It’s perfectly legal for lawmakers to arrange contracts for lobbying firms from which they also receive campaign donations, according to a new ruling from the House Ethics Committee. Much to the dismay of various ethics groups, the ruling cleared seven lawmakers (including the late John Murtha) and came with the stipulation that they benefit companies based on “criteria independent” of campaign donations, reports The Washington Post. The seven lawmakers under review collectively sponsored $112 million in earmarks for PMA Group clients in spite of accepting over $350,000 in donations. “Simply because a member sponsors an earmark for an entity that also happens to be a campaign contributor does not, on these two facts alone, support a claim that a member’s actions are being influenced by campaign contributions,” read a statement from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. “This comes as no surprise because there was never anything to justify a review in the first place,” said Todd Tiahrt (R-KS).