Wednesday, March 08, 2006

don't bite the hand that bribes you

He's been getting called names like "crook" and "con-artist" by guys who courted his attention. Conrad Burns has smeared him again and again. Dennis Hastert gave back his money. George W. Bush pretended to have never heard of him. Now arch-lobbyist Jack Abramoff enthusiastically spills his guts to Vanity Fair after being sold down the river by the very Republicans that used to rely upon him for campaign cash:
The newly elected House majority leader, John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, also doesn’t know Abramoff, but Abramoff’s clients gave him $30,000 over the past few years, and ate many meals at Signatures.
Then ,most important, there’s President Bush.“I, frankly, don’t even remember having my picture taken with the guy,” he has said. But how about those 10 or so photographs of him with Abramoff, or with Abramoff’s sons, or of Laura Bush with Abramoff ’s daughters, apparently taken during all of those meetings that never took place? And the time when the president joked with Abramoff about his weight lifting: “What are you benching, buff guy?” How about the invitation to the ranch in Crawford, where Abramoff would have joined all of the other big Bush fund-raisers?Abramoff didn’t go to that—it fell on the Sabbath, which, as an Orthodox Jew, Abramoff observes—but how about that speech Bush but how about that speech Bush gave to big donors in 2003, when Abramoff sat only a few feet away, between Republican senators George Allen (Virginia) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), and was the only lobbyist on the dais?

The article is long but good. It has everything you need to know about Abramoff (minus the dumbass tripe about "Abramoff-related tribes" giving money to Democrats-- it's been proven pretty thoroughly at this point that Abramoff directed tribes to give less, not more, money to Democrats), plus some interesting quotes from the man himself. I especially recommend the part where he raves like a scorned lover at the reporter's comment that Newt Gingrich says he doesn't know him.

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