It's really such a small world over at Shirlington Limousine
. That's the always-in-trouble
DC limo outfit which, reportedly, specialized in carting congressmen and their Agency pals over to Brent Wilkes' good-time parties where they played poker, got ripped and got down with the hookers Wilkes and Shirlington head honcho Chris Baker, allegedly
, also made available.
In case you've forgotten your
scorecard at home, Brent Wilkes
is the arch-briber in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham scandal. As the Wall Street Journal
back on April 27th, federal investigators are looking into evidence that, in addition to cash prizes, Wilkes may have also set Duke up with hookers at the parties he threw in DC. The Feds also looking into what other
members of Congress and intelligence officials spent quality time at Wilkes' hoedowns. (Wilkes' was apparently throwing these parties for something like 15 years
This Justin Rood post
from TPMmuckraker has quotes from Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Jerry Lewis (R-CA) denying that they partied with Wilkes. And here's the follow-up piece from the Journal
in which the CIA concedes
that Agency #3 man Dusty Foggo did party with Wilkes but didn't stick around for the hookers to show up.
Anyway, Chris Baker was clearly Wilkes' go-to guy for the 'hospitality suites' notwithstanding the fact that Baker's lawyer told
the San Diego Union-Tribune
that Baker was "never in attendance in any party where any women were being used for prostitution purposes." And, as we discussed late Tuesday, there's something pretty fishy
about the mega-contracts Baker's company managed to land from the Department of Homeland Security.
But just how is that Wilkes got hooked up with Chris Baker? And how'd Baker get so wired?
Well, this evening we got a hold of Shirlington's annual reports
filed with the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. And, surprisingly enough, for the first several years Baker's company was in operation -- specifically from 1995
-- one of the company's directors was a guy with a San Diego address.
He was Jerome Foster.
What was also weird is that, like Wilkes, Foster was a defense contractor. Foster's Pentech had some sort of energy management technology and they had contracts with the navy, various governmental jurisdictions and even private sector companies.
Now, here's where it gets sort of odd. If you've followed the Wilkes story, you know that the guy who taught Wilkes how Washington works
and has been in the mix with him every since is former Rep. Bill Lowery (R-CA). Wilkes first spent quality time with Lowery back in the 1980s when one of Wilkes' jobs was to take Lowery on trips down to Central America to hang with Kyle "Dusty" Foggo and the Contras
Good fun like that can't last forever, of course. And in 1992 Lowery lost his seat to freshman Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham after the two San Diego reps were pushed into the same district and had to run against each other.
Out of work, Lowery decided to become a lobbyist. Here's a piece from the Union-Tribune
about Wilkes and Lowery
and here's another about Lowery's sweet arrangement
with nearby Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). As Donald Trump might say, they've made a lot of money together.
Not surprisingly, after Lowery set up his lobbying firm Copeland Lowery & Jacquez
, Wilkes hired him to lobby for his company ACDS. Between 1998 and 2002, Wilkes paid Lowery's outfit some $200,000.
Anyway, strange as it may seem, another one of Lowery's clients
was none other than Jerome Foster's Pentech.
All told, I'd say that means that Chris Baker's limousine company was really popular with businessmen from San Diego looking to haul down federal defense contracts. Baker was Brent Wilkes', shall we say, procurement officer, when it came to saucing up and getting women for members of Congress Wilkes wanted earmarks from. Another San Diego contractor, Foster, was a director of Baker's limo company. And both contractors, in turn, were clients of Bill Lowery.
Enough coincidences like that and you start to think it's not all a coincidence.