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  Close ties make Rep. Lewis, lobbyist Lowery a potent pair
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Last EditedRP  Dec 23, 2005 12:38pm
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MediaNewspaper - San Diego Union-Tribune
News DateFriday, December 23, 2005 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionFrom powerful positions on the House Appropriations Committee, California Rep. Jerry Lewis has greenlighted hundreds of millions of dollars in federal projects for clients of one of his closest friends, lobbyist and former state Congressman Bill Lowery.

Meanwhile, Lowery, the partners at his firm and their clients have donated 37 percent of the $1.3 million that Lewis' political action committee received in the past six years.

Such intertwining of public, political and for-profit business is legal. But because the relationships between campaign contributors, lobbyists and lawmakers are forged out of the public's view, they are not widely known or understood.

That could be changing as a result of the scandal that toppled Randy "Duke" Cunningham from Congress. In the wake of the Rancho Santa Fe Republican's admission last month that he took $2.4 million in bribes from two defense contractors, there is growing concern about the Capitol Hill environment in which Cunningham prospered.
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