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Straddling the Corruption Stallion?

A former defense contractor for MZM pleaded guilty on Friday to paying bribes in excess of $1 million dollars to Duke Cunningham, according to the LATimes. What interested me even more in the article was this segment:

He also hired the son of a defense official and got inside information that allowed him to land contracts for MZM.

In addition, Wade funneled $80,000 in contributions to two unnamed members of Congress by illegally reimbursing MZM employees for making the contributions. The lawmakers, officials said, were unaware of the scheme. Federal Elections Commission documents identify two members of Congress who received large-scale contributions from MZM employees as Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-Va.) and Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.).

Wonder Katherine Harris has been doing more than hitting the Lancome counter on "gift with purchase day?" Just which "officials" indicated that Harris was not aware of the scheme — and when she was given all this cash from "employees" of MZM, was she asked to work on anything in return? Or was this just given with her understanding that it came from the goodness of their hearts?

And is anyone else wondering which defense official’s son is involved in this "inside information" mess? And how much trouble this defense official might be in — and whether he or she knew that the contract information was going to MZM, and whether this was some sort of quid pro quo means of passing the money directly to the defense official via the son?

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m beginning to need a program to keep track of which GOP official is involved in which corruption prosecution.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com