Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pennsylvanians deserve better

DNC: Rep. Hart Wrapped Up in Abramoff Pay-To-Play Scandal

11/18/2005 7:19:00 PM
To: State Desk, Political Reporter
Contact: Damien LaVera of the DNC, 202-863-8148


WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Associated Press reported yesterday on the startling number of Republicans in Congress, including Pennsylvania Rep. Melissa Hart, who are embroiled in one of the worst pay-to-play scandals to ever rock the nation's capital. A Senate Indian Affairs Committee investigating the dealings of scandal-plagued Republican super lobbyist Jack Abramoff has learned that Hart is among the more than 30 Congressional Republicans who signed letters on behalf of Abramoff clients just days after Abramoff gave them money or hosted fundraisers for them.

According to the Associated Press, "Rep. Melissa Hart, R-PA., along with more than two dozen other members of Congress, signed a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton on Feb 27, 2002, that helped lobbyist Jack Abramoff's clients. The lawmaker received about $2,000 from Abramoff, his lobbying partners and tribal clients between 2001 and 2004, including roughly $500 in the period around which the letter was sent. Rep. Hart also used Abramoff's restaurant, Signatures, for a fund-raiser or other event, records show." (Associated Press, 11/17/05)

Democratic National Committee Spokesman Damien LaVera today issued the following statement:

"It is deeply troubling that Rep. Hart has dragged Pennsylvania into the same culture of corruption that Congressional Republicans brought to Washington. By engaging in one of the worst pay-to-play scandals in decades, Rep. Hart turned her back on the values and priorities of the people of Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvanians deserve better. That is why Democrats are committed to promoting honesty and ethics in government. The American people deserve a government as good as them, and Pennsylvanians deserve leaders who represent their values and interests in Washington. Since, Rep. Hart clearly is not interested in providing that leadership, Democrats will."

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