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Abramoff Scandal's Many Tentacles

With disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff claiming that he has information that could implicate as many as 60 members of Congress and staff in his pay-to-play scams, Capitol Hill is rife with rumors about who might be the next name to surface in connection with the growing scandal.

The vast majority of the attention about Abramoff's dealing have -- to date -- dealt with federal, not state, politicians. But given the extent of the scandal, will plenty of state-level politicians have to answer for their Abramoff ties?

Take Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) for example.

Ehrlich announced Wednesday that he would return $16,000 in contributions from Abramoff and his wife -- $8,000 for the governor's 2002 campaign and another $8,000 for his 2006 reelection fight.

Ehrlich's ties to Abramoff (albeit in a secondhand manner) run deeper than just financial contributions. His deputy chief of staff -- Edward B. Miller -- was the founder of one of a series of companies Abramoff set up to funnel excess dollars received from his clients to his personal bankroll. As reported here and here by Washington Post reporter Matthew Mosk, Miller was the registered agent of Grassroots Interactive, which was founded in May 2003. By September of that year, Miller had sold his stake in the company to associates of Abramoff.

According to Abramoff's plea agreement, he established GRI in May 2003 to "provide grass roots work, public relations services and election campaign support." But Abramoff used GRI as well as a number of other front organizations "to receive funds for his personal benefit" and "to conceal the destination of the funds," says the plea.

Miller has denied any wrongdoing in the matter and has cooperated with federal investigators seeking to suss out the extent of Abramoff's illegal dealings. On Wednesday Ehrlich told the Associated Press that "Ed Miller is a tremendous young man. He is [deputy] chief of staff and will remain chief of staff." Neither Ehrlich's campaign nor his office chose to comment on this story, however.

Several knowledgeable Republican strategists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering Ehrlich, said Miller's connection to Abramoff, when coupled with the saga surrounding  former Ehrlich aide Joseph Steffen, could complicate the governor's reelection chances in November.

"It matters because it gives the Democrats an opportunity to say it is part of a pattern," said one high-level Republican operative. "It is another leg on their 'scandalous-corruption' stool."

As if on cue, Jonathan Epstein -- campaign manager for Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley's (D)  gubernatorial bid -- said that the news regarding GRI shows that "Ehrlich has brought a culture of corruption to Maryland government."

Are there other state officials who have ties (beyond accepting donations) to Abramoff that we're missing?  Please post in the comment section below or e-mail me.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 5, 2006; 8:05 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Posted by: phentermine | January 28, 2006 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Jackass--oops, sorry, meant "jaxas" (isn't that Latin for "jackass"?)--if you'd bother to do some mininal research, you'd know that from a statistical standpoint, it's most likely that union members voted for Kerry. But if you insist, we could compromise and say that perhaps 10.7 of the 13 miners voted for Bush, while 2.3 of them voted for Kerry, based on the percentage vote split for Upshur County, WV (wherein lies Tallsmansville).

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Posted by: Jeff H | January 6, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Jaxas, I get your point about how some of the most anti-government voters are precisely the people who need government to protect them.

That being said, the entire debacle of this country has to do with Republicans succeeding in stealing the White House and Congress through dirty tricks and the press sitting back and allowing it to happen.

Bush and his cronies should be in jail. Abramoff is just the tip of the corruption iceberg.

Posted by: Sentheru | January 6, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Jaxas, I get your point about how some of the most anti-government voters are precisely the people who need government to protect them.

That being said, the entire debacle of this country has to do with Republicans succeeding in stealing the White House and Congress through dirty tricks and the press sitting back and allowing it to happen.

Bush and his cronies should be in jail. Abramoff is just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: Sentheru | January 6, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

Read? Obviously you didn't bother checking out the indictment, since it was written based on kicking back client money, not personal.

BTW, haven't listened to Rush regularly ever, and not at all in about 8 years.

