Friday, December 23, 2005

Jack Abramoff

Remember this name: Jack Abramoff

Who is Jack Abramoff? From Wikipedia:

Jack A. Abramoff (born February 28, 1958) is a conservative American attorney and lobbyist.

Abramoff is a central figure in a series of high-profile political scandals linked mainly, but not exclusively, to Republican Party officials. He is under investigation:

* By federal grand juries for his involvement in the Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal,[1].
* By a grand jury in Guam over a separate matter.
* He has also been indicted on August 11, 2005, by a third grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for bank fraud arising out of an unrelated business deal.

He is also linked to a scandal involving a troubled multibillion-dollar Homeland Security contract.[2] Further, he made multiple payments to Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and at least one other think tank expert to write opinion pieces favorable to his clients.[3]

The investigations and indictments of Abramoff have taken on significant national importance because of the lobbyist's close political connections with leading national Republicans. Congressman Tom DeLay, former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, years ago called Abramoff one of his “closest and dearest friends.” Recent media reports indicate that Abramoff may be nearing a plea deal which would require Abramoff to disclose his complete knowledge of Congressional corruption.[4]

In January Casino Jack is due to stand trial in a fraud case to which his partner has already pled guilty. And the question is, will he start naming names in an effort to cut a deal with the Feds? This very possibility has the Republican establishment in Washington and elswhere dreaming of leg-irons rather than sugar-plums this Christmas season, for Abramoff's ties to the Republican are long and deep and none too squeaky-clean. According to Bullmoose blogger (and former John McCain advisor) Marshall Whitman:
The Abramoff corruption scheme was wide and deep. As we are learning, it touched upon every precinct in the Republican nation - from Members of Congress - to their staff - to the entire conservative political infrastructure. Old Jack may have even had his tentacles inside the White House.

According to press reports
, Jack may soon start spilling the beans, and it will become clear that the GOP is swamped by the culture of corruption. That is why Republican operatives are beginning to spread the message that Democrats were also the beneficiaries of Abramoff largesse. The righteous right will be playing the moral equivalence card.

No doubt some Democrats benefitted from Abramoff-directed donations. But, they only received a small pittance compared to the manifold riches that Jack showered on the GOP establishment. Take it from the Moose. He saw firsthand how Abramoff and the gang insinuated themselves into the conservative infrastructure in the mid-nineties. He was there to witness the presentations at the Wednesday Norquist meetings on behalf of the Marianas sweatshops.

Since the GOP seized power in '94, the rules of the road in the GOP were to give overwhelmingly to Republicans. A small contribution to a Democrat was allowed here and there. Casino Jack played by those rules and that is why he was the good buddy of Tommy D[elay] and the leadership. And the conservative movement was awash in Jack's generosity.

Mr. Abramoff may well become the poster-boy for the culture of corruption rampant within the erstwhile law and order ranks of the GOP. As demonstrated by Preznit Bush himself and his disdain for anti-domestic spying laws, the GOP no longer believes the rule of law applies to itself. In the 2006 mid-term elections we have an opportunity to show that honest Americans believe otherwise.

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