Monday, October 16, 2006

FBI Probes Weldon

In what could be a kiss of death to his re-election campaign, there were a spate of news stories over the weekend that U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon is under federal investigation.
The story was broken by the McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau on Friday. It quickly spread to the Washington Post, the wires, and to the Inquirer. Bob Warner has more on it in today's Daily News as part of a profile of the race in Delaware County's 7th Congressional District, where the 10-term Republican congressman is already facing a strong challenge from Democrat Joe Sestak.
The case involves Weldon's daughter, Karen, and a lobbying-consulting group she created along with Charlie Sexton, the Springfield Twp., Pa. Republican political boss.
A graph from an AP story on the probe:
Two people familiar with the investigation confirmed that federal agents were examining Weldon's work between 2002 and 2004 to help two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers connected to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. They had hired Solutions North America Inc., a company operated by Karen Weldon and Charles Sexton, a Republican ally of the congressman.
The Weldon story first broke in the Los Angeles Times, which did a 3,500-word investigative piece on the Karen Weldon business in 2004. Go here for the complete text of the LAT story.
The case was referred to the House Ethics Committee, which never made a public ruling on the matter.
Now it looks as if the feds are on the case.

6 Comments:

Anonymous phillydem said...

Apparently Weldon is now blaming "Democratic operative" Melanie Sloan for the DoJ investigation. In reality, Sloan is head of CREW (citizens for responsibility and ethics in Washington), a good gov't group that tracks and regularly files ethics violations to the congressional ethics committees. IIRC, CREW also filed a complaint against Rep Wm Jefferson, a Democrat.

The lobbying deals his daughter's firm got, even though she had absolutely no experience, just were so obviously done to curry favor with Weldon everyone can see it.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why should it be a "kiss of death"? All he needs to do is hire Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah (or their Republican equivalents, in this case) to spin a conspiracy theory around it and presto!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon--

Obviously you are brainwashed.

As a Delaware County resident, because of the other people named in the mix with this (and I do not mean Karen Weldon) it is entirely believable that somehting shady occurred.

This type of investigation intothe hierarchy of Delaware County Politics has been a long time coming, and I am sure these two are just the tip of the iceberg.

Remember, the FBI is run by members of Weldon's own party, so the Street scenario of this being a partisan hit, does not fly. Obviously, there was a probe afoot for some time, and it was only the leak by the FBI that caused this to hit the front pages now. I am sure that the Rs were going to sit on this until after the election and see if Weldon could pull it out as a means to fool the voters of the district and an attempt to preserve their majority.

As a 7th congressionla district resident, I am glad that things are mving ahead to make sure that we do not have to continue to suffer the embarassment of Curt Weldon. Maybe he can go into the lobbying business with Joe Loeper.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon--

I fail to see why your response is directed at me.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

The cliche police will arrest me if I point out that "only two things in life are certain", and political races are no exception, but if I had to draw a prediction: Weldon is done for.

It was looking worse for Weldon before the FBI scandal, with CQ Politics changing its election categorizer in the 7th Cong. District from "Leans Republican" to "No clear favorite" in October, and the Cook Political Report rating calling it a Republican Toss Up (essentially 50/50).

What will really be interesting to see is how much money the RNC will continue to invest in Weldon...

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think about it, maybe Sherwood's situation is why Rick Santorum took his family to live with him in Virginia? Kind of pointless having a family if you never see them, and it can lead to doing stupid things.

5:13 PM  

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