From the Daily News:
Rep. Michael Grimm’s support for a natural gas pipeline through Queens is fueling criticism that he’s a pol courting powerful private interests — not the Tea Party reformer he claims to be.
Seven months after sponsoring legislation to run a pipeline under Jacob Riis Park, the freshman congressman has collected some $3,000 from its backers.
Grimm, a former FBI agent, won his Staten Island campaigning as an outsider who wasn’t going to buy into the crippling go-along, get-along ethos of inside the Beltway.
But the intersection of money, power and legislation is highlighted in the latest campaign financial disclosure statements, not just for Grimm but others in the New York delegation.
Disgraced Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner had shown interest in the project before he resigned in June. National Grid was among Weiner’s top campaign contributors in his last run for election, giving some $6,200, according to a review by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Veteran Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks and Republican newcomer Bob Turner, a former cable TV exec, co-sponsored the pipeline bill.
Since July, Meeks received donations totaling $2,500 from lobbyists pressing Congress to approve the pipeline project, according to campaign reports.
Turner received a $600 from a National Grid employee before he took office, campaign financial records show.