But please, continue with your vast generalizations, it makes you look so intelligent.

http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 6, 2006 12:07 AM | Report abuse

A US grand jury in Guam opened an investigation of controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff more than two years ago, but President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor, and the probe ended soon after.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/08/08/bush_removal_ended_guam_investigation/?p1=email_to_a_friend

Posted by: BAMN | January 5, 2006 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Check out Rep. Mark Green (R-WI), and his top lieutenant. Green is one of those pious "Christians" who votes strictly along the bush/rove line. Green takes $ from any and all sources, and has been a big defender of Tom DeLay.
Green's top aide has taken sports tickets and other "gifts" from Abramoff, and Green himself has refused to return the $ he got from Jacko for his own campaign chest. Oh yeah - Green is running for Governor of Wisconsin. Just what we need; another bushbot at the helm.
By the way, the dems did not take a dime from Mr. Abramoff. The NY Times and Wash. Post continue to disappoint. It seems like they are in the pocket of bush/rove - lock, stock and barrel. Why do the media bosses even bother to send reps to McClellan's ridiculous "press" conferences, when they haven't gotten a straight answer for many, many months now? And they don't, with the exception of Helen Thomas, have the passion to dig out the truth that I look for in a good reporter.
What if this exact crap had been discovered during the Clinton administration? Well, we know what the Post and Times did over a private sexual transgression - and you wonder why we see the MSM as a tool of bush/rove?
I love reading the papers. It is hard for me to admit that the blogs are so much better these days - faster, self-correcting, thorough, and just damn good at getting to the truth, if you read a good cross section of them.
Unless the Post, Times, etc. get serious about digging for facts, politicians be damned, you will continue to lose our trust, and our readership. We who do realize how important the news is are continously searching for trustworthy and brave sources to go to. If the Post and Times continue down their present road, they will both be out of business within 5 years. Re-discover your 'nads, folks.

Posted by: badgervan | January 5, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Watergate: Follow the money

Abramgate: Follow the E-mails

Posted by: ocdemocrat | January 5, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Thankyou for this information! I'm so glad to see it aired!

Posted by: Beverley Brinkerhoff | January 5, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: getalife | January 5, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Kit Bond is a political partisan hack. Regularly reads Karl Rove's talking points really, really well. Read his quotes in the link above: "I don't recall", "I don't remember". Typical stuff from this guy. By being Karl's puppet, he gets to bring the pork home.

He was one of the nine who voted for torture in the McCain legislation.

Posted by: jenniferm | January 5, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Looks like some state level Missouri Republicans got some of Abramoff's cash as well (via Sen Kit Bond it appears):

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/nation/story/3F150C31C4B7627C862570EC0017F5CA?OpenDocument&highlight=2%2C%22Shesgreen%22

Posted by: Dawg | January 5, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

All politicions found guilty of corruption should be sent to the Gulf Coast to help clean up for community service along with the maximum prison time.

Posted by: getalife | January 5, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

No way Delay and company should get off the hook...from the Post:

"Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them."

We should not be satisfied until every last one of the lobbyists Delay and his gang consorted with are driven from D.C.

This scandal has been brewing ever since the Republican takeover in the 1998 midterm elections.

The understanding of the purpose and goal of government is completely lost on these people (the current ruling cabal - Executive and Legislative - but with some ringers like Sam Alito mixed in). We are nothing more than suckers paying taxes to be fleeced.

Posted by: Jeff | January 5, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

re: FATHER ABRAMOFF and DECON DELAY

As for officials one may have missed, I do not know. But I am watching the scrambling to return money with amusement, as if returning what may be in effect 'bribes' undoes the act of taking the money in the first place.

If the evangelicals and Republicans who took money and provided influence think that defiant defenses or abject apologies will make it better, they have been watching too much TV and reading too many romantic novels.

This has gone too far for trust to be restored. Which may be a good thing since we have seen the souls of the evangelicals and they are filled with huberis, greed, and powerlust.

That and only that lay behind their pius words.

Pah! I say let them twist slowly in the wind for all to see.

Posted by: Kurt | January 5, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

And one more thing, about our "Liberal Media (TM)". If a senior Clinton administration official had resigned his post on a Friday and been arrested the following Monday, how many days do you guess it would have taken before he was a household name?

David Safavian did just that MONTHS AGO. This adorable White House pet known as the Mainstream Media gave that story one quiet day, and they were done. No fuss, no muss, and (more importantly) no ruffled feathers in the soiled plumage of their supervisors at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Posted by: Mark | January 5, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

give it up

Posted by: Anonymous | January 5, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree with John and Maria above. I'm sure the Post will dig to get inside this story with the same brave, dogged determination with which they covered the dissenters in the intell community throughout the administration's Iraqi Threat Hoax.

