Tonight: Kanjorski and Rangel rake in campaign cash as financial crisis continues
HAZLETON – How much would you pay to lobby Congressmen Paul Kanjorski and Charlie Rangel?
If you have an extra $5,000 that you haven’t spent on gasoline or aren’t saving for home heating oil, you can join both embattled congressmen at a high-dollar fundraiser tonight at a ritzy Washington, D.C., restaurant.
And if your retirement and investment portfolios haven’t been demolished by the current financial crisis, $5,000 will get you on the host list for tonight’s event.
That’s a small price to pay for Washington special interest groups and lobbyists who want access to two ethically challenged U.S. congressmen just a few blocks from the Capitol dome.
“After 24 years in Washington, Paul Kanjorski is desperately out of touch with the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. Rather than solve the many, many problems facing this country today and working to make the lives of his constituents easier, Mr. Kanjorski is asking lobbyists and Washington, D.C., special interest groups to join him at an exclusive, expensive party,” said Vince Galko, campaign manager for Hazleton Mayor and 11th Congressional District candidate Lou Barletta. “Mr. Kanjorski has taken almost $3 million from the subprime mortgage, financial, real estate, and insurance industries – the very people he’s supposed to regulate. When you look at the recent destruction of the housing market and the subprime mortgage industry, and you see the instability in our stock market and financial industry, it’s obvious who Mr. Kanjorski really represents – the Washington, D.C., special interests who contribute to his campaign.”
That loyal service by Kanjorski has paid off. The National Association of Realtors, for example, recently bought more advertising to keep their ally Paul Kanjorski in Washington – now spending almost $1 million in radio and television ads and direct mail campaigns to support him. (“Realtors going big early in 2008,” The Hill, Sept. 22, 2008)
Last week, Kanjorski voted against a House Ethics Commission investigation into allegations of tax evasion and other impropriety by Rangel, who has contributed $14,000 to Kanjorski during this election cycle. (“Rangel donated to Carney, Kanjorski,” Times Leader, Sept. 18)
“We can’t change Washington unless we change the people we send there. Fortunately for the hardworking people of northeastern Pennsylvania, change is less than six weeks away,” Mayor Barletta said.
Lou Barletta for Congress
8 West Broad Street, Suite 100
Hazleton, PA 18201