Monday, April 11, 2005


It's Delightful, It's Delicious, It's the DeLay-Abramoff Scandal

Looks like even stacking the House Ethics Committee can't keep Tom DeLay from getting hammered:

Mr. Abramoff..., wrote to a Texas tribe in June 2002 to say that a member of Congress had "asked if we could help (as in cover) a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff" that summer. "The trip will be quite expensive," Mr. Abramoff said in the e-mail message, estimating that the bills "would be around $100K or more." He added that in 2000, "We did this for another member - you know who."

Mr. Abramoff did not explain why the tribe should pay for the lavish trip, nor did he identify the congressmen by name. But a tribe spokesman has since testified to Congress that the 2002 trip was organized for Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Administration Committee, and that "you know who" was a much more powerful Republican, Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader and old friend of Mr. Abramoff's. Both lawmakers have said they believed that the trips complied with House travel rules.
E-mail messages subpoenaed from their files show that Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon mocked tribal leaders as "monkeys," "morons" and "troglodytes,"' and manipulated tribes into making large donations to Congressional Republicans and their political action committees, as well as to private charities that Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon controlled.

The messages document how (Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon) maneuvered secretly in 2001 to organize a campaign to pressure the Texas state government to shut down a casino owned by the Tigua tribe of western Texas, only to then turn around and present themselves as the casino's savior. Mr. Abramoff offered his services to the tribe for a suggested monthly lobbying fee of $125,000 to $175,000 a month.

There is no evidence to prove that a member of Congress promised a vote to Mr. Abramoff in exchange for gifts, although in his e-mail messages, the lobbyist wanted to leave the impression that Mr. Ney's 2002 golf trip would produce a clear benefit to the Tiguas in reopening their casino.
Source: New York Times Inquiries of Top Lobbyist Shine Unwelcome Light in Congress April 11, 2005 (Emphasis added.)
Let me get this straight: a Congresscritter calls and "suggests" you take the Critter and the Critter's staff on an all-expense paid golfing trip to Scotland - and this is legal and ethical because nobody mentioned the magic word (bribe) or uttered the phrase "quid pro quo?"

This is obviously a new meaning of the word "ethical" not covered in my dictionary. But then, that's Republican "values" for you. If that wasn't a solicitation for a bribe, then Bill and Monica weren't having "sex."


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