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Thursday, January 05, 2006 

Abramoff the Octopus, His Tentacles Reach Everywhere (Dems Beware)

The main story:
(AP) The Justice Department is now using Abramoff to continue a probe into allegedly as many as 20 members of Congress and/or their aides. Is this a late Christmas for struggling Democrats heading into election years, or a indicator that corruption has not party affiliation?

The headliners right now are obviously Tom DeLay (most think he is already convicted, he just doesn’t know it yet), and now Bob Ney (R-OH) is apparently facing the spotlight over a paid golf trip to Scotland in 2002.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-ILL) has joined a list of politicians quickly trying to clear their names by donating any money received from Abramoff to charity (after all, who can complain about money donated to charity right?).


Still more connections:

(Baltimore Sun) Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich of Maryland is connected to Abramoff by his deputy chief of staff, who founded a company that was central to Abramoff’s schemes to defraud clients and conceal kickbacks to himself and others.

But wait, there are Democrats involved too:

(NYT) Apparently Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), ranking Democrat on the committee investigating Abramoff is returning $67,000 in political contributions from Abramoff’s former clients and partners.

Now, I have no doubt that the Republicans are going to bear the brunt of this fall out. After all, Abramoff is/was a GOP lobbyist. However, where there is money in Washington, there is corruption. And corruption knows now color, religion, race, or party. It knows only greed… and that trait, my friends, is on both sides of the isle.

I personally hope he sings like a canary and a whole slew of folks get nailed. It is way past the point that a “House” cleaning took place, and the Senate can join them.


UPDATE:

(CNS News) The National Republican Senatorial Committee said Wednesday that 40 of 45 members of the Senate Democrat Caucus have taken money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his associates and Indian tribe clients.

Among those named by the NRSC as the worst examples of "Democrat hypocrisy" for taking money from Abramoff and his associates are: Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D-N.D.) who received at least $79,300; Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who received at least $45,750; Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who received at least $68,941 and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who received at least $6,250.

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