Abramoff Story Lives On
Just when it seemed that Washington had moved on to more recent scandals like the D.C. Madam trial or the indictment of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), an old chestnut -- the Jack Abramoff scandal -- has come back to life.
The tale of the disgraced lobbyist and his congressional partners in crime (some alleged, some convicted) had appeared to be dormant, until Colorado's open-seat Senate race returned it to the media radar. That contest pits Rep. Mark Udall (D) against ex-Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), and its Schaffer's alleged ties to Abramoff that have become a key issue in the campaign.
The Denver Post has written several stories on the Schaffer/Abramoff links, including a big piece this past Sunday suggesting that Schaffer helped Abramoff in 1999 by aiding the cause of some of the lobbyist's biggest clients at the time, garment manufacturers in the Northern Marianas Islands.
For his part, Schaffer told the Denver Post he "wasn't a part of anybody's strategy" or doing Abramoff's bidding during congressional hearings on the Marianas. The story is complicated and worth reading in full, and it's not clear whether this flare-up will really impact a Senate contest that is still seven months from Election Day.
But the interesting part to Capitol Briefing is how the Abramoff scandal is still managing to get its tentacles into new targets in 2008, more than four years after the story broke. And for what it's worth, the Justice Department appears to be still slogging along in its investigation of the Abramoff matter, meaning Schaffer may not be the last member under the microscope.
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