Bush, Others Dump Abramoff Donations
Let's see, Newt says you can't have a corrupt lobbyist without a corrupt congressman and or aides. So far, two dozen Republicans and six Democrats and Bush have said they didn't want this money after all. Of course, they didn't say this until Abramhoff was indicted and made a deal to squeal on all of them.
Bush, Others Dump Abramoff Donations
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
President Bush and numerous lawmakers hastily jettisoned campaign donations linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff on Wednesday as Republican Party officials pondered the impact of a spreading scandal on their 2006 election prospects.
"I wish it hadn't happened because it's not going to help us keep our majority," conceded Rep. Ralph Regula (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio.
As Abramoff pleaded guilty to a second set of felony charges in as many days, this time in Florida, officials said Bush's 2004 re-election campaign intended to give up $6,000 in donations from the lobbyist, his wife and a client.
Former House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay of Texas — facing legal problems of his own — took similar steps, as did his leadership successor, Rep. Roy Blunt (news, bio, voting record) of Missouri, and Rep. Eric Cantor (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, another member of the GOP leadership.
"While we firmly believe the contributions were legal at the time of receipt, the plea indicates that such contributions may not have been given in the spirit in which they were received," said Burson Taylor, a spokeswoman for Blunt.
In all, two dozen Republicans and six Democrats, including Sen.
Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, have announced plans this week to return donations, mostly funds that came from Abramoff or Indian tribes he represented.
Rep. Bob Ney (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, who faces legal scrutiny for his links to the lobbyist, joined in the rush.
And a political action committee controlled by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said it planned to return $2,000 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
The Republican rush to shed cash that once was eagerly sought underscored the potential political problem the party faces at the dawn of an election year.
"You can't have a corrupt lobbyist unless you have a corrupt member (of Congress) or a corrupt staff," former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in a lunchtime speech. "This was a team effort."
too little . too late , these guys are busted ........6 Democrats need to be made an example of , I expect this from Republicans , but not Dems .......
Following the Abramoff money — and it didn't go to Democrats
When the media was actually able to tear themselves away from the West Virginia mining accident long enough to cover anything else for a moment or two yesterday, they would invariable turn to the Jack Abramoff guilty plea and, in many cases, imply or say directly that Abramoff was a bipartisan crook who gave to both major political parties.
To check out this assertion, I spent hours pouring over Federal Election Commission filings via Political Money Line and Newsmeat and have found that the mainstream media is amazingly incorrect.
An analysis of all donations under Jack Abramoff's name or by his wife, Pamela - who donates under "Pam," "Pamela" and "Mrs. Jack Abramoff" - since 1977 and through January 2, 2006, shows that they made a total of $338,418 in political contributions. Of that, $204,000 went to individual political candidates, while $134,000 went to Political Action Committees (PACs).
Of the $204,000 that went to people running for the House and Senate, not one dime went to a Democrat. Yes, that's correct - 100 percent of Abramoff's personal donations went to Republican candidates or, in an extremely isolated case, he gave $750 to Howard Phillips of Virginia to run for something or other on the Constitution Party platform in the mid 1990s.
Other than that, it was all GOP money. Who were the biggest piglets at that trough? Little Tom DeLay picked up a cool $15,000, or over seven percent of the total all by himself. Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), who Tom DeLay made one of his lieutenants a couple of years ago, snagged $13,000 and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) took almost $10,000 over the last 10 years.
No wonder when Rohrabacher, who has been frequently linked to Abramoff, was asked about being used as a financial reference in Abramoff's purchase of the Suncruz casino cruise line, he said " "I don't remember it, but I would certainly have been happy to give him a good recommendation. He's a very honest man."
Well, I guess that's true by Republican standards.
Abramoff also gives generously to PACs, which our analysis shows may have cheated the admitted crook, as a couple of them actually slipped up and gave a tiny bit of money to Democrats. In an examination of all PACs receiving money from Abramoff since 1980 and looking at how each of those groups allocates their total funds, I found that, of millions and millions of dollars, almost all of it goes to GOP candidates.
And you really have to hunt for the exceptions. For example, the relatively small Arena PAC gave $1,000 to Representative Joe Baca (D-CA) and, in the 1990s, gave a total of about $1,500 to Congressman Ralph Hall (D-TX). Don't know how that happened but, even so, it only amounted to two percent of all the money given by that PAC - the rest went to Republicans.
Likewise, Newstar PAC and the Preston Gates Ellis PAC - both of which have gotten generous donations from Abramoff -- have given about 15 percent and 40 percent of their money, respectively, to Democrats.
So whether it's direct donations -- of which Democrats have received nothing -- or indirect PAC money, which has only been given to a few Democrats in miniscule amounts, there's not much of a personal connection between Abramoff and the Democratic party.
Sorry, mainstream media.
