Congressman Michael Grimm says that he is “honored to serve the residents of the 13th Congressional District of New York.” The 13th district in New York consists of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, but that’s not where Representative Grimm will be serving tonight. The Sunlight Foundation reports that at 7:00 this evening, Michael Grimm will be attending a special party at CXIII Rex – a private cigar club in Alexandria, Virginia, the home of hordes of lobbyists, right across the river from Washington D.C.
Congressman Grimm hasn’t been in Congress for long, but is already becoming known for his ethical problems, including connections to figures involved in the congressional corruption scandal that brought down Duke Cunningham and a spot on the 2011 Most Corrupt In Congress list. Will tonight’s private cigar club meeting lead to more news of corruption from Representative Grimm?
We can’t say anything for sure, because, like everyone outside the Washington D.C. elite, we were not sent an invitation to Grimm’s private cigar club meeting. We will note, however, that Congressman Grimm is explicitly asking for $1,000 from industry-affiliated political action committees in exchange for his company tonight. Regardless of whether any laws or congressional ethics rules are violated tonight, citizens back home in New York’s 13th district will rightly be asking how a closed-door meeting at a private cigar club in Virginia, with money changing hands, can be counted as part of Grimm’s promise to serve his constituents.