As reported by the Wall Street Journal last week, then Congressman and current Governor of Nevada Jim Gibbons (R) directed at least $2 million in federal earmarks to Sparks, NV-based Sierra Nevada Corporation while his wife, Dawn Gibbons, was on the firm’s payroll.

According to federal disclosure forms, Sierra Nevada, a hi-tech defense firm, paid Dawn Gibbons at least $35,000. During that time, the Congressman directed a $2 million earmark to the company for the Helicopter Autonomous Landing System (HALS), a safe landing system for helicopter aircrews during “brownouts

In the FY 2006 budget cycle, the same earmark that Rep. Gibbons requested for Sierra Nevada was requested by Senator Harry Reid.  Employees of Sierra Nevada have given more than $42,000 to the Senator’s campaign committee and $37,000 to the Searchlight Leadership Fund, his leadership PAC, according to data obtained at the OpenSecrets website.  The FY 2007 Defense Appropriations legislation contained more than $14.8 million in earmarks for Sierra Nevada.

Dawn Gibbons also earned money directly from her husband’s political campaign.  From late 2003 until the end of 2004, Gibbons’ campaign committee paid Politek, Dawn Gibbons’ political consulting firm, more than $93,000.  Education First, a non-profit set-up by the Gibbons’, paid Politek an additional $18,000.

In addition to the scandal surrounding Rep. Gibbon’s relationship with Sierra Nevada, the Wall Street Journal also reported that a federal grand jury in Washington has begun to look into Rep. Gibbons’ relationship with Warren Trepp, CEO of eTreppid Technologies, which is another Nevada-based defense contractor.