Politico ignored Obey's response to alleged conflict of interest

››› ››› LAURYN BRUCK

The Politico uncritically reported Rep. Darrell Issa's charge that Rep. David Obey "failed to divulge that his son Craig," a senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, "was lobbying him on the economic recovery package." The Politico did not note that Obey's office has denied that his son lobbied his committee or that the funding for parks was reportedly included by Rep. Norm Dicks.

In a February 12 article, the Politico uncritically reported that "Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif) charged Tuesday that House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) failed to divulge that his son Craig," a senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, "was lobbying him on the economic recovery package," without noting that Obey's office has denied that his son lobbied his committee. As the Politico's Glenn Thrush noted in a February 10 blog post -- to which the February 12 Politico article linked -- "A spokeswoman for the lawmaker has said Obey's son does not lobby his father's committee -- claiming the funding increase was actually the brainchild of Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.)."

As Media Matters for America has documented, the Associated Press reported on January 29 that Kirstin Brost, an Obey spokeswoman, "said Obey's son, Craig, does not lobby the committee, and the parks proposal came from the head of an environment subcommittee." The AP added that "the repair idea came from Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on interior and the environment" and quoted Dicks' chief of staff saying, "I will assure you this was the highest priority for Norm. This has been a passion of Norm's for many years."

From the February 12 Politico article headlined, "The new D.C.: Same as it ever was":

The tooth-and-nail scrapping among legislators makes clear that, Obama era or not, almost everyone in office is still considered fair game.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) charged Tuesday that House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) failed to divulge that his son Craig was lobbying him on the economic recovery package, while Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) offered a resolution calling on House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) to step down from his post while an ethics probe into his personal finances continues.

A day later, MoveOn.org, a liberal organization founded by two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who "shared deep frustration with the partisan warfare in Washington D.C. and the ridiculous waste of our nation's focus at the time of the impeachment mess," weighed in with a radio ad nailing Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) for missing Monday's cloture vote on the stimulus package.

Posted In
Economy, Government, Ethics
Network/Outlet
The Politico
Stories/Interests
Economic Recovery Plan
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