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GOP wants investigation into lobbying by Obey's son for Obama's spending bill

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Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

House Republicans want to know if there was improper lobbying for national park repair projects sought by the son of U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., of Wausau.

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Craig Obey is a senior vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association which publicly called for park maintenance and repair projects in the weeks before the House passed the $816 Obama spending bill on Wednesday.

David Obey chairs the Appropriations Committee, and he wrote much of the House package. It includes more than $2 billion for the national park system.

The Washington Times first reported questions about Obey's possible role and U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wants an investigation.

But a spokeswoman for the lawmaker, Kirstin Brost, said Obey's son does not lobby his father's panel. And the idea for the park funding actually came from U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., who chairs an appropriations subcommittee on the environment.

Brost said there's a huge backlog of work in the parks, and it can be addressed as part of the stimulus goal of giving people jobs.

She said the workers are the only ones who stand to gain anything. Dicks' chief of state said Craig Obey didn't need to lobby his father on the issue and nobody else did, either.

Craig signed an e-mail letter to his group praising the House vote. Tom Schatz of the Citizens Against Government Waste said Craig might have made a mistake signing the letter but it still doesn't mean he did the lobbying.

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