So the feds are not only looking into former Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), but also his ex-wife?
That's sure how it looks, since they subpoenaed files about Sweeney and the fundraising firm run by his wife, Gayle Ford Sweeney - who was married to the upstate New York Republican until shortly after he left office in 2006.
As speculation mounts that John Sweeney is the latest target in Jack Abramoff's lobbying ring, the New York Times noted that Abramoff investigators have found a pattern of money funneled to Congressional spouses.
Take Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA). The FBI raided his house last year and he's opting not to run for reelection. Doolittle's wife, Julie, was running a one-person company that got large payments from campaign funds and PACs run by Doolittle. In addition, Abramoff's firm paid Doolittle's wife, Julie, $67,600 to plan an event that was ultimately canceled.
Or look at Tom Delay, the former Rep. from Texas. His wife was running a group called the Delay Foundation for Kids. It's donors? Well, whaddya know. They were a diverse set of special interest who appeared to be seeking favors from Tom Delay.
Sweeney's wife was campaign and fundraising consultant who got a cut of the money raised for her husband.
She was also taking a salary from Sweeney's friend and lobbyist Bill Powers's firm. And she left Sweeney just a few months after voters kicked him out of office.
We'll be interested in hear what the feds find in all that paperwork.