Monday, October 30, 2006

weldon's other daughter

* mcclatchy:
"Pennsylvania congressman Curt Weldon, under investigation for allegedly trading his influence to get lobbying business for one of his daughters, also has helped corporations that have hired another daughter, a friend and some of his former aides.

Federal Election Commission reports show that within months of Weldon's advocacy on their behalf, three of these firms and their executives gave more than $95,000 in political contributions to the 10-term Republican.
It's often difficult to tell where Weldon's official business ends and his family's and friends' personal business begins:

-Weldon's younger daughter, Kimberly, worked part time in 2003 for one of her older sister's lobbying clients, a foundation run by the family of two Serbian brothers for whom Weldon tried to help obtain U.S. visas. She now works for an Italian defense company that got Weldon's help in trying to reverse a Navy decision to buy deck guns from a U.S. competitor.
In late 2005, Kimberly Weldon landed another job with ties to her father, performing community relations work in Washington and Pennsylvania for AgustaWestland, a helicopter maker for the Italian defense giant Finmeccanica. An Agusta spokesman, who didn't want to be named, called her "the best candidate" for the "low-paying" job and praised her as "one of our best employees."

The spokesman said Weldon was of little help in the firm's success in landing, with Textron Bell and Lockheed Martin, a $1.6 billion contract to build a 23-helicopter fleet, which will provide the next presidential helicopter. The publication Aviation Week & Space Technology, however, reported that Weldon was a key supporter of the winning bid. Since 2001, employees and PACs for Textron, Lockheed and AgustaWestland have given $77,050 to Weldon's campaign and his PAC for fellow Republicans.

Weldon also has aided another Finmeccanica subsidiary, Oto Melara North America Inc., pushing an amendment to require the Navy to revisit its decision to buy a U.S. rival's deck guns for a new fleet of 55 combat ships."

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