Respond Mississippi – House Ethics Committee Investigates Bennie Thompson Caribbean Trip

The Hill reports the House Ethics Committee is investigating a Caribbean Trip made by several Congressmen including Bennie Thompson that may have violated House Ethics Rules against corporate sponsorship.

The House ethics committee is reviewing a trip Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and several other members took to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten last year.

Ethics committee Staff Director Blake Chisam and Todd Ungerecht, counsel to the panel’s ranking member, have asked for information from a conservative group that has raised questions about a November 2008 conference at the St. Maarten Sonesta Maho Bay Resort & Casino.

Earlier, the new Office of Congressional Ethics interviewed staff members to some lawmakers who attended an event at the sun-swept resort billed as the Caribbean Multi-Cultural Business Conference.

Besides Rangel, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Kilpatrick (Mich.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Donald Payne (N.J.), Bennie Thompson (Miss.) and Virgin Islands Del. Donna Christensen attended the event.

We’ve been talking about this for a while here, starting with a report from Kingfish, then this story about how the a complaint had been filed with the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for a formal review of the sponsorship by Citigroup of the Caribbean junket, and then a piece from – believe it or not – the Clarion Ledger. A New York paper described the trip as “shameful” and the Madison County Journal made connections between Bennie Thompson’s Caribbean trips and Allen Stanford. Still, the story has yet to get much attention in Mississippi.

Respond Mississippi
6/1/9