Firms that once thought they had nothing to hide are finding themselves under uncomfortable scrutiny now that the scandal surrounding New Jersey-based Armacon Securities has forced the industry to rethink political relationships.

In Camden County, N.J., the unwelcome attention is being aimed at a circle of companies - all housed in the same office building in Cherry Hill - that includes a bond counsel firm, a municipal under-writing company, a bank, an insurer, and the county's most powerful political action committee.

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