Thursday, July 13, 2006

Will Sweeney Show Up?

John Sweeney (R-NY) has been asked to appear before a committee looking his tax payer funded vacations. The event is supposed to bring congressional funds to NY, however, just four members of congress from outside New York have attended since 1998.

...The Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid began holding the annual event in 1998 to lobby members of Congress for aid to help maintain Lake Placid's Olympic facilities.

"The committee would welcome your appearance and testimony in order that the record be complete and any facts or opinions be available," Brodsky said in a letter from the Assembly Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee.

Documents subpoenaed by Brodsky and Assemblyman Paul Tonko, who held a public hearing Tuesday on the event, showed that few congressmen or senators ever attended. Instead it has mostly attracted corporate lobbyists, local officials, congressional staffers and officials from the New York Power Authority and their families, none of whom make federal spending decisions.

ORDA Chief Executive Ted Blazer testified that Sweeney and the U.S. Olympic Committee were in charge of the list of invitees. Participants take part in a host of Olympic sports, meet with Olympians and hear pitches for where federal dollars are needed. The state Democratic Committee on Wednesday said Sweeney's involvement was an apparent violation of a House Ethics Committee opinion issued last August that said members of Congress should not take part in inviting guests to such events. ... (Newsday)

Related Press Release: Rep. Sweeney Ignores Ethics Advice, Breaks Rules to Reward Special Interesets

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