Former Representative Curt Weldon tried to cut U.S. aid to Moldova in a ploy to regain $2.5 million that a family friend lost in an investment deal gone bad, according to a little-noticed article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Weldon used his perch to personally help his friend – John J. Gallagher – on several other occasions. Gallagher, in turn, appears to have helped Weldon’s daughter Karen Weldon find clients in Russia. Gallagher’s relationship to the Weldon’s has apparently become a topic of the FBI’s corruption investigation. The Inquirer article follows a New York Times piece a few weeks ago on Weldon’s efforts to help Italian arms makers get U.S. defense contracts. Corruption of the kind being investigated in the Weldon case has is part of a larger effort which has revealed that “wrongdoing by public officials at all levels of government is deeply rooted and widespread.”
In January, the public will find out how the Democratic-run Congress intends to address this with new ethics legislation. Meanwhile, House Majority Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s former chief of staff turned lobbyist warned that big business is in trouble with the Democrats…that is unless they “ramp up their public relations efforts.” Gee, that sounds like a not-so-nuanced pitch for business.
-- Beth Daley