out, or he could go down in flames. Ok...enough blimp humor. But seriously, how is Sessions going to explain this?

[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.

What the company did have: the help of Adrian Plesha, a former Sessions
aide with a criminal record who has made more than $446,000 lobbying on its

As Benen points out, it's par for the course for Congressmen to steer earmarks towards their district. Delivering the pork to the constituents is usually the only "accomplishment" most Congressmen can ever point to.

While lawmakers routinely support earmarks for their home district and/or
state, this particular measure has nothing to do with Sessions' Dallas-area
district. The company, Jim G. Ferguson & Associates, is based in a Chicago
suburb. It has an office in Texas, but it's 300 miles from Sessions'

What's more, when Sessions submitted the earmark, he used a Dallas
address for the company, but it was actually the address of a friend of one of
the company's executives.

It looks a little suspicious. The leaders of Jim G. Ferguson &
Associates admit they have no background in aviation or defense, and no
expertise in engineering or research. It's why it seems odd that Sessions would
direct $1.6 million to the company... got some explaining to do.

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