Last month, the Centerreportedthat in 2008, 12 out of 16 members of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee earmarked around $100 million for firms involved in similar circles of potential influence. Critics, including some representatives, say the relationships, at a minimum, create the appearance of corrupting the integrity of the public spending process.
The Center’s new review — relying on lobbyist registration and campaign finance data — found similar relationships involving 10 of the 16 current members of the House panel. In the House version of next year’s defense spending bill, those members obtained 30 earmarks worth $103 million that reward contractors currently or recently employing former personal or subcommittee staffers who have become lobbyists. These lawmakers also all have received campaign cash from the earmark recipients or lobbyists. As in 2008, the 2010 earmarks are for projects that were not requested in the administration’s budget proposal for the Defense Department.
The vast majority of these former staffers lobbied the House specifically on the 2010 defense appropriation bill;
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