NYT: Rep. Mollohan, Scandal-Plagued Congressman Without A Party

April 11th, 2006 12:37 PM

New York Times National reporter Jodi Rudoren (formerly Jodi Wilgoren, and therein lies a self-absorbed tale) has a Saturday front-page story on yet another investigation of a congressman, Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.

“As lawmakers have increasingly slipped pet projects into federal spending bills over the past decade, one lawmaker has used his powerful perch on the House Appropriations Committee to funnel $250 million into five nonprofit organizations that he set up. Those actions have prompted a complaint to federal prosecutors that questions whether any of that taxpayer money helped fuel a parallel growth in his personal fortune.

 “The most ambitious effort by the congressman, Alan B. Mollohan, is a glistening glass-and-steel structure with a swimming pool, sauna and spa rising in a former cow pasture in Fairmont, W.Va., thanks to $103 million of taxpayer money he garnered through special spending allocations known as earmarks.”

Notice anything missing? Right.

Although the rumor around D.C. is that Mollohan is a Democrat, Rudoren doesn’t inform us of that fact until this casual line in the eighth paragraph: “The case has led several Republican leaders to call for Mr. Mollohan's removal from the House ethics committee, where he is the senior Democrat.”

Contrast that with how readily Carl Hulse reported the Republican status of Rep. Randy Cunningham in one of the first stories on the now-jailed congressman’s legal woes, from July 15, 2005: “Under investigation for a real estate deal and his ties to a military contractor, Representative Randy Cunningham, an eight-term Republican, announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election next year in his district in the San Diego area.”

And John Broder’s November 29, 2005 lead left no doubt as to Cunningham’s party affiliation. “Representative Randy Cunningham, a Republican from San Diego, resigned from Congress on Monday, hours after pleading guilty to taking at least $2.4 million in bribes to help friends and campaign contributors win military contracts.”

For more New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.