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What About Democrat Abramoff Booty?

The New York Times took a little time away from revealing our vital national secrets to throw some more mud at the Republicans.

The following article is typical of the effort by them and the rest of the DNC's hirelings in the media to make this out to be an exclusively GOP scandal:

Bush and Others Shed Donations Tied to Lobbyist

By ANNE E. KORNBLUT and ABBY GOODNOUGH

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 – President Bush and senior Republican lawmakers moved on Wednesday to dump thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Jack Abramoff, the former lobbyist, hastily distancing themselves as he pleaded guilty to two more criminal counts under his agreement with prosecutors.

Mr. Bush will donate $6,000, the amount he received from Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Abramoff's wife and a lobbying client in his re-election campaign in 2004, to the American Heart Association, a spokesman said.

The former House majority leader Tom DeLay, Republican of Texas, and his successor, Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, also announced plans to give away campaign cash related to Mr. Abramoff.

"The funds were donated in full compliance with federal law and disclosed properly and publicly," said a spokeswoman for Mr. DeLay, Shannon Flaherty.

After months of insisting that there was nothing wrong with his alliance with Mr. Abramoff, with whom he traveled repeatedly overseas, Mr. DeLay decided to return $15,000 in donations that flowed from Mr. Abramoff. Mr. Abramoff's "admission of guilt and improper actions warranted our action to make something positive come of all this by donating the money to local charities rather than retaining it," Ms. Flaherty said.

Similarly, a spokeswoman for Mr. Blunt denied that the money was tainted even as he made plans to shed it.

"While we firmly believe the contributions were legal at the time of receipt, the plea today indicates that such contributions may not have been given in the spirit in which they were received," said the spokeswoman, Burson Taylor.

As the shock waves of the plea agreement on Tuesday reverberated through official Washington, Mr. Abramoff appeared in federal court in Miami to enter two guilty pleas in a related fraud case.

Prosecutors have agreed to drop the remaining four charges in the Florida indictment in exchange for Mr. Abramoff's cooperation in a broad corruption case against as many as 12 members of Congress who are suspected of accepting bribes in exchange for legislative favors.

No charges have been brought against lawmakers. But people involved in the case said prosecutors were methodically trying to build a case against Mr. DeLay, other Republican lawmakers and, perhaps, one or two Democratic officials.

That process, a participant said, could last several months as prosecutors try "to get it right."

Under the closest scrutiny are former staff members for Mr. DeLay, including Ed Buckham, former chief of staff, and Tony C. Rudy, former deputy chief of staff, according to people involved in the case who insisted on anonymity because that part of the investigation was continuing and Justice Department officials had asked that it not be publicly discussed. The two are lobbyists at the Alexander Strategy Group.

After 18 months of secret negotiations with investigators, Mr. Abramoff spent a second whirlwind day in the public eye as he flew to Florida for his final round of court pleadings. Just as a former business partner, Adam Kidan, did last month, Mr. Abramoff pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and fraud involving their purchase of a casino boat fleet in 2000.

Unlike his court appearance in Washington on Tuesday, this one did not have Mr. Abramoff making a statement. He also changed his look, wearing a baseball cap in lieu of the dark fedora that he emerged from court in the day before. In the courtroom, Mr. Abramoff stood motionless as Judge Paul C. Huck of Federal District Court went over the agreement.

In August, Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Kidan were named in a six-count indictment charging conspiracy and wire and mail fraud in connection with buying the company, SunCruz Casinos. Like Mr. Kidan, Mr. Abramoff said in the plea agreement that he was guilty of lying to lenders to qualify for a $60 million loan to buy the $147.5 million fleet. His trial had been scheduled to start here next Monday.

Judge Huck scheduled sentencing for March 16. Prosecutors have recommended that Mr. Abramoff be given more than seven years in prison, though that could be reduced if he cooperates fully with the government. The prosecutors also want the term to be concurrent with the sentence in the Washington case.

"He will face the consequences of his actions," said R. Alexander Acosta, the United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida. "Mr. Abramoff's deceptions have and will continue to have significant consequences for those who he has victimized."

At a news conference after the hearing, Mr. Acosta declined to discuss the relationship between the SunCruz and Washington cases. Nor would he discuss a separate case involving the killing of Konstantinos Boulis, also known as Gus, the former owner of the casino boat fleet who was gunned down in 2001 amid bitter wrangling over the sale.

Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Kidan have denied involvement in the killing. Mr. Kidan's lawyers have said he might help state prosecutors in the case. Three other men were charged last fall and pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Abramoff told the judge that he had knee surgery scheduled for Thursday, and his lawyers said he was returning to Washington immediately after the pleading. They requested and obtained the judge's permission for Mr. Abramoff to discuss his bond status with a probation official in the courthouse so he would not have to walk past the news media to a nearby building.

"I don't know if you know what the outside of the courthouse looks like," Neal Sonnett, a lawyer for Mr. Abramoff, told the judge. "But Mr. Abramoff almost got knocked over this morning as we were coming in."

Mr. Abramoff left through a side entrance around 2:15 p.m., hurrying into a limousine with another lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell.

Though Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff have pleaded guilty in the SunCruz case, prosecutors described the inquiry as continuing and said there could be more defendants.

The Miami and Washington cases are operating on largely separate but parallel tracks, but may diverge now that Mr. Abramoff has reached an accord and Washington investigators will be using him as a witness against members of Congress.

Until this week, prosecutors had used the Miami case largely as a way to pressure Mr. Abramoff to cooperate. Still, at least one member of Congress, Representative Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio, has been mentioned in connection to the Miami case for reportedly helping Mr. Abramoff by placing a comment in The Congressional Record.

"Stay tuned," said Lawrence D. LaVecchio, an assistant United States attorney.

The word "Republican" is used in this article four times. "Democrat" appears once, and then only in passing. Every politician cited is a Republican.

You'd never know that the Democrats got almost as much money from Mr. Abramoff as the evil Republicans. (And it makes perfect sense that they would receive a little more, being the party completely in power over the last four years.)

Luckily the National Republican Senatorial Committee was willing to provide our one party media with some supplemental details:

Democrats Don't Know Jack???

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, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, 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, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, 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, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, 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

Nor would you know from the New York Times that most if not all of the Democrats are refusing to give up their ill-gotten swag. For instance:

Rep. Kennedy to Keep Money from Tribes That Hired Abramoff

Murray got $40,000 from Abramoff-connected tribes, intends to keep it

But gosh those Republicans are evil.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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