Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blogger Accuses Wamp of Shaking Down Contractors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Frank and Wamp and the program from the fund-raiser.
  • Frank and Wamp and the program from the fund-raiser.
If new media matters in today's political campaigns (as everybody seems to think it does), then Zach Wamp took a damaging blow today on the blog of conservative screecher Terry Frank. In a lengthy post, she accuses the congressman and his staff of engaging in sleazy behavior more than a decade ago while she was Anderson County Republican Party chairwoman. The most serious of her allegations surrounds a Wamp fund-raiser she helped organize in 1997 in Oak Ridge. For that event, she says, Wamp condoned shaking down defense contractors for campaign contributions. She describes a meeting she attended with Wamp and the congressman's "point man" for the fund-raiser, whom she didn't name.

At this meeting, we talk some of the details of the actual event but the important part is (of course) all about the money. Wamp’s point man brags to Congressman Wamp that he got the ball rolling by calling one of the U.S. Government contractors and telling them that another contractor had purchased an entire table. That contractor then agrees to purchase a table at the Wamp event. So Wamp’s point man goes on to brag that he calls several contractors in this fashion and gets them to agree to purchase a table.

But that’s not the end of the story. He then brags to Wamp that once he got them to make the purchase of ONE table that he calls them back and tells them that the other contractor had now purchased TWO tables. In this fashion he gets several more tables sold. As you will see on the document I’m posting below, he actually was able to get two contractors to purchase 3 tables each and 1 contractor to purchase 4 tables. One of those contractors goes on to win the $2.5 billion contract.

Does Congressman Wamp scold him? Does he say that that kind of strong-arming makes him look corrupt? Or for sale? No, he doesn’t. He PRAISES his point man.

This is more bad news for Wamp following last week's City Paper story that also raised questions about the congressman's ethics. We asked the Wamp campaign for comment, but we haven't heard back.

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