Waxman to investigate MZM’s White House contract.

One of the basic head-scratchers in the unfolding MZM scandal is how this totally unknown company, out of the blue, managed to get a $140k contract to sell office furniture to the Vice President’s office. MZM wasn’t in the office furniture business. Oddly, that’s the exact value of the “Buoy Toy” yacht — rechristened the “Duke Stir” — that was illegally given to Rep. Duke Cunningham by MZM founder Mitchell Wade just two weeks later. As circumstantial evidence goes, that is overwhelming, and would seem to implicate Cheney. Committee on Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman agrees — he’s launching an investigation. (Via TPM)

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

4 replies on “Waxman to investigate MZM’s White House contract.”

  1. I honestly don’t understand the theory here. Is it that Cunningham, a member of the legislative branch, secures a gov’t contract for MZM from the executive branch to the tune of $140,000 in exchange for a yacht of the same value? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Why would any company trade a bribe for the same amount as the contract they’re awarded? I could understand maybe $14K for a $140K contract, but it just doesn’t make sense the other way. And how can Cunningham influence where the exec. branch spends its money? I don’t get it.

  2. Why would any company trade a bribe for the same amount as the contract they’re awarded?

    Because it’s a tiny amount, and just the beginning of what proved to be a long and fruitful relationship of bribery.

    Remember, Cunningham eventually created a bribe menu for MZM to order off of. These are not people who think like you and me.

  3. I didn’t know about the bribe menu. That’s quite something.

    If Cunningham was cutting deals for MZM with the executive branch as some kind of quid pro quo with them for appropriations or other favors then presumably he would have knowledge that implicate exec branch officials.

  4. The “bribe menu” revealed a whole level of stupidity and cravenness that I just wouldn’t have believed existed, but for seeing it. Seriously, isn’t reading that conducive to one of those “OMFG, *this* idiot got himself elected to Congress?” moments?

    As to what Cunningham knows, well, we should ask Carol Lam, except . . .

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