And they will tirelessly clarify for their readers the fallacies in the GOP's spin on this matter exactly the way they were right on top of Bush's successful bid to convince Americans Saddam attacked us. (I think they finally piped up on that one a mere TWO YEARS into the disinfo campaign, by which point 70% of the country believed this easily-debunked notion)

Yes, we can all hold our breath and place our confidence in the Paper of Woodward and Bernstein. Oops, Woodward's on the White House payroll too. Well, God help us. Guess it's up to the bloggers.

Posted by: Mark | January 5, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Crazy Politico, the list you are looking at is just ass-covering window dressing. Any breakdown of the real figures shows the extent to which this was a GOP scam.

DeLay, for instance, is quite low down the list of recipients, with just $30,500. But if you look at Abramoff's own contributions, DeLay was by far the biggest recipient. And Democrats saw precisely zero of this money.

Moreover, these legal contributions are the tip of the iceberg. Read the indictment referring to DeLay. The $30,500 he got formally was dwarfed by the $115,000 paid to his wife Christine for a phony makework project. She got that money for ostensibly phoning Congressional staff to find out members' favourite charities, a task that any secretary could complete in a week.

And another $50,000 went to the wife of DeLay's "staffer A", who is obviously Tony Rudy. Are we supposed to believe this money had nothing to do with DeLay? No doubt all these staffers, and their family members, maxxed out their own personal contributions to DeLay using the Abramoff money sloshing around.

Count that money and DeLay rockets to the top of the recipients list, with twice the money of the supposed leading recipient, J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz).

But DeLay wasn't the only one to get this under-the-table money. A $50,000 payment to the wife of John Doolittle (R-Calif) has also turned up. Do you think the investigation will uncover similar payments to the wives and staffers of Democrats? My arse it will.

Your cheesy talking-point about how 'everyone was doing it' will go nowhere. Not even American voters are that dim. In fact Abramoff and DeLay's K-Street Project was all about driving Democrats out of the lobbying business and making it a Republican monopoly. And everyone knows that because the bastards boasted about it.

Posted by: OD | January 5, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

John Patterson has it right. Scotty McClellan's ridiculous lie about "not being sure" about Bush ever actually meeting or knowing Abramoff needs to be exposed. The press has been bending over for the Republicans for so long now that I just laugh when I read things like the spin about "Abramoff gave money to Democrats too!'- yeah, right. So I guess we should all just ignore the mountains of evidence that show this to be a pure REPUBLICAN SCANDAL.

The press needs to find the spine that it lost on 9/11/01.
The public needs to as well.

Posted by: maria | January 5, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris;

I still can't find those three magic words, "Bush", "Gabon" and "Abramoff" anywhere in the MSM news coverage of the Republican influence pedling scandal.

However there was one knee-slapper today in your paper's story about Bush giving "back" $6000 that Abramoff personally funneled into his re-election campaign. It is that one littel sentence where your paper casually inserts the laughable notion that Bush did not know old Jack personally, but met him on a couple rare occasions.

Have we forgotten that Bush claimed to be only a casual acquaintance of Kenny Boy Lay, when it was Georgie Boy himself who gave Lay that "affectionate" nickname?

Kinda' like "Turdblossom" for Rove?

So WHO WAS IT in the White House who opened all those doors for Gabon's Bongo? Was it Rove, of maybe even Cheney? was Delay involved? We know it was Abramoff who got the cash, that $9 million handshake will go down in history as irrefutable proof Abramoff had a hook-up at the White House that went well beyond typical K-Street shenanigans.

C'mon., Chris, get some guts and go aftetr this Bush/Gabon/Abramoff story, even if it means losing some of your beltway insider connections. Then you can tell that story, too. Just what are you and the rest of your fellow "journalists" afraid of?

would guess it is your bosses. No doubt they are the real thumbscrews being tightened to keep all of you from writing about it.

By the way, I'd like to read your personal opinion, do you or any of your "code of journalistic integrity" colleagues really believe Bush was not personally familiar with Abramoff, or anyone in anyone in the entire "Pioneer" club conspiracy?

We're getting this cheap "Democrats are guilty, too" story when anyone with a clear mind can see just from the preponderance of already-public evidence that this is truly a Republican scandal. I think it is a safe bet that the few Democrats who got dragged into it were strategically donated-to for this very reason.

I once depended on publications like the Washington Post and the NYTimes for truly fair and balance news, and I always knew from the way they were labeled "left wing media" that they were really fair and balanced, or the Republicans wouldn't have been so quick to label them "lefties."

