The Washington Times - September 15, 2010, 08:34PM

As reported last week in a previous Water Cooler post, I wrote that Andre Breitbart would be releasing audio of a Congresswoman’s voicemail to a lobbyist. Mr. Breitbart’s Big Government has released that voicemail this evening of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat from Washington D.C., who is apparently “under pressure” to help out fellow Democrats:

The pressure is especially strong on members from “safe” districts, who need little campaign money of their own to win reelection. The catch, though, is that many of these members haven’t amassed vast campaign war-chests, for the simple reason that they haven’t needed them. So, they are scrambling to meet their Pelosi-imposed obligations. Holmes Norton is from one such “safe” district–the District of Columbia.

In the following voicemail recording, Holmes Norton seeks a campaign contribution from the lobbyist and even mentions that she hadn’t previously asked  for a donation. Such is the pressure Speaker Pelosi has placed on the members. But, it is the content of Holmes Norton’s message that is interesting. (Note: the first few seconds of the recording, where the name of the lobbyist is said by Holmes Norton, have been redacted by the source.)

1. At the very beginning of the message, Holmes Norton notes that the lobbyist:

ha[s] given to other colleagues of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Beyond being a bit heavy-handed, where did she get this information? Such donations are listed in FEC reports, but it is a violation to use that information to solicit campaign donations.

2. More serious, however, is her frequent mention of her seniority and her Chairmanship of a subcommittee. She is attempting to solicit funds based on her past actions taken in her official capacity in Congress. She is implying to the lobbyist that, should he decline to donate, he will be turning down a senior member of Congress who Chairs a subcommittee highly relevant to his “sector”.

3.  Worse than that, she details her role overseeing a large economic development project in the District, funded by “stimulus” funds. It would appear that either the lobbyist has an interest in this project, of the Congresswoman thinks he does, as she states she is “frankly surprised” the lobbyist hasn’t given to her. 

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Check out the rest of the Big Government post and voicemail message.