Volpe's Views on Congressman Tom Marino
U.S. Representative Tom Marino did the right thing by withdrawing his name from consideration to be the nation's next drug czar. The three-term Representative and one-time U.S. Attorney's involvement in a law that gutted some enforcement powers of the Drug Enforcement Administration drew wide criticism after a 60 Minutes/Washington Post investigation into Mr. Marino's role in moving that legislation through Congress.
According to that investigation, the legislation was actually written by a former D.E.A. lawyer who, at the time the bill went into law, was employed by the pharmaceutical lobby.
Therein lies the rub here. The pharmaceutical lobby in the past few years has put up more than a million and a half dollars for Congressional campaigns. The report stated further that Mr. Marino was the beneficiary of $100.000 from that political action committee.
Of course Mr. Marino's chances of being confirmed were dead and he denied any wrong doing. But nowhere in his denial did he mention giving the money back. Doing the right thing for Mr. Marino would be to return the money for any strings that came with it.