Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Analysis: Abramoff Plea May Rock GOP Boat

More great stuff from The Jack Abramoff Show! This is from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON - The plea deal worked out by Jack Abramoff could send seismic waves across the political landscape in this congressional election year. The Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, are likely to take the biggest hits.

The GOP has more seats to lose and has closer ties with the former lobbyist. But some Democrats with links to Abramoff and his associates are also expected to be snagged in the influence-peddling net.

While the full dimensions of the corruption probe are not yet clear, some political consultants and analysts are already comparing its damage potential to the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers.

"You don't have to be a political genius to sniff the smell of blood in the water," said GOP consultant Rich Galen.

Galen said even lawmakers in seemingly safe districts, and those "who don't have a reputation for being fast and loose with the rules," could be vulnerable if voters rise up in reproach "and everybody drops five or six points" in this year's midterm contests.

Interesting enough, the mainstream media seems to want to lump Democratic lawmakers with the Republicans. The big problem I see with this is that the Republicans have more to lose in this scandal than the Democrats. It is the Republicans that have control of both Congress and the White House. Remember, Tom DeLay was involved in the "K Street Project," which funneled Republican congressional staffers into the K Street lobbying firms, while forcing those same K Street firms to punish lobbyists who retained staff members with Democratic ties. DeLay's wife even worked in a lobbying firm with ties to Abramoff. What is happening here is that the Republicans built a slick money-for-legislative-favors-marketing machine between themselves and the lobbyists. The K Street lobbying firms were happy to oblige with the Republicans, while Abramoff became powerful enough to where he could play both sides of the political field. Well, the machine is now breaking down. Consider this:

For years, many lawmakers have shrugged off lobbyists' gifts as campaign contributions, harmless wining, dining and socializing. "Now you've got someone admitting exactly what the motivation was and explaining all the avenues they used," said Kent Cooper, a former Federal Election Commission official.

"You're talking about standard operating procedure here in Washington suddenly being turned on its head and a key operator signing a plea agreement that he may have been involved in some kind of public corruption," said Cooper, who tracks lobbying and campaign contributions for the nonpartisan Political Money Line service.



KingCranky II said...

I did a long post about ABramoff as well, but mine had some real surprises, and I'm trying to get as much attention for it as possible, as it shows Abramoff AND President Jr actively obstructing a legal investigation and the mandated release of a Dept of Homeland Security report

Wdemoted & reassigned the US Attorney on Guam the day after he launched an investigation into Abramoff's Guam clients

Abramoff got permanently delayed a DHS report that charged lax immigration security on the Northern Marianas islands could lead to a terrorist attack against US interests there, ala the attack on the USS Cole in 2000

Abramoff got a heads up from the Justice Dept's Chief of Staff about the report

The events happened within a few months of each other, and considering that the investigation jeopardized Abramoff's $3.5 million lobbying fees from the NM islands, I'm wondering just what W got from Abramoff in return for derailing an active investigation by demoting the US Attorney

And the REAL kicker here?

Guess who commissioned the report for the DHS?

The demoted US Attorney

This is a story no one knew about until now, not the whole thing, I had to put it together from two articles, but it presents a DAMNING portrait of a President actively obstructing an investigation into the GOP's top lobbyist, and turning a blind eye-or outright killing, a congressionally mandated report that should have been distributed to the Dems & Repubs in both the House & the Senate

This is a disturbing story


Eric A Hopp said...

Hello? This is new to me. Thank you for your comment--I'll have to check into your blog tomorrow.