If you would like to look at how the personal Abramoff money has been allocated over the years, I've set up a little web page here with all the details. It's interesting reading -- he even donated to Oliver North's Senate campaign. Remember him?
Now, that's no guarantee that a couple of Democrats won't also be swept up as partners in crime when people starting looking under the hood of the Abramoff money machine and examining where the millions he's bilked from others have gone - but I seriously doubt it.
This guy's never given money directly to a Democrat in his life and, for a crook like him, why hang with Democrats when there are so many of his own kind to buddy up to on the Republican side of the aisle?
And, by the way, Sourcewatch says that Abramoff raised over $100,000 for President Bush's re-election campaign and even became a coveted " Bush Pioneer" in the process.
I'm sure, given yesterday's developments, that Bush will be giving that money back any day now. Won't he?
A company founded by Maryland Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s deputy chief of staff was central to lobbyist Jack Abramoff's schemes to defraud clients and conceal kickbacks to himself and others, according to federal charges filed yesterday. And Ehrlich is keeping the guy on staff. 1/5
Does anyone have any definitive books on Jack? PM me some titles. I want to read up on this guy.
Sweatshop - Abramoff Cash = Trouble for Clinton
Clinton Donations tied to Abramoff, Sweatshops and China
Owners of a Chinese Corporation tied to a $9 million dollar fine for operating sweatshops on a US Territory and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, have donated $10,000 to Hillary Clinton's run for the White House.
For more than twenty years Willie Tan and his family have been associated with sweatshops, labor abuse and corruption on the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, a US Territory in the Western Pacific just north of Guam. Abramoff successfully lobbied Congress to block reforms to the Marianas Islands, including an increase in the minimum wage.
Mr. Tan and his father, Tan Siu Lin signed a consent decree fifteen years ago for the largest fine in US Labor Department history. In late 2005 they each donated $2,000 to Senator Clinton. Three other Tan Family members donated $2,000 each to the Senator. One was, Raymond Tan, who is listed as a Chinese National on papers filed for a Hong Kong stock exchange IPO.
For most of the last fifteen years the Tan Family have been supporters of the Republican Party through their association with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Majority Leader, Tom DeLay. The one notable exception came in 1995 when companies tied to the Tan Family donated $17,500 to the DNC while then First Lady Clinton was at a fund raiser on Guam.
These donations put Senator Clinton at odds with two key groups in the Democratic base, labor and women, while connecting her to the Jack Abramoff scandal and the Culture of Corruption in Washington.
I agree, I would hate to see Hillary in the white house. Just more of the same.
Hillary Clinton is the Default Candidate for Democrats
In last week’s Democratic Presidential Debate, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took different approaches when responding to a question about meeting with the heads of rogue nations. The differences gave pundits something to talk about and the campaigns something to spin. Polling by Rasmussen Reports gave both campaigns something to work with—most Democrats tended to agree with Obama while a plurality of voters leaned more in Clinton’s direction.
Even though most Democrats leaned in Obama’s direction on the one question, 46% of Democrats name Clinton as the candidate they trust most on national security issues. Just 19% named Obama. Clinton’s numbers are so strong among Democrats that she outpolled Rudy Giuliani on the national security question among all voters.
So, when all is said and one, what was the impact of the debate dispute on the Democratic race? There wasn’t any. Nothing happened. All the digs and commentary and spin and punditry produced absolutely no substantive change in the dynamic of the race. Clinton remains well out in front, Obama is a distant second, and former Senator John Edwards is an even more distant third struggling for a way to re-enter the top-tier.
Clinton has continued to solidify her lead as she has been doing for months.
This news cycle is a pattern that we are likely to see repeated many times in the coming weeks and months. Some event or comment will spark a dust-up between the Clinton and Obama campaigns followed by a flash storm of comments and coverage. Then, the tracking polls will look as if nothing ever happened.
That’s because New York Senator Hillary Clinton is the default candidate option for the Democratic Party. She is by far the most well-known person running for President and has been an extraordinarily high profile national figure for fifteen years. Some of next year’s voters were in pre-school when Clinton first moved into the White House as First Lady. In recent history, only Richard Nixon was as well-known nationally during his run for the White House. Nobody else even comes close.
However, while the overall public is divided in its assessment of Clinton, the former First Lady remains very popular in the party she hopes to lead. Currently, 84% of Democrats have a favorable opinion of her.
In this environment, a modest flap over the answer to a debate question in incapable of shifting the playing field. It is hard to imagine any new information that could fundamentally alter the public perception of Clinton. As noted last week, “only a major gaffe or startling policy pronouncement will … impact the general public’s view of the race. “
The bottom line is that the Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton unless Barack Obama can show them a definitive reason to change their mind. To use a boxing analogy, Obama needs a knock-out punch because Clinton will win the bout on points.
Well, I'm used to having candidates I didn't vote for end up winning. Sucks though.
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