The Abramoff Story, Update



Check out yesterdays post which detailed which Democrats also received money from Abramoff


More of the same ole’ here with this report from the MSM. They mention Bush and Republicans all over the report but no mention of the Democrats who got money from this guy:

WASHINGTON – President Bush’s re-election campaign will give the American Heart Association thousands of dollars in campaign contributions connected to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the White House said Wednesday, as the government pressed forward with a broad-ranging corruption investigation.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Abramoff, his wife and the tribal associates that he helped win influence on Capitol Hill donated thousands to the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign. Donations to charities has been the policy in similar situations in the past, McClellan said.

Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush’s 2004 re-election effort, earning the honorary title “pioneer” from the campaign. It was unclear how much exactly the campaign would be giving to charity since McClellan referred questions about the matter to the Republican National Committee, which did not immediately return phone calls about it.

McClellan said Bush does not know Abramoff personally, although it’s possible that the two met at holiday receptions. Abramoff attended three Hanukkah receptions at the White House, the spokesman said.

In a plea agreement with government prosecutors Tuesday, Abramoff has agreed to tell the FBI about alleged bribes to lawmakers and their aides on issues ranging from Internet gambling to wireless phone service in the House.

The full extent of the investigation is not yet known, but Justice Department officials said they intended to make use of the trove of e-mails and other material in Abramoff’s possession as part of a probe that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.

“The corruption scheme with Mr. Abramoff is very extensive and we will continue to follow it wherever it leads,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division.

Court papers in Abramoff’s case refer to an aide to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay who helped stop anti-gambling legislation regarding the Internet. Abramoff, the papers state, paid the staffer’s wife $50,000 from clients that benefited from the actions of the staffer, identified by a person close to the investigation as Tony Rudy, DeLay’s former deputy chief of staff.

In my view this whole problem is the result of the huge escalation in campaign spending. If we want these things to stop, we have to eliminate lobbying altogether.

I mean what exactly does a lobbyist do other then get money from special interest groups for the candidate? Nothing.

Knowing the number of Democrats who received a large amount of money from Abramoff, including Kerry with close to 100 grand and Reid with somewhere around 50k, the MSM will let this story die out. They can only milk the Republican side of this for so long.

But if they continue to only harp on the Republican side while keeping the Barrett report under wraps, things will get quite ugly:

Potentially explosive allegations from a 10-year independent counsel investigation may never see the light of day due to an appropriations bill negotiation that has some conservatives crying foul.

The final report of David M. Barrett, an independent counsel appointed in 1995 to investigate potential felonies committed by one-time Clinton administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, is tentatively scheduled for release on Jan. 19, Barrett told

However, Barrett and others say, thanks to an amendment to the November judiciary appropriations bill, key elements in the final report, which was completed in August 2004 and has been sitting with a three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ever since, may be heavily redacted before its release.

“As it currently stands, the report will not be released in its entirety,” said Barrett, who didn’t want to speculate why or which portions of the report may not be made public. One decade and some millions of taxpayers’ dollars later, he said he is disappointed that the report may not reflect his careful and diligent efforts.

“I believe after 10 years and the expense of $22 million, the public has the right to see the entire report and make their own judgments,” he said.

And we all know which side is trying to keep this under wraps:

Are Americans ready for another Clinton scandal? Ready or not, if Senate Democrats get their way, the nation can keep its blinders. If GOP Sen. Charles Grassley prevails, the truth will glare through.

Only half a decade out of power, the last administration may have entered that gray zone in which, historians say, the country may be mildly interested in new revelations or ready ? as the old Clinton defenders would say ? to move on.

For his part, William Jefferson Clinton, sporting a snowy coif seemingly designed to yell “elder statesman here,” has undertaken tsunami relief, launched his own “global initiative” to heighten his role as an actor astride the world, and repeatedly broken the unwritten protocol against criticizing his successors.

[…]Fine, but such moral infractions can build into tyrannous executive behavior. Ask David Barrett, a special prosecutor assigned to investigate the forgotten case of Henry Cisneros, Clinton’s first HUD secretary, who was found to be misappropriating funds to pay off a mistress.

When Barrett pulled on that thread, he reportedly unraveled a cloak hiding abuses of the Justice Department and the IRS. If recent teases about what’s in his 400-page report are true, the previous administration was siccing agents on its political opponents.

At the time, various Clinton critics, from the Heritage Foundation to The American Spectator magazine, found themselves under suspicious IRS audits. Was there a deliberate pattern? It’s possible the Barrett report can tell us.

