For two months, nary a detail has escaped our notice about the heightening investigation into House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA).
None of it has escaped Lewis, either, apparently.
The king of the earmark process gave a whopping $200,000 to Robert Bonner and the rest of his defense team at Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher as a retainer, new FEC filings show. That single expense comprised the vast majority of his campaign's spending for the past three months, which totalled just over $213,000.
Lewis is protecting himself against a widespread federal anti-corruption probe touched off by the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal. Lewis has been identified as a target in press accounts, and the investigation touches two of his current and former staffers, Jeffrey Shockey and Letitia White, who became lobbyists after working for Lewis.
While Lewis' campaign cash flowed to his defense team, the contributions have slowed to a trickle: just months from the election, his committee reported receiving $53,200 in contributions over the past twelve weeks. (Over $40,000 came from major corporations and interest groups.)
The negative cash flow can't be good news for the Lewis for Congress Committee -- but the group does enjoy deep pockets, with nearly $1.5 million in reserve.