But any more, the only source for truth is on the blogs. Print is dead, and so is the journalistic integrity of those who fill its pages with this disinformation.

And, adding insult to injury, the entire concept of Newt Gingrich, Bill Frist and Rick Santorum leading the charge against corruption is nauseating. Once again, the foxes got caught in the hen house they were "guarding" and now they're trying to look like watchdogs. But their "Bushy" tails are awfully hard to hide.

It is a shame when you have to read between the lines of our MSM news stories to get real the truth.

It is no wonder you've taken your smiling face off the top of your column, Chris, and replaced it with one bearing the clear weight of a guilty journalistic conscience.

I'd be ashamed too if I was part of the patent lie you and your fellow "journalists" have so willingly bought in to. Reminds me of the run-up to war.

You guys aren't journalists, you are just typesetters. The real journalists are on the blogs.

JEP

Posted by: John Patterson | January 5, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt (son of acting Majority Leader and DeLay crony Roy Blunt) has some ties to Abramoff through dear old dad, detailed in a recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. Abramoff's tribal clients were also (through his influence) big donors to Missouri Republican Party and a Missouri PAC with a similar aim to DeLay's "Permanent Republican Majority in Texas" group, despite the fact that none of the tribes are in Missouri or have any interests there.

Posted by: Brian | January 5, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Two stolen elections, and Ohio and Fla. will be forever fixed in all the up coming elections. Don't even count the votes in those two states. Our forefathers must be rolling in their graves to see the mockery this administration has turned this great country into. Any president aalling the consitution of the United States "just a piece of paper" should be impeached on the spot. THIS is the democracy Gorgie wants to pass along to Iraq? Ignorent leaders cheating their way into the position, secret meetings, wiretaps with no checks and balances, important jobs vital to the protection of all Americans given to inept cronies, corruption, lies killing our American youth the future of our country, new laws taking money from the poor and middle class so the rich can get richer, a climate set to polorize the entire country, defencism used to explain the constant mistakes, stacking the deck in the Congress and the Judicial system, and i could go on forever. The judicial system in Fla. run by his brother no less (REALLY JUST A COINCIDENCE) made it possible for a drug adict, bullie, ner do well, run businesses to the ground, born again (good excuse for the rest of us who did it right the first time), lazy, awol during war time which is called treason, an I.Q. of 90 (he should have help crossing the street) bord easily and not up to a regular job (never held one) never mind the position people think he holds, illegal power grabbing above the law admimistration....(take a breath.) I think the Iraqies might change their mind. I know they will live to regret Georgie as much as the rest of us do.

Posted by: dragonlady | January 5, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I wish to report the citizens and the state of Texas as being the brunt of the Abramoff abuse. Now U.S. senator John Cornyn was Texas Attorney General in the year 2000 and I think 2001. Abramoff "funneled" $4.2 million to Ralph Reed. Ralph Reed did many things to get Cornyn to rule unfavorably against Indian casino gambling in Texas. I read one article where Reed had become so chummy with Cornyn that Reed was actually given access to Cornyn's records and Reed actually was spending quite a bit of time in the Texas Attorney General's Office. One email on record reportedly from Reed to Scanlon showed Reed boasting that he had "choreographed" Cornyn's actions to be made against the two Texas Indian casinos -- first the Tiqua's casino in El Paso opened about 6 years previous, and second the Couchatta casino in Livingston that had just recently opened.

Also there was some bill that was favorable to Texas Indian tribe gambling interests that was before the Texas senate that was presided over by then (but now retired Bill Ratliff. Mr. Ratliff used his power to kill the bill. This looks very suspicious to me. Could Mr. Ratliff have been the recipient of some of Reed's Abrmoff funds? I do not know but I just say it bears illumination.

There needs to be an absolute full investigation of Ralph Reed in this Abramoff investigation. There must be an absolute full accounting of where Ralph Reed "funneled" that $4.2 million. How much did he keep for himself? How much did he give (through any and all of Reed's possible "front" groups to the John Cornyn for U.S. senate campaign fund.

Reed gathered up (bought up?) 50 Texas Christian pastors and they met with Cornyn and made their request that Indian casino gambling in Texas be shut down. The possible funds that went to the pastors, by whatever circuitous route, needs also to be illuminated.

Ralph Reed claimed he was assured that none of the $4.2 million Abramoff gave him came from Abramoff's Indian clients of Texas and several other states. What a joke!!! Reed had a close relationship with Abramoff for nigh onto 20 years and Reed knew exactly where Abramoff was garnishing his current millions.