Alas, Barrett’s work could be the first special prosecutor’s report never to see daylight. Clinton operatives have taken advantage of a legal provision letting them blot out anything they feel damages their privacy. And Senate Democrats, with the unwitting cooperation of Senate Republicans, slipped into an appropriations bill a provision that would deep-six the report.

Grassley, the methodical Iowa Republican, wants to revisit all that. Majority Leader Bill Frist should get on board, as well as House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Barrett’s work, in the words of columnist Tony Snow, could be “a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential prospects.”

Obvious politics aside, we think our fellow citizens will be grateful to have the blinders ripped away. The truth sometimes waits for history to make an opening. No better time than right now.

Does anyone remember what happened to Clinton when he took all those bales of cash from the Chinese?

Nada, zip…nothing. Does the MSM even report on it anymore? No bias here.


This website has a detailed breakdown of Abramoff’s contribution history, very very interesting:

So the party in power received about 2/3rd’s of the money while the minority party gets 1/3. Sounds about right. The majority party can get things done while the minority has a harder time getting things done so of course that’s where the money goes. Either way, no Democrat can wash their hands of this scandal.

Can you believe that some on DummiesU are even trying to say NO Democrats received any money?

Here is the just released NRSC Newsletter with even more info:

Tribal Clients And Associates Of Jack Abramoff Have Contributed Over $3.1 Million To Democrat Party Interests Between 1997 And 2004. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website,, Accessed December 2005; Political Money Line Website,, Accessed December 2005)

National Democrat Party Affiliated Committees Received Over $1.2 Million From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website,, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website,, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website,, Accessed April 21, 2005)

The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Received Over ? $430,000 The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Received Over ? $629,000 The Democrat National Committee (DNC) Received Over ? $177,000

Incumbent Senate Democrat-Affiliated Campaign And Leadership Committees Received Over $729,000 From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff*. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website,, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website,, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website,, Accessed April 21, 2005)

40 Of The 45 Members Of The Senate Democrat Caucus:

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Received At Least ? $22,500 Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Received At Least ? $6,500 Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) Received At Least ? $1,250 Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Received At Least ? $2,000 Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Received At Least ? $20,250 Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Received At Least ? $21,765 Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) Received At Least ? $7,500 Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Received At Least ? $12,950 Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Received At Least ? $8,000 Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Received At Least ? $7,500 Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Received At Least ? $14,792 Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Received At Least ? $79,300 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Received At Least ? $14,000 Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Received At Least ? $2,000 Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Received At Least ? $1,250 Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Received At Least ? $45,750 Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Received At Least ? $9,000 Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Received At Least ? $2,000 Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Received At Least ? $14,250 Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) Received At Least ? $3,300 Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least ? $98,550 Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Received At Least ? $28,000 Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Received At Least ? $4,000 Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Received At Least ? $6,000 Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Received At Least ? $29,830 Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Received At Least ? $14,891 Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least ? $10,550 Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Received At Least ? $78,991 Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Received At Least ? $20,168 Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) Received At Least ? $5,200 Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Received At Least ? $7,500 Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Received At Least ? $2,300 Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) Received At Least ? $3,500 Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Received At Least ? $68,941 Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) Received At Least ? $4,000 Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) Received At Least ? $4,500 Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least ? $4,300 Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Received At Least ? $29,550 Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Received At Least ? $6,250 Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Received At Least ? $6,250

The usual suspects:

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Rec. At Least ? $68,941
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Rec. At Least ? $98,550
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Rec. At Least ? $29,550
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Rec. At Least ? $98,550

Shall we just call this the Democratic culture of corruption?


Dafydd at The Big Lizard is one of those who believe this story will go nowhere:

But as an issue to change the face of the Senate and House, or even to cause Republican losses, I think the Abramoff scandal is vastly overrated.

Consider: the point of this scandal is that members of Congress took campaign contributions, then voted the way the contributer wanted as a direct quid pro quo. So let’s try a little gedankenexperiment, as Einstein (and probably Rich Galen) would put it… there are 535 members of Congress (435 House, 100 Senate); out of these 535, how many do you think have, at least once in their careers, accepted a campaign contribution and then done something they would not ordinarily have done because of it?

(Cue the “Final Jeopardy” theme….)

If anybody here did not answer “why, all of them, of course,” I want to know who it is; I think we should put the person in a museum as the last person in America still not jaded and cynical about Congress.

In other words, all that the Abramoff scandal will do is reconfirm to the American people that Congress is crooked. But the fact that both Republicans and Democrats are involved — the CSM claims that “Republicans received 64 percent of that money,” which implies (by my calculation) that 36% of it went to Democrats — means that nobody gets an advantage; nobody is going to care that “more money” went to corrupt Republicans than went to corrupt Democrats; ordinary people will simply roll their eyes and sigh. If they think about it at all, they’ll conclude that the deciding factor was not that Republicans are innately more corrupt but that they’re legislatively more powerful.

