As Jason Altmire sees it, Melissa Hart has some explaining to do.Bob Ney, in case you were wondering, is expected to plead guilty for multiple counts of corruption. He's also the idiot that behind that whole "freedom fries" idea in the House restaurants.
Altmire, the Democratic challenger to the 4th Congressional District Republican incumbent, isn’t alleging any criminal action by Ms. Hart took place, but he is raising questions about her relationship with U.S. Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.
According to the federal campaign finance Web site tray.com, Ms. Hart — who represents Farrell, West Middlesex, Shenango Township and a sliver of Hermitage — and Ney were among four members of Congress who formed a joint fundraising committee — Good Government 2004 — during the 2003 and 2004 election cycle.$21,000 is a nice piece of change.
Based on information reported at tray.com’s PoliticalMoneyLine, the committee reported receipts and disbursements of $93,185 from Aug. 15, 2003 to March 11, 2004. Disbursements after $3,427 in operating expenses totaled $89,279, with Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. and Patrick Tiberia, R-Ohio getting $23,358 each, Ney receiving $21,441 and Ms. Hart $21,122.
But what about "Good Government 2004"? According to the FEC filing documents, the office for "Good Government 2004" was at
1401 H STREET NW SUITE 1200Which also happens to be the address for the Investment Company Institute. Indeed the ICI's PAC has the exact same address.
WASHINGTON, DC 20005
The ICI, according to the Wikipedia is an invenstment company trade organization that does extensive lobbying on behalf of its members.
Turns out that the chair of the House Financial Services Committee is up for grabs soon. Take a look here.
While the race for the gavel at the House Financial Services Committee has recently become a hot topic on K Street, many financial-industry giants already have let their money speak for them.Bauchus, you will recall, was one of the four members of "Good Government 2004".
The contenders to succeed Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), who announced earlier this month that he would retire at the end of this session, have been waging subtle campaigns. Lobbyists consider the field to be smaller than earlier anticipated — Oxley’s heir, they say, will be either Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.) or Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.).
Mutual funds, under Baker’s jurisdiction and the focus of unwelcome congressional scrutiny over the past several years, have given nearly equal amounts to the two lawmakers this year through their industry trade association, the Investment Company Institute (ICI). Last year, however, the ICI formed an alliance with Bachus when its then-president and top lobbyist served as treasurers of Bachus’s joint fundraising committee.I think we may be getting somewhere.
Bachus’s partners in that now-defunct committee, Good Government 2004, were Reps. Melissa Hart (R-Pa.) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio), said to have an interest in taking the Financial Services gavel at the end of this Congress.
But where is Missy's part in all this? Her spokesperson explains:
Ms. Hart’s campaign manager Luke Myslinski explained the committee was formed by the four lawmakers to for a “specific event,” which allowed donors to write one check to the committee before it eventually was split four ways.There may not be illegalities, but there are certainly questions. What was the event?, why would Ney pick Hart to be a part of "Good Government 2004"? What does Missy Hart have to do with the House Financial Services Committee?
“There was no personal involvement between Melissa Hart and Bob Ney,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of Ms. Hart, Myslinski also said there’s “absolutely no connection” between the event and what Ney has admitted doing and it’s “ludicrous” for anyone to attempt to connect them.
"The only connection is they served in Congress together, so you could make the connection to 433 other members of Congress,” Myslinski said.
And considering how dirty Ney was, we do have a right to wonder exactly what connections exist between Melissa Hart and the soon-to-be-incarcerated Bob Ney.