Federal anticrime programs have lost a major supporter in Congress. Fourteen-term Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), was defeated yesterday in a primary election, putting the future chairmanship of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies in doubt. Mollohan has been “a champion of research-based approaches to fighting crime,” said Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. Mollohan held a special series of hearings last year on prisoner re-entry and has shown strong interest in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. He also fought off Bush administration efforts to cut federal aid for anticrime programs.
Politico.com said Mollohan was defeated by state Sen. Mike Oliverio. With 97 percent of the vote in, Oliverio led Mollohan 56 percent to 44 percent. Previously, Mollohan, the son of a congressman, had typically coasted in his re-election bids. Politico said Oliverio had cast Mollohan as a creature of Washington and blasted the veteran incumbent over his ethics, repeatedly calling him “one of the most corrupt congressmen.” Among potential successors to Mollohan to head the panel overseeing the Justice Department budget are Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Adam Schiff (D-Ca.)