Just as King is making the rounds talking about how Governor Paterson's choice of Kristen Gillibrand for Senate was somehow underhanded or breaking the law "There was a whole strange series of events," King told TheAssociated Press. "There is a crisis of confidence in the state. There is a cloud over Kirsten Gillibrand's appointment. To me, it's essential that the governor give a full explanation as quickly as possible."
Newsday reported that King "variously called her selection by Gov. David A. Paterson a "fraud," "payoff" and a "backroom" deal."
Strong words from King.
The NY Daily News is reporting that King may have been getting campaign contributions for steering $3million in taxpayer money to local companies. "U.S. Rep. Pete King funneled $3 million in taxpayer money to a campaign donor for custom manhole covers that Con Ed said could be dangerous, a Daily News probe found.
"The Long Island Republican sponsored federal dollars to pay for about 5,000 locking manhole covers designed to thwart terrorists. They would cover only about 2% of Con Ed's manholes in the city...
"Con Ed was approached to cover its 250,000 manholes with the devices, but the utility decided they would pose an obstacle not just to terrorists - but also to firefighters in an emergency.
"We said 'no,' it's impractical," said a Con Ed official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "What are you going to do? Have 250,000 keys for these things?
"Manhole Barrier did better with Congress than with Con Ed, with the help of a few timely campaign contributions.
The company CEO, his wife, some relatives and lobbyists contributed $16,700 to King as he was trying to earmark funds for the firm, records show.
CEO Michael Manoussos first gave $4,000 to King beginning in August 2006. In March 2007, King requested money for the covers. That year, the effort failed.
Manhole Barrier tried again last year. This time, Manoussos got relatives and lobbyists to kick in as well, records show.
He and his wife, Dawn, each gave the maximum allowed, $4,600, on Feb. 7. Two company lobbyists donated on the same day, and two other Manoussos relatives gave another $1,500 shortly after."
And that's not the only instance.... "Still, campaign donations were also present when King got taxpayer funding this year for another Long Island company, American Defense Systems Inc.
Last spring, King sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting $1.2 million for development of a new ballistic helmet to protect soldiers. ADSI was the beneficiary.
Before December 2007, ADSI employees never donated to King. That month, they began writing a total of $16,800 in checks for his 2008 re-election campaign.
"I never asked them for anything," King said, adding that he didn't know why ADSI decided to start contributing.
ADSI turned out to be King's top donor this election cycle, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics says.
In a March 17 letter, King submitted his funding request for the company. Most of the donations from ADSI executives came May 9, less than two months later.
ADSI's chief operating officer, Fergal Foley, gave four separate donations totaling $5,300 - $700 more than legally allowed. King's campaign sent a refund check after The News asked about the donation.
Executives of ADSI thought so much of King that they gave him an award for outstanding public service, The Golden Eagle of Freedom, at a Jan. 9 dinner."
King of course will deny this and attack the Daily News for being a "liberal newspaper."
There needs to be an invesigation into the process and the contributors, especially the employees, questioned under oath.