Lockheed's Official Congress-Briber Closes Up ShopS

Remember how we paid Lockheed Martin $67.5 million to index Dick Cheney's emails? The guy whose fault it was has been caught: Paul Magliocchetti, the famous lobbyist.

Magliocchetti runs PMA Group, a lobbying firm that will close down, next week, because his whole scam was basically found out. He funneled thousands to a couple of Democratic representatives, and those reps sent billions to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Every single fucking solitary dime the federal government spends on, say, feeding poor people, is watched and debated and decried as stupid waste. But if you show up in Congress one day and say "hello, I'm a defense contractor," they will just give you a check for a billion dollars and say, "hey, why don't you make us an airplane that doesn't work."

So John Murtha (seen above after testifying in the Abscam bribery scandal in 1980) was the ringleader, here, accepting $774k from PMA and countless perks and gifts and things in 2008, and earmarking a healthy $38 million to PMA's clients, in return. Also on the wall of shame: Peter Visclosky from Indiana and James "Get a Brain" Moran from Virginia. All Democrats, all very good friends of the defense industry.

Murtha is more or less proud of his record of ignoring ethics rules, of course: "If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district," he says.

This is a funny thing about the congressional ethics rules: if all Magliocchetti did was funnel contributions to congressmembers, and then those congressmembers appropriated billions for his clients, well, the lobbyist might get in trouble, but the Representative can say "we don't know why that sommelier and that caddy sent us $150k but we certainly had nothing to do with it!" But if Magliocchetti, say, takes the member golfing, or to dinner, that is the illegal bribery. We can only consider it a crime if it's petty enough to seem ridiculous, and not grand enough to just be How Things Work.

So! The FBI raided PMA last year, and now he is closing down shop. Government is saved!

(Note: Earlier we ran a picture with this story which the NYT had identified as the lobbyist in question. They've since learned that it was a different guy named Paul Maglioccetti and issued a correction: "The photograph showed Paul. A. Magliocchetti, a lawyer in Haverhill, Mass., who is not connected to this case and is not being investigated by federal prosecutors.")