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 Post subject: Dean Linked To Abramoff
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:17 pm 
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FEC contribution number 23991382452 lists a $1,000 donation to Dean by Greenberg Traurig lobbyist Ronald Platt, a member of the Post’s A Team, on June 30, 2003. At that time, lobbyist disclosure forms show Platt as working with Abramoff on two of the controversial tribal accounts: the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana.

But there's more...

Platt was far from alone as an A Team member who gave to Democrats. An in-depth review of campaign contributions made by Abramoff’s team of lobbyists shows that Democrats may actually have benefitted more than Republicans from their political donations.
[...]
Among the Democratic recipients of A Team donations: the aforementioned Dr. Dean, Democrat Senators Clinton, Kerry, Daschle, Boxer, Baucus, Bayh, Breaux, Cantwell, Carnahan, Cleland, Conrad, Dodd, Dorgan, Feingold, Harkin, Hollings, Johnson (Tim), Landrieu, Leahy, Lieberman, Lincoln, Mikulski, Murray, Nelson, Pryor, Reed, Rockefeller, and Torricelli – who left the Senate in disgrace under the cloud of his own campaign finance scandal – as well as the Democratic Senate Majority Fund, a plethora of Democratic congressmen, and PAC’s that distributed funds across the Democratic Party landscape.
Additionally, one of the A Team members, Michael D. Smith, had his own political action committee. Smith, a former official in Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, distributed $168,000 to Democratic candidates through his Winning Margins PAC from 2001-2004, the closest reporting period to the time Abramoff was at Greenberg Traurig, according to federal records.

Disregarding the PAC money, Smith’s personal donations to Democrats almost offset Abramoff’s contributions to Republicans. F.E.C. records show that Smith donated $117,417 to Democrats or to his–or the firm’s–PAC from January, 2001 through March, 2004. Abramoff gave $127,080 to Republicans during the same period.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:21 pm 
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Democrats For Sale
by Matt Margolis :: February 21, 2006 2:38 PM


When Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of the "Clean House Team," a so-called Democrat "task force" charged with addressing the Republican "culture of corruption" and "restoring honor and dignity to the House of Representatives," we all knew it was political grandstanding. Democrats have acted as if they were interested in reducing the influence of lobbyists in Washington... which they presented as a Republican problem.

Well... guess what...

Democrats have taken more money from lobbyists than Republicans during the past 15 years, according to an independent analysis of campaign contributions.
Since the 1990 election cycle, Democrats have accepted more than $53 million from lobbyists while Republicans have taken more than $48 million for their election campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Data provided by the nonpartisan group also shows that when Democrats controlled Congress in the early 1990s, they consistently hauled in more than 70 percent of the town's lobbyist money. The group is a leading critic of Texas Republican Rep. Tom DeLay's ties to lobbyists. 

"When the Democrats were in charge, they were getting an incredibly higher amount of lobbyist money compared to Republicans," said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Now that the tables are turned there is parity between the two parties."

Last year, for instance, Republicans took in 55 percent of the lobbyist money, which roughly corresponds to their majority share in Congress.

Mr. Nick said the figures "take the wind out of Democrat sails" for their charge that Republicans have ushered in a "culture of corruption" that breeds extensive ties to lobbyists.


Naturally, the Democrats consider the influence of lobbyists on their party to be irrelevant... They may want to pretend it's irrelevant... but the voters won't be fooled.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:06 am 
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Lobbyist's Credit Card Bill Outs DeLay Trip
Delay's Trip to Golf Resort Paid for by Abramoff


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ABC News

March 2, 2006 — - The paper trail seems so obvious it makes you wonder whether anyone ever worried about getting caught. When Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and his wife flew from Houston to a golf resort in Scotland in June 2000, the first-class airfare cost $14,001, a big-ticket item for a public servant. But someone else paid.

The American Express bills of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges in January, show he footed the bill for the tickets, in an apparent violation of House ethics rules.

"The source of the travel expenses may not be ... a registered lobbyist," according to the House rules. Abramoff was a registered lobbyist at the time.

DeLay's attorney told The Washington Post last year that DeLay was unaware of the "logistics" of bill payments and did not believe Abramoff paid for the tickets.

"This is a classic example of why the ethics rules have to be reformed," said Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, a nonprofit watchdog group. "The Scotland trip was a trip to play golf, pure and simple, and private interests should not be allowed to finance those kinds of trips and gain influence with members in return."

Abramoff pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy, honest-services mail fraud and tax evasion. Officials said Abramoff had brought corruption to a new level at the Capitol.

"The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff was very extensive, and the investigation continues," said Alice Fisher, the head of the Department of Justice's criminal division.

One aspect of Abramoff's corruption scheme was the free trips he provided to politicians to the Super Bowl, a golf resort in Scotland and to the northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific.

An ABC News hidden camera recorded Abramoff greeting and hugging DeLay as he arrived in the northern Marianas.

DeLay, the former House majority leader, was only one congressman out of dozens who accepted the lobbyist's trips and campaign contributions.

"There are many members of Congress who will not sleep well tonight," said Wertheimer at the time of the investigation. "This is a blockbuster of an investigation that will reach deep inside the power structure."

Federal authorities told ABC News that Abramoff began providing details of his dealings with DeLay and pinpointing a long list of senators and representatives more than a year ago.

At least nine have since returned Abramoff's campaign contributions, and all, including DeLay, have denied any wrongdoing.

Officials told ABC News that the first congressman to be indicted for bribery is expected to be Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.

ABC News' Gina Sunseri contributed to this report

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"I don't know Abramoff," Bush said.


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