Also John Cornyn knew the full genesis of Reed's money, so if Cornyn took any money from Reed, Cornyn knew he was taking money from the Indians that he was about to hornswaggle. Are we disgusted enought yet?!

I am a conservative Christian. I have never been or voted Republican. In fact, I have been disenfranchised because of the Hart InterCivic crooked electronic voting machines that were supplied to a large part of central Texas by the top Republican "fundraisers" in Texas, many of the same personages so embroiled in this Abramoff scandal.

I do not know how the Tiquas who opened their casino so many years before under the perfect permission of Texas law could all of a sudden have some "choreographed" actions by John Cornyn against them to make their casino suddenly illegal. This is not the way the rule of law is supposed to work.

I hope the Indians get to reopen their casinos. I hope they get every penny that was ripped off of them. I hope Ralph Reed gets indicted and John Cornyn is knocked out of the saddle.

I believe this scandal is good because it exposes the systemic fatal disease of our law making bodies - federal, state and local.

The campaign finance laws are a bad joke. The huge amounts of money it takes to get elected and re-elected is absurd. (Here in Travis County, Texas, all but one of our recently elected county commissioners court broke the campaign finance laws but the judge just pronounced that he chooses not to enforce that law.)

It is also scandalous that D.C. and state capital cities are loaded up with lobbyists who are there solely for the purpose of purchasing laws and lawmakers. We the people have been locked out of having our needs and concerns addressed by our so called "elected" "represenatives". This system is wrong, immoral and evil.

Our lawmakers are sneaking through draconian legislation designed to make a few people more wealthy and more powerful while at the same time, in the final analysis, to destroy the sovereignty of the United States of America and along with that our Constitution, Bill of Rights and our freedom. This American Freedom is what millions of U.S. soldiers have fought and bled and suffered and died for over 230 years.

Posted by: DachsieLady | January 5, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Come on Chris, could you be a bit straigher in the presentation? This is TOO KIND to the Ehrlich administration.

Miller certainly appears to be a co-conspirator involved in funneling extorted corporate funds to GOP activities. And Miller is still employed by Ehrlich!

(The "albeit in a secondhand manner" and "excess dollars", phraseology is precious!).

What did GRI do with the $2 million from Tyco?

Specific items:


When you click through to Mr. Mosk's first article (which ran on the inside pages) you find

"the company received a $2 million payment, at Abramoff's direction, from Tyco.

...Abramoff's lobbying firm promised to repay $1.5 million of that fee [to Tyco] because ...the money was "diverted to entities controlled by Mr. Abramoff" and misspent."

What did GRI do for the money? Did Miller just take salary for being the conduit or did he also direct GRI to contribute to other GOP entities?

What was the price that Miller received for the sale of the company to an Abramoff associate? Who is the Abramoff associate?

Chris, would you please report this one straight, using standard language rater than pussyfooting around the subject?

Thanks to the Post for putting out there at least, but boy, is the presentation poor. The story is hidden on the inside pages, with key facts left out and the presumption of saintliness on the GOP.

Posted by: Mike | January 5, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Sentheru, I would bet you that to a man, all of the miners who died and their voting age family members voted for George W. Bush. And they continue to vote for people who tell them government is evil, that they do not need the sort of government oversight of mine safety that would have done something about the unsafe conditions that led to the deaths of these men.

When the levess failed in New Orleans, when Bush sold us a bill of good on Iraq, when plotters were in this country planning the 9-11 attacks, when the surplus we had in 2001 suddenly evaporated into debt because of the public's easy giving in to the rhetoric of the "We can have it all without having to pay for it!" crowd, it was because the voting public bought into this nonsense.

Now, when the inevitable consequences of their electoral laziness come back to bite us, when the bill comes due for our cavalier ignorance of who and what we are voting for, we get pissed and look around for someone's head. They should start with themselves.

These elections matter. And they had better wake up and realize that when they punch the card for their favorite right wing anti-government congressman in the next election cycle.

Posted by: Jaxas | January 5, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

crazy politico you are a typical neocon nitwit.Abromoff only donated to Reps with personal money. Read for once and stop getting your news from junkie drug addict Rush and try to think on your own

Posted by: Larry | January 5, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Jaxas, the American public did NOT vote for the social ills that you correctly adumbrate in your note.

The Republican party stole two elections, and in typical bait and switch fashion bought the press so that few would pay attention to the party's obvious corruption.

We live in an era of retro-McCarthyism, so a free press is a thing of the past. The same is true of voting rights for all Americans. Washington and state and local governments are corrupt, because the Supreme Court abdicated its responsibility when it ignored our system of rules and gave an incompetent alcoholic the White House.

So please put the blame where it belongs.

I definitely agree with your assessment of the social and political ills that we face as a nation.

Posted by: Sentheru | January 5, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Jim, all the "public" has to do is go to the open secrets link above, and they can see for themselves who got what, when and from who (Abramoff or his clients).

Keep in mind, it's not his personal donations that caused the indictments, it was the donations from the clients.

Since 2000 he and his clients have donated $1.5 million to Democrats $2.8 to Republicans.

$780,000 to the two democratic campaign committees, $920,000 to the two GOP committees.

Yes, the GOP got more money. Do some research, and you'll see the 2:1 donation split is normal between in and out of power parties.

BTW, Bob Ney, the current poster child for the investigation recieved less money than Charles Rangel, Patty Murray and Patrick Kennedy, and only $500 more than Harry Reid.

http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_recips.asp?sort=R

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 5, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Pork and beans.

The latest Abramoff scandal is just the beginning.

Elected officials are scurrying to return the money from Abramoff.

Will we ever be refunded all the tax dollars lost in legislation these bribes influenced?

Will we ever see the end of PACs and their influence throughout our government?

The entire campaign funding process is corrupt.

Who really compensates our elected officials? Oil? Tobacco? Pharmaceuticals? Defense contractors? Nabobs?

Why worry about the "pork"? It's the "beans" that really count.

Posted by: Bernie | January 5, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Abramoff is also connected to Bob McDonnell, Virginia's new Attorney General, according to a November 3rd article in the Post's Metro section.

Posted by: Al | January 5, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The Republican talking point is that Abramoff was giving money to both parties. This is a misleading statement, since, while some of Abramoff's clients were giving money to both parties, Abramoff himself was only donating to Republicans. Some of the donations from clients may have been at least plausibly legitimate capmpaign contributions. The St. Andrews trips, etc. were for Republicans and are significantly different from campaign contributions. Scanlon was Delay's press secretary before getting involved in Abramoff's kickback scheme, not Nancy Pelosi. Abramoff's ex-employees were planted in Karl Rove's office, not in the Clinton White House. Griles, Norton, and Safavian were Bush appointees, not Clinton appointees. If Bush supporters like George Will think that the only way to keep the stink off the party is to try to convince the public that all of the nation's politicians are thieves, I suppose they can try, but I don't think that argument will really work to the Republican advantage. The Democrats should start handing more power and speaking time to their cleanest members, such as Maxine Waters and Dennis Kucinich. The old guard like Kerry, Ried, and Hoyer probably won't hold up as well if the microscope turns on them, as the press will find itself forced to look for Democratic shenanigans or face a withering assault from Rove, Limbaugh, and the rest of the noise machine.

Posted by: jim preston | January 5, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Look. The levees failing in New Orleans, the lack of attention to basic safety in our mines, the dramatic growth in puzzling new flu outbreaks, the changes in our weather--all of these are the byproducts of a generation swept up by a governing philosophy that essentially preaches that we do not need government, that states and localities and individuals can handle these problems themselves, that all of societies seemingly intractable problems can ultimately be solved by a free marketunemcumbered by silly government regulations on health, safety, security and the environment.

I have little sympathy for a people who keep electing charlatans who preach this unworkable philosophy of government by ignorance. What has happened in Iraq, in New Orleans and in Tallmansville, WVa was preventable in a society with an reasonably intellignet electorate that made electoral decisions on sound, reasonable grounds instead of impossible, hokey 18th century notions of the role of government.
The American people have no one to blame for such conditions but themselves. They voted for this.

Posted by: Jaxas | January 5, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Oops, that should be 1999, not 1991

Posted by: Bob | January 5, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Chris, if you want to find the tenacles since 1991, opensecrets.org is a great source.

Here's a link to their list of recipients of Abramoff money.

http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff_recips.asp?sort=R

Posted by: Bob | January 5, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Newsweek has a pretty good piece on winners and losers in this. A third party is one of their big winners, because of Jacks tenacles.

http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/01/could-abramoff-lead-to-third-party.html

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 5, 2006 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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