Thursday, February 16, 2006

Nice Work

Corrupt Specter:

According to a USA Today story, Ms. Siegel is married to lobbyist Michael Herson, who is a co-founder of the firm American Defense International ("ADI"). ADI has apparently received nearly $1.5 million in lobbying fees since 2002 from six clients who, as a result of 13 earmarks offered by Senator Specter, received a total of $48.7 million in set asides. The article states that Senator Specter claimed credit for all of the earmarks in various news releases.

Given that the companies that received the $48.7 million in earmarks paid Mr. Herson's firm nearly $1.5 million in fees, it appears likely that they paid ADI, at least in part, to lobby for those earmarks. As Mr. Herson's spouse, Ms. Siegel indirectly derived a substantial financial benefit from Mr. Herson's representation of those clients. And, as the primary Appropriations Committee staff member for Senator Specter, it also appears likely that Ms. Siegel was involved in securing the passage of those earmarks. As a result, CREW has asked that the Committee immediately commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the passage of those earmarks and Ms. Siegel's involvement in securing them.