(This will become crystal clear when Republicans begin digging into the campaign contributions made by other lobbyists who lean more to the left — such as lobbyist and former official of the FAA Linda Hall Daschle.)

Every election boils down, in the end, to a contest between two (or occasionally three or four) people; you don’t get to have a choice between a named Republican and an unnamed Democratic saint. Unless one of the candidates has actually been charged in the case, the opponent slinging mud will just get mud slung right back, and the mud (deserved or undeserved in both cases) will cancel itself out.

If a particular person gets indicted — Bob Ney (R-OH), for example, is in a lot of danger — he will probably resign from Congress to deal with it. Then everything depends upon the governor of the state (Republican Bob Taft, who has his own corruption problems, in the case of Ohio); the governor in each case will name someone of his own party who never took any money from Abramoff, and who will then run as a quasi-incumbent — but not much of one, since the investigation will take some months — in the November election.

At that point, what will matter is how safe the seat is: in Bob Ney’s case, according to Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics, 2006, Ney has won by over 60% in the last four elections (in 2002, the Democrats didn’t even bother to field a nominee against him), and the eighteenth district of Ohio went for George W. Bush by 14% in both 2000 and 2004. This is a safe Republican seat, and the Republican will likely win this year, whether it’s a battle-scarred Bob Ney or someone else.

And that is part of the secret: unless there is a confluence of indictment or much greater than run-of-the-mill congressional corruption for a particular incumbent and one of the tiny number of truly competitive seats and a squeaky clean challenger, this sort of financial scandal simply doesn’t have much impact. It is very different from a political scandal, like Watergate, that actually calls the ability to govern into question.

Anybody remember the Keating Five? It was one of the biggest scandals to rock Congress in the 1980s. The “five” were Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA), Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), and Sen. Don Riegle (D-MI). The scandal erupted in 1989. Quiz: how many of the Keating Five were defeated in the election following the scandal?

Answer: none, of course. Three chose to retire: Cranston (who was diagnosed with prostate cancer), DeConcini, and Riegle; the two who actually ran for reelection, McCain and Glenn, were both reelected. One could argue that the scandal persuaded the retirees not to run, but that’s a tricky case to make.

The House banking scandal broke in early 1992 and ensnared far more members (over 350) than can possibly be caught up in the Abramoff scandal… and a greater percentage were Democrats. In addition, the minority leader was Newt Gingrich, far more dynamic and exciting than is Nancy Pelosi today. And back then, there were also a lot more competitive seats. So what happened in the election that year? The Democrats lost 9 seats in the House — and gained 1 seat in the Senate, completely in keeping with the typical electoral play in those days.

But in the 1994 election, which hinged not on a scandal but rather on the Republican “Contract With America,” as well as the performance of the Clinton White House and the Democratic Congress, the Democrats lost 52 seats in the House and 9 Senate seats.

And of course, the political result of Bill Clinton’s impeachment for perjury was that his approval rating skyrocketed in 1998. Yeah… scandal.

I think it’s pretty clear which has more impact: a scandal among the incumbent party, or the challenging party having a positive political agenda in line with the voters’ own beliefs, with the incumbents having either an out of step agenda — or no agenda at all.

Today, we have less play; I would be pretty shocked if the Abramoff scandal at its worst affected more than two or three House seats — and any Senate seats at all.

So relax. Let’s get the bad guys; we don’t want them anyway, especially if they’re Republicans. But don’t bite your nails to the quick, worrying that this will cause significant damage to the Republican Party. It may increase the cynicism of the American voter (if that’s even possible), which is pretty bad by itself. But neither party is going to come off clean enough to benefit from it.

I will just call Dafydd The Wise One from now on.? He put this whole thing into perspective quite easily, and painlessly.

I was thinking about this today.? These things seem to hit the airwaves like a tidal wave, crashing over everything in its path but then quickly recedes.? Not many of them actually turn into a flood and this thing has all the earmarks of being a tiny tidal wave.? Both sides were involved, and all we know right now is that almost every freakin member of Congress received money from this guy.

The one thing that does make me pause tho is the fact he took a DEAL for 10 years.? To take a deal for that long of a incarceration makes me believe he has lots of dirt.

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Not a single dime of Abramoff money went to Democrats. Whoever is spreading this rumor and the list of democratic names is a real BS artist making fools of all the conservative blogs.

I am satisfied to have followed Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) from the tennis shoes brigade to having Received At Least — $78,991 + and plans to keep it !!!!!!