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  AP Exclusive: Gregg had stake in, won aid for base
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Last EditedRP  Feb 27, 2009 01:18pm
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News DateFriday, February 27, 2009 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionPresident Barack Obama's former nominee to become commerce secretary, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, steered taxpayer money to his home state's redevelopment of a former Air Force base even as he and his brother engaged in real estate deals there, an Associated Press investigation found.

Gregg, R-N.H., has personally invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Cyrus Gregg's office projects at the Pease International Tradeport, a Portsmouth business park built at the defunct Pease Air Force Base, once home to nuclear bombers. Judd Gregg has collected at least $240,017 to $651,801 from his investments there, Senate records show, while helping to arrange at least $66 million in federal aid for the former base.

Gregg said he violated no laws or Senate rules. In a statement Friday, he said that all the federal money he steered to Pease had been requested by the National Guard, the city of Portsmouth or its mayor or other public officials "and did not involve my initiative but only my support of the requests."

But the senator's mixture of personal and professional business would have been difficult to square with President Barack Obama's campaign promise to impose greater transparency and integrity over federal budget earmarks - funding for lawmakers' pet projects. Gregg said that during his consideration for the Cabinet job, the White House did not know about his Pease earmarks, although the administration knew about his investments at Pease.
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