Thursday, March 23, 2006

Joe Knollenberg: A Connection to Corruption?

When you look back at Bern Ewert’s contributions to other campaigns over the years [NOTE: click the link and then insert Ewert, Henry into the boxes before you hit the Get Listings button], the ones that stand out in my opinion are two to Joe Knollenberg for Congress, a Republican Congressman from Michigan. Of the $1550 that was donated over the years, $1000 was donated on May 2, 2002 (in two $500 amounts). While Bern related to a group in Danville on February 25, 2006, that the donations were a business investment involving a project in Northern Virginia, it is interesting that neither his business nor his occupation are listed on those receipts. Even more interesting are the ties that are being exposed between Joe Knollenberg and Brent Wilkes, one of the co-conspirators in the Randy “Duke” Cunningham case along with Mitchell Wade of MZM.

And this is not the only association with lobbyists or the connection to corruption. Just recently Knollenberg received bad press for a trip to Hawaii with his wife that was paid for by lobbyists for the American Association of Airport Executives. He has also received over $10,000 from Tom Delay’s ARMPAC (and voted with Delay approximately 96% of the time). In addition, the Democratic National Committee quoted a December 2005 New York Times article where Knollenberg had

“inserted a provision into a transportation bill that earmarked $8.3 million dollars to Amtrak if the railroad company dramatically increased the amount of freight it hauls. The sole supplier of rail cars to haul such freight is ExpressTrak, a company owned by one of Knollenberg's largest donors, Anthony Soave.”

Even Joe’s own constituents are upset about the corruption they see in him.

All this information makes me wonder what type of project Bern was doing in Northern Virginia in 2002 and what Joe Knollenberg was voting on.


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