The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, April 15, 2005

Who can Abramoff take down with him?

So, lobbyist Jack Abramoff's shady dealings are under investigation by no less than five government agencies, including the FBI and the Justice Department.

The handy site above lists his connections to some of Capitol Hill's power players, including such Bible-thumpers as Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and (drum roll, please) Tom DeLay.

Just for kicks, let's take a look at a few examples:

*House Majority Leader Tom DeLay once referred to Abramoff as "one of his closest and dearest friends." This is no surprise given the $40,000 Abramoff and his wife have personally donated to DeLay and his PAC, not to mention the multiple overseas expense paid trips that Abramoff set up for DeLay and his top staffers to Russia, Saipan and Britain over the years. Funding for these trips has been closely tied to Indian gaming tribes, Russian business tycoons and overseas sweatshop operators.

*Ralph Reed, a longtime Republican activist and former executive director of the Christian Coalition, has been an associate of Jack Abramoff's his entire political career. Abramoff and Michael Scanlon funneled more than $4 million from the Louisiana Coushatta Indian tribe to Reed as payment for Reed's organizing a grassroots campaign to shut down the El Paso, Texas Tigua tribe's casino, which competed with the Coushatta's casino. Abramoff then solicited the Tigua to hire him to lobby Congress re-open the casino.

Hey, c'mon, what's a few million dollars between champions of moral values?