My company is in the news...

Defense Contractor Targeted in Lewis Probe.

Oh boy.


A defense contractor has been asked to supply information to federal prosecutors looking into House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis’ ties to a lobbying firm.

Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. received a subpoena seeking records of its dealings with the Washington, D.C., firm of Copeland, Lowery, Jacquez, Denton & White, ESRI spokesman Don Berry said Wednesday.

“We have no concerns,” Berry told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “We retain a lobbyist and it is not an issue for us.”

One of the lobbying firm’s partners is Lewis’ close friend, former California congressman Bill Lowery. Copeland Lowery spokesman Patrick Dorton defended the firm’s work, saying, “It complied with all the laws and rules that govern federal lobbying.”

ESRI, located in Lewis’ hometown of Redlands, Calif., is the first private entity identified as receiving a subpoena. A half-dozen Southern California municipalities have also been subpoenaed.

The investigation, directed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, focuses on the process of “earmarking,” where lawmakers insert spending for specific hometown projects into legislation, often without the knowledge of other members.

The subpoenas to municipalities have sought documents related to their decision to hire the firm, as well as payment records and communications between local officials, the firm and Lewis or his staff.

Lewis, a Republican who became chairman of the powerful House panel last year, has denied any wrongdoing and says he’s proud of his efforts to win money for projects in his district.

ESRI is a leading developer of mapping technology. According to a study by Keith Ashdown of Taxpayers for Common Sense, which tracks congressional spending, the company got at least $55.4 million in earmarks in 2004 and 2005.

ESRI hired Copeland Lowery in June 2000 and paid the firm between $40,000 and $80,000 annually in recent years, records show. The lobbyist initially handling the account was Jeff Shockey, who left the firm last year to go to work for Lewis as deputy staff director of the Appropriations Committee.

The co-founders and heads of ESRI, Jack and Laura Dagermond, have donated to Lewis and other politicians over the years, records show. In the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles alone their donations to Lewis and his political action committee exceeded $23,000.

So, what did you do this time, Mike? :)

Hey - I know nothingggggg :laugh:

I hear a wonderful Sgt Shultz imitation in there somewhere. :)

I just bought Hogan Hero’s 2nd season (we got the first last year), and my kids & I love watching it. What a hoot! It’s pretty stupid but occasionally it has greatness.

It took a lot of greatness to be able to pull off a comedy with that premise. It’s a top 5 series in my opinion.

It’s funny though because I remember watching it as a kid with my step-father, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and I recall that he didn’t really like how dumb the German’s were portrayed in Hogan Hero’s.

Of course, this was a sitcom & the characters weren’t real but I just think he didn’t find it humerous. It might have been too real for him, and he knew that the Germans were deadily smart, like any good soldiers are.