The above is from “Thoughts and Prayers and N.R.A. Funding” by By DAVID LEONHARDT, IAN PRASAD PHILBRICK and STUART A. THOMPSON, New York Times, OCT. 4, 2017. Smucker is 7th on NRA’s recipient list in the US House, based on career totals. This is all the more impressive after serving 8 years in the PA legislature and now in only his first year in the US House.
By Zephyr Teachout, New York Times, April 29, 2016
THIS week, the Supreme Court heard McDonnell v. United States, the case of Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia who is appealing his 2014 conviction for public corruption. Although the court’s ruling is not expected until June, in Wednesday’s hearing several justices seemed set on undermining a central, longstanding federal bribery principle: that officials should not accept cash or gifts in exchange for giving special treatment to a constituent.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer dismissed the idea that, in the absence of a strong limiting principle, federal law could criminalize a governor who accepted a private constituent’s payment in exchange for intervening with a constituent problem. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. expressed disbelief that an official requesting agency action on behalf of a big donor would be a problem. A majority seemed ready to defend pay-to-play as a fundamental feature of our constitutional system of government.
In September 2014, after a six-week trial, a federal jury convicted Mr. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on multiple counts of extortion under the Hobbs Act, a key statute against political corruption, and honest-services fraud. It was not a complicated case. Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the chief executive of a dietary supplement manufacturer, Star Scientific, had showered the governor and first lady with gifts in return for favors.
We’re not talking about a few ham sandwiches. …
keep reading at New York Times
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, SARAH COHEN and KAREN YOURISH, New York Times, OCT. 10, 2015
They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.
Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena…
keep reading at New York Times Map here.
Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Gov. Corbett turned Pennsylvania’s state government into a favor mill for campaign supporters.
Gov. Corbett and his wife accepted a trip from a major campaign donor, which he initially failed to disclose, while the state was considering allowing the donor’s company to operate a fracking waste site without a state permit. Gov. Corbett later appointed the same donor to two state economic boards….
keep reading at Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington