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There they go again...

Old 12-22-05, 12:28 PM
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There they go again...

THERE THEY GO AGAIN
By Michelle Malkin December 22, 2005 08:05 AM

The Associated Press continues its long pattern of biased political coverage with this article, which implies that former lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave 11 times more money to Republicans than Democrats:

This week, President Bush said it seemed to him that Abramoff "was an equal money dispenser, that he was giving money to people in both political parties."
Historically, tribal money had been going to Democrats almost exclusively. Abramoff changed that.

The lobbyist ordered one tribal client to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations. A list, obtained by The Associated Press, earmarked $90,000 of the money for the Republican Party, none for Democrats.

Of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Abramoff directed the tribe to donate to congressional campaigns, the Republican-Democrat breakdown was 11-to-1.
As Red State diarist Shiner observes, that's more than a little misleading. Taking into account all of the contributions controlled by Team Abramoff between 1999 and 2004--not just those funneled through one tribe--Democrats received about half as much money as Republicans. The second-highest recipient was Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) with $131,000. Other Democrat recipients include Sens. Patty Murray ($49,480), Harry Reid ($47,000), Byron Dorgan ($44,050), Tom Daschle (41,750), and Rep. Dick Gephardt ($39,000).

Abramoff was an equal-opportunity slimeball. Would it pain the AP to just report the facts every once in a while?
http://www.michellemalkin.com/mt/oct05-tb.cgi/3463
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Old 12-22-05, 12:30 PM
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As I read it, that bolded statement is accurate. And overall, giving twice as much money to Republicans hardly makes him an "equal-opportunity slimeball".
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Old 12-22-05, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
As I read it, that bolded statement is accurate. And overall, giving twice as much money to Republicans hardly makes him an "equal-opportunity slimeball".
The article was misleading - why pull out one tribe out of many to make a comparison when talking about the guy, and leave the overall facts out, unless the reason was to convey a false impression?

And of course the guy is going to give more money to Republicans - they're the ones IN POWER(and they're more of them to give money, too - there's only 44 Dems in the Senate, and 55 Republicans, for instance).

So a 2:1 ratio isn't surprising.

But an 11:1 ratio is only accurate for one tribe out of the many the guy was using to funnel money to politicians. The AP was obviously trying to leave viewers with the impression that Abramov gave money to Republicans 11:1 over Democrats in general.
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Old 12-22-05, 12:48 PM
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If you read the entire article, it's just a couple paragraphs buried in the middle. It's hardly the focus.
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Old 12-22-05, 03:30 PM
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Them Dirty Tricky Liberals. Yah gotza watch out for them. They'll take over your mind without you even knowing it!
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Old 12-23-05, 07:43 AM
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Out of the 70 or so names (politicians) that are at least linked (no guilt established) with the scandal - how many are Democrats? There's a cabinet secretary involved and the former deputy in her department.

If this scandal really takes hold, it will be the most harmful thing that has occurred for the Republicans.
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Old 12-23-05, 09:50 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...ationworld-hed


Senator gives away lobbyist-linked cash

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A second senator involved in the congressional investigation of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff is giving away campaign donations connected to the lobbyist.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus, ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, is donating $18,892 he got from Abramoff's clients and associates to seven tribal colleges in his state.

The committee is part of a congressional investigation of Abramoff's activities.

Spokesman Barrett Kaiser said Baucus has never met Abramoff and never took any contributions directly from him.

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, ranking Democrat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, returned $67,000 in donations earlier this month. That committee also is investigating Abramoff.
___________________

I notice the Repubs haven't given their money and other favors back.

Last edited by classicman2; 12-23-05 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I notice the Repubs haven't given their money and other favors back.
Really, C-Man?

That's interesting, since the biased AP article itself that I first posted about mentions this:

Some lawmakers Republican Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record) became the latest are scrambling to return or give away campaign donations, while others are the target of ethics complaints back in their home states by their political foes.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051222/...abramoff_probe

And that's in the second paragraph.

Among those returning the most money is Sen. Conrad Burns (news, bio, voting record), R-Mont., for an estimated $150,000.

Brownback's now-defunct Restore America Political Action Committee received $42,000 from four Indian tribes represented by Abramoff in 2002, according to Federal Election Commission records, and now he is giving it away.

Brownback, who is weighing a presidential bid, always has preferred to either return or donate to charity any campaign or leadership funds that have even the appearance of impropriety, said a spokesman.
That's farther down in the same story.

You might want to actually read these things before making such untrue, macro-pronouncements.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:19 AM
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Burns returned the money only after things got rather 'warm' for him.

The senate committee hearings chaired by McCain with Gorgan the ranking member have been very interesting.

A former deputy to Gail Norton was put on the hot seat. He couldn't remember anything. He denied he'd spoken with the secretary about the Indian gaming matter. Unfortunately for him, there were email records that 'refreshed his memory.'

BTW: Guess who one of the middlemen was in this scandal?

Another BTW: What association did Abramoff & Scanlon have with the former, how indicted, Majority Leader of the House?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...=Jack_Abramoff

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Old 12-23-05, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Burns returned the money only after things got rather 'warm' for him.

The senate committee hearings chaired by McCain with Gorgan the ranking member have been very interesting.

A former deputy to Gail Norton was put on the hot seat. He couldn't remember anything. He denied he'd spoken with the secretary about the Indian gaming matter. Unfortunately for him, there were email records that 'refreshed his memory.'

BTW: Guess who one of the middlemen was in this scandal?

Another BTW: What association did Abramoff & Scanlon have with the former, how indicted, Majority Leader of the House?
So you're just going to completely deflect and brush off the fact that you said something that was completely untrue?

"I notice the Repubs haven't given their money and other favors back."
No "oops" or "I'm sorry", even after such a charge was proved patently false?
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Old 12-23-05, 11:26 AM
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[b]Abramoff May Plead Guilty in Fraud Case


Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist at the center of a U.S. Justice Department-led investigation, may plead guilty in a Florida wire-fraud case as early as next week, a person close to the case said.

A plea may help federal prosecutors build cases against lawmakers and their staffs in both the Florida investigation and in a related probe of Abramoff's lobbying activity in Washington.

Abramoff's former business partner, Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to bribe members of Congress and their staffs, including Representative Robert Ney, an Ohio Republican. The probe may also involve Representative Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican and former House majority leader, who took a golfing trip to the U.K. in 2000 with Abramoff. In October, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's employees were questioned by investigators about the trip.

Another Abramoff associate, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty last week to wire fraud in the Florida case. Abramoff and Kidan were indicted in August in connection with a $147.5 million purchase of a casino boat company.

Abramoff faces a Jan. 9 trial date in Florida. Andrew Blum, a spokesman, had no comment. Ney was visiting troops in Iraq and his spokesman, Brian Walsh, said he didn't want to comment on a story from an anonymous person. Last week Ney, in a statement, said he was ``never part of any criminal conspiracy.''
________________

Bad news for the Repubs
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Old 12-23-05, 11:31 AM
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Ralph Reed - remember that name.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:35 AM
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kUSA Today (balanced newspaper)

Controversial lobbyist had close contact with Bush team

WASHINGTON (AP) In President Bush's first 10 months, GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws, records show.

The meetings between Abramoff's lobbying team and the administration ranged from Attorney General John Ashcroft to policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to his lobbying firm billing records.

Abramoff, a $100,000-plus fundraiser for Bush, is now under criminal investigation for some of his lobbying work. His firm boasted its lobbying team helped revise a section of the Republican Party's 2000 platform to make it favorable to its island client.

In addition, two of Abramoff's lobbying colleagues on the Marianas won political appointments inside federal agencies.

"Our standing with the new administration promises to be solid as several friends of the CNMI (islands) will soon be taking high-ranking positions in the Administration, including within the Interior Department," Abramoff wrote in a January 2001 letter in which he persuaded the island government to follow him as a client to his new lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig.

The reception Abramoff's team received from the Bush administration was in stark contrast to the chilly relations of the Clinton years. Abramoff, then at the Preston Gates firm, scored few meetings with Clinton aides and the lobbyist and the islands vehemently opposed White House attempts to extend U.S. labor laws to the territory's clothing factories.

The records from Abramoff's firm, obtained by The Associated Press from the Marianas under an open records request, chronicle Abramoff's careful cultivation of relations with Bush's political team as far back as 1997.

In that year, Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory's school choice proposal, his billing records show.

"I hope you will keep my office informed on the progress of this initiative," Bush wrote in a July 18, 1997, letter praising the islands' school plan and copying in an Abramoff deputy.

White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Thursday that Bush didn't consider Abramoff a friend. "They may have met on occasion, but the president does not know him," she said.

As for the number of Abramoff lobbying team contacts with Bush officials documented in the billing records, Healy said: "We do not know how he defines 'contacts.'"

Andrew Blum, a spokesman for Abramoff, declined comment.

The Greenberg Traurig firm, where Abramoff worked between late 2000 and early 2004, is investigating Abramoff's work and cooperating with government investigations.

"Greenberg Traurig accepted Jack Abramoff's resignation from the firm, effective March 2, 2004, after Mr. Abramoff disclosed to the firm personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm and antithetical to the way we do business," spokeswoman Jill Perry said.

Abramoff is now under federal investigation amid allegations he overcharged tribal clients by millions of dollars, and his ties to powerful lawmakers such as House Majority Leader Tom DeLay are under increasing scrutiny.

The documents show his team also had extensive access to Bush administration officials, meeting with Cheney policy advisers Ron Christie and Stephen Ruhlen, Ashcroft at the Justice Department, White House intergovernmental affairs chief Ruben Barrales, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles and others.

Most of the contacts were handled by Abramoff's subordinates, who then reported back to him on the meetings. Abramoff met several times personally with top Interior officials, whose Office of Insular Affairs oversees the Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories.

In all, the records show at least 195 contacts between Abramoff's Marianas lobbying team and the Bush administration from February through November 2001.

At least two people who worked on Abramoff's team at Preston Gates wound up with Bush administration jobs: Patrick Pizzella, named an assistant secretary of labor by Bush; and David Safavian, chosen by Bush to oversee federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget.

"We have worked with WH Office of Presidential Personnel to ensure that CNMI-relevant positions at various agencies are not awarded to enemies of CNMI," Abramoff's team wrote the Marianas in an October 2001 report on its work for the year.

Abramoff's team didn't neglect party politics either: There were at least two meetings with Republican National Committee officials, including then-finance chief Jack Oliver, as well as attendance at GOP fundraisers.

In 2000, Abramoff and his team were connected enough to both political parties to boast of obtaining early drafts of the platforms each adopted at its presidential nominating convention.

"In the case of the Republican platform, the team reviewed and commented on sections dealing with insular territories to ensure appropriately positive treatment. This was successful," the Preston Gates firm wrote to Marianas.

"In the case of the Democratic Party platform, the team assisted in drafting early versions of neutral language relating to the territories," the firm wrote. "However, heavy intervention by the White House eventually deleted positive references to the CNMI."

The access of Abramoff and his team to the administration came as the lobbyist was establishing himself as a GOP fundraiser.

Abramoff and his wife each gave $5,000 to Bush's 2000 recount fund and the maximum $1,000 to his 2000 campaign. By mid-2003, Abramoff had raised at least $100,000 for Bush's re-election campaign, becoming one of Bush's famed "pioneers."

Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush's re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.

Two Tan family companies gave $25,000 each to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 elections. Greenberg Traurig, too, was a big GOP giver. Its donations included $20,000 to the Republican National Committee for the 2000 elections and $25,000 each to the GOP's House and Senate fundraising committees in 2000 and again in 2002.

The Marianas' lobbying paid off it fended off proposals in 2001 to extend the U.S. minimum wage to island workers and gained at least $2 million more in federal aid from the administration.

Abramoff's team bragged to the cash-strapped Marianas government that the taxpayer money would cover its lobbying bill: "We believe that this additional funding along with other funds we expect to secure by the end of the year will make clear to even our biggest critics that we pay for ourselves," Abramoff teammate Kevin Ring wrote in October 2001, copying in Abramoff.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by natesfortune
So you're just going to completely deflect and brush off the fact that you said something that was completely untrue?



No "oops" or "I'm sorry", even after such a charge was proved patently false?
Guess not...

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Old 12-23-05, 11:39 AM
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The Nation

Abramoff's Last Stand

Even in Washington, the rise and fall of Jack Abramoff is breathtaking. At his peak he commanded $750-an-hour lobbying fees and maintained impeccable ties to the leaders of the conservative movement, where he was known as the "godfather" of Tom DeLay's lobbying network. DeLay himself once called Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends."

Now Abramoff is perhaps the most radioactive figure in the nation's capital, thanks to the revelations last year that he and partner Michael Scanlon, a former DeLay aide, defrauded a half-dozen Indian tribes of $82 million in lobbying fees between 2001 and 2004. He is the subject of a wide-ranging interagency criminal probe in Washington and has been indicted in Florida on wire fraud and conspiracy charges in the purchase of SunCruz Casinos, whose previous owner was shot dead months after Abramoff acquired the company.

The Indian probe, focused on the exorbitant fees tribes were charged by Abramoff and Scanlon to lobby on Indian gaming issues, has implicated DeLay, House Administration Committee chairman Bob Ney, antitax activist Grover Norquist and former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, among others. The government's top procurement official, David Safavian, was arrested in September for obstructing the Justice Department's investigation into Abramoff. Bush's nominee for Deputy Attorney General, Tyco executive Timothy Flanigan, withdrew his nomination after disclosing that Abramoff had lobbied on Tyco's behalf.
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Old 12-23-05, 11:43 AM
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I knew a couple of Repubs had returned money - including a Republican congressman from OK - Ernest Istook.

I just want you to admit that there are far more Republicans involved (with questionable activities) in this scandal(s) than there are Democrats.
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Old 12-23-05, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I knew a couple of Repubs had returned money - including a Republican congressman from OK - Ernest Istook.

I just want you to admit that there are far more Republicans involved (with questionable activities) in this scandal(s) than there are Democrats.
Gee, looks like the lily white dems got some 'splainin' to do...

The Washington Post

Democrats Also Got Tribal Donations
Abramoff Issue's Fallout May Extend Beyond the GOP

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Derek Willis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 3, 2005; A01

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff and an associate famously collected $82 million in lobbying and public relations fees from six Indian tribes and devoted a lot of their time to trying to persuade Republican lawmakers to act on their clients' behalf.

But Abramoff didn't work just with Republicans. He oversaw a team of two dozen lobbyists at the law firm Greenberg Traurig that included many Democrats. Moreover, the campaign contributions that Abramoff directed from the tribes went to Democratic as well as Republican legislators.

Among the biggest beneficiaries were Capitol Hill's most powerful Democrats, including Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Harry M. Reid (Nev.), the top two Senate Democrats at the time, Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), then-leader of the House Democrats, and the two lawmakers in charge of raising funds for their Democratic colleagues in both chambers, according to a Washington Post study. Reid succeeded Daschle as Democratic leader after Daschle lost his Senate seat last November.

Democrats are hoping to gain political advantage from federal and Senate investigations of Abramoff's activities and from the embattled lobbyist's former ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). Yet, many Democratic lawmakers also benefited from Abramoff's political operation, a fact that could hinder the Democrats' efforts to turn the lobbyist's troubles into a winning partisan issue.

"It wouldn't surprise me to see the Abramoff controversy impact both parties," said Tony Raymond, co-founder of PoliticalMoneyLine.com, which gathers lobbying and campaign finance information.

Democratic lawmakers who responded to inquiries for this article said that any money they received from the tribes had nothing to do with Abramoff. They were quick to say they did not know the man.

Federal investigators are examining the millions of dollars in lobbying and public relations fees that Abramoff received from the tribes. They are also looking into his dealings with members of Congress and their staffs, lawyers involved in the inquiry said.

Most lobbying firms here are bipartisan, to give their clients access to key lawmakers of both major parties. Abramoff's group was no exception. Although he was recognized as a Republican lobbyist who was close to DeLay and other party leaders, Abramoff was careful to add at least two Democratic lobbyists to his group during his five years at Greenberg Traurig. By the end, seven of his lobbyists were Democrats.

"Lobbying shops typically direct contributions to both parties because they want contacts on both sides of the aisle," said David M. Hart, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. "Lawmakers in the minority can also have a lot of clout."

According to documents and tribal officials familiar with the Abramoff team's methods, the lobbyists devised lengthy lists of lawmakers to whom the tribes should donate and then delivered the lists to the tribes. The tribes, in turn, wrote checks to the recommended campaign committees and in the amounts the lobbyists prescribed. The money went to incumbents or selected candidates in open seats.

Because of the makeup of his team and the composition of Congress, the Abramoff lobbyists channeled most of their clients' giving to GOP legislators, according to a review of public records. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee that frequently deals with Indian matters, received the largest amount from the tribes as well as from the Greenberg Traurig lobbyists who helped direct those donations: $141,590 from 1999 to 2004, the study showed.

But Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) ran second, with $128,000 in the same period. From 1999 to 2001, Kennedy chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which solicited campaign donations for House candidates.

The Indians' largess flowed to higher-ranking Democrats as well. Senate Democratic leaders Reid and Daschle each received more than $40,000 from the tribes and from lobbyists on Abramoff's team during the period. Gephardt got $32,500.

Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff's group, six, or one-third, were Democrats. These included Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2001 to 2002, and Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), a leader in Indian affairs legislation.

Over that period, while Abramoff and his lobbyists directed nearly $4 million in funds from the tribes to lawmakers, they also gave from their own pockets. Two-thirds of the total went to Republicans and one-third was handed out to Democrats, according to The Post's calculations.

The six wealthiest tribes that had hired Abramoff's group were the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and the Tigua Indian Reservation.

Greenberg Traurig declined to comment. An Abramoff spokesman said: "Each tribe has its own protocol for approving political contributions made by the tribe. Mr. Abramoff and his team provided recommendations on where a tribe should spend its political dollars, but ultimately the tribal council made the final decision on what political contributions to make."

Democratic lawmakers sought to distance themselves from Abramoff.

A spokesman for Kennedy said the congressman's donations from the tribes "have nothing to do with Abramoff." Kennedy traces the money's genesis to his family's long-standing commitment to Indian causes, to the fact that he co-founded the Congressional Native American Caucus in 1997, and to his personal relationship with Mississippi Choctaw Chief Philip Martin, whom Kennedy met in 1999 on a fundraising trip for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "They just became close friends," said Kennedy spokesman Sean Richardson.

James Patrick Manley, Reid's spokesman, also asserted that Reid's connection to tribes was remote from Abramoff. He said that Reid does not know Abramoff. But Abramoff did hire as one of his lobbyists Edward P. Ayoob, a veteran Reid legislative aide. Manley acknowledged that Ayoob helped raise campaign money for his former boss. Lawyers close to the Abramoff operation said that Ayoob held a fundraising reception for Reid at Greenberg Traurig's offices here.

"There's nothing sinister here," Manley said. Reid is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee with strong relations with Indian tribes, he explained.

Daschle was familiar with another of Abramoff's Democratic lobbyists, Michael Smith. According to Steve Hildebrand, who was Daschle's campaign manager last year, Smith "helped with a lot of Democratic campaigns." In addition, Daschle was a favorite of Indian tribes and received donations from 64, including five Abramoff clients. "We took about $150,000 in this last election cycle from Indian tribes around the country," Hildebrand said. "Tom is viewed as a champion of Indian issues. We have nine tribes in South Dakota, and they worked hard for him."

Murray also was said to have never laid eyes on Abramoff. "Our office has not had any contact with Jack Abramoff," said the senator's spokeswoman, Alex Glass. "She's been active in Indian health care and in supporting their sovereign governments; that is why they decided to contribute to her. They see her as an advocate."

During the time Murray chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Abramoff's major tribes were significant contributors. Election reports show that the grand total from the tribes to that committee in 2001-2002 reached $175,500.

In March 2001, Dorgan held a fundraising event during a hockey game in a skybox leased by an Abramoff company at MCI Center. But the senator said he believed that the box was controlled by Greenberg Traurig. The event was organized by Smith, the Democratic fundraiser, he added.

"I was unaware that Abramoff was involved," Dorgan said.

The funny thing is you don't see any of the Dems giving the money back.

Also the money quote from thaqt article is
Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff's group, six, or one-third, were Democrats.
. As we all know, 1/3 can never be shown as an 11:1 ratio, thereby proving the OP's assertion of bias/
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Old 12-23-05, 09:41 PM
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Am I to understand that their are corrupt people in Washington?
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Old 12-24-05, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
Am I to understand that their are corrupt people in Washington?
Yes you are, and when one side starts talking about "The culture of corruption" of the other side, know that it is the pot calling the kettle black.











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Old 12-31-05, 09:13 AM
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Fox News:

Abramoff Close to Plea Deal

WASHINGTON Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff consulted briefly Friday with a federal judge in Miami as they put the finishing touches on a plea deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The plea agreement would secure the lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients.

Abramoff and a former partner were indicted in Miami in August on charges of conspiracy and fraud for allegedly lying about their assets to help secure financing to purchase a fleet of gambling boats.

For the past two weeks, pressure has been intensifying on Abramoff to strike a deal with prosecutors since his former business partner, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in connection with the 2000 SunCruz deal.

Abramoff's cooperation would be a boon to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of congressional corruption, possibly helping prosecutors build criminal cases against up to 20 lawmakers and their staff members.

The sources, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks, said the lawyers spoke by phone with U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck, giving him an update on the plea negotiations. Huck scheduled another status conference for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The deal could be completed before then, the sources said. Abramoff could sign the plea agreement and exchange it with prosecutors via fax over the weekend, they said.

Details of where Abramoff will enter his plea are still being worked out. Abramoff's lawyers have indicated that they want the plea to be made in U.S. District Court in Washington, one of the sources said.

If that happens, Abramoff would plead guilty to charges contained in what is known as a criminal information a filing made by a federal prosecutor with a defendant's permission that bypasses action by a grand jury.

The lawyers could then apprise Huck about the plea and its effect on the case in Miami.

Abramoff and Kidan were indicted for allegedly concocting a fake $23 million wire transfer to make it appear they were putting their own money into the SunCruz deal. Two lenders agreed to provide $60 million in financing for the SunCruz purchase based on that false wire transfer, according to prosecutors.

For months, prosecutors in Washington have focused on whether Abramoff defrauded his Indian tribe clients of millions of dollars and used improper influence on members of Congress.

In a five-year span ending in early 2004, Indian tribes represented by the lobbyist contributed millions of dollars in casino income to congressional campaigns, often routing the money through political action committees for conservative members of Congress who opposed gambling.

Abramoff also provided trips, skybox fundraisers, golf fees, frequent meals, entertainment and jobs for lawmakers' relatives and aides.

Kidan and Abramoff bought SunCruz from Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, who was slain in 2001 in a gangland-style hit in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Investigators say Boulis and Kidan were fighting for control of SunCruz; Kidan has denied any involvement in Boulis' death.

Three men were arrested in September on murder charges in Boulis' killing and are awaiting trial.

Michael Scanlon, another former Abramoff associate, pleaded guilty in November in a separate case in Washington.

Scanlon said he helped Abramoff and Kidan buy SunCruz by persuading Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, to insert comments into the Congressional Record that were "calculated to pressure the then-owner to sell on terms favorable" to Abramoff and Kidan.

_________________________

Yet more bad news for the Repubs.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:26 AM
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Yahoo News:

Former U.S. lobbyist Jack Abramoff is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday to charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and fraud in a plea deal with prosecutors as part of their corruption investigation, a Justice Department official said.

The official said Abramoff is scheduled to enter the guilty plea before a federal judge in Washington at 12:15 p.m. EDT (1715 GMT), and that the Justice Department planned to hold a news conference later in the day. The charges were separate from those pending against Abramoff in Florida.

The long-expected plea deal by Abramoff could mean trouble for Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and other lawmakers and congressional aides who are also being investigated by the Justice Department for their ties to the former lobbyist.

His cooperation in the probe could give the Justice Department more ammunition as it seeks to link lawmakers' activities to favors provided by Abramoff clients.

In Florida, Abramoff has been charged with conspiracy and wire fraud for falsifying a loan in the purchase of a Florida casino cruise line. He also is expected to plead guilty in that case as well at a later date, the official said.
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Old 01-03-06, 12:05 PM
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Abramoff did plead guilty.

4 Republican congressmen just committed suicide.
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Old 01-03-06, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Abramoff did plead guilty.

4 Republican congressmen just committed suicide.
I thought this was a non issue. We were supposed to chalk it up to liberal journalism, or something like that.
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Old 01-03-06, 01:54 PM
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Abramoff will plead guilty to the charges in the Miami case tomorrow.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:00 PM
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Unless they have film of politicians accepting cash, like in Abscam, or obvious failures to report the gifts, won't a quid pro quo of votes have to be proved in order to convict any politician?

From previous cases such as this that I've observed in California, it appears to be a very difficult case to prove, even with a cooperative witness.
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