Former senior members of U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris' congressional staff say they initially rejected a defense contractor's $10 million appropriation request last year but reversed course after being instructed by Harris to approve it.
Harris insisted that Mitchell Wade's request for funding be given to a defense appropriations subcommittee, despite the request's being late and difficult to understand, according to two former staff members and Harris' former chief political strategist.
"She said, 'It's important to me, so submit it,' " said an ex-staffer who was involved in the process. "She wanted it in."
Wade is the contractor at the center of a congressional bribery scandal that has landed a California lawmaker in prison.
In the weeks before Harris submitted Wade's appropriations request, Wade spent up to $2,800 entertaining Harris at one of Washington's most expensive restaurants.
There, he and Harris discussed the request and Wade -- whose company had contributed thousands to her 2004 congressional campaign -- offered to have a fundraiser for her 2006 Senate race.
Maybe we can get the indictment handed down right before the election.