Today’s Hill reports that Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) has decided to step away for the day to day chairmanship of his Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee for the fiscal year 2010 appropriations season in order to focus on the ethics investigation that is tightening around him.
According to the Hill, Visclosky made the announcement after it became public last week that the feds had descended on his congressional and campaign offices with subpoenas. He is currently under scrutiny for his involvement in the growing PMA scandal; an investigation into the possibility that he and perhaps other members of Congress may have exchanged earmarks for illegal campaign contributions (say it ain’t so!).
Just for giggles, let’s jump into the wayback machine and revisit one of our favorite Visclosky moments, back in July of 2007, when the intrepid Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was trying to get to the bottom of the origins of one of John Murtha’s earmarks.
The earmark certification letter filed by Rep. Murtha had claimed that the money was going to something called the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure, which, oddly, didn’t actually exist. Instead, Rep. Flake’s staff had discovered that the earmark was going to another favored Murtha earmark recipient, Concurrent Technologies Corporation (nobody knows what they do either, by the way, so don’t ask).
Anyway, Rep. Visclosky was standing in for his pal John Murtha on the House floor as Jeff Flake was trying to go all Da Vinci code and get to the bottom of the murky mystery and Rep. Visclosky’s response when asked who was actually getting the money is priceless:
Visclosky: “At this time, I do not know. But if it does not exist then the monies could not go to it.” (This little gem comes about 2:30 into the clip, but make sure to watch it yourself and don’t miss Jeff Flake’s facial expressions after that Kafkaesque statement).
This is the kind of arrogant doubletalk that Rep. Visclosky and his ilk have mastered as they blow smoke on the floor of the House and on TV – not sure how well that sort of bunk is going to go over with the FBI.
Filed under: Pork