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A scandalous threesome: Chimpy, DeLay and Abramoff

Raw Story breaks this story wide open, and the stench is foul.

There’s a backstory that lurks behind Bush’s decision to stand by DeLay. It involves Greenberg Traurig, the firm that employed the powerful lobbyist who paid for palatial DeLay junkets, and Abramoff staffers, who were footsoldiers in the Florida recount. Greenberg Traurig has yet to receive more than $314,000 in legal fees charged to a Bush committee during the 2000 Florida recount, RAW STORY can confirm.

As a corporation, Greenberg’s unpaid tab represents a massive in-kind campaign contribution, far larger than anything that went unreported by DeLay. But it appears to be legal: corporations are allowed to donate any amount to the nebulous type of committee employed during the recount. It would, however, violate the committee’s self-imposed $5,000 contribution limit from individual donors.

…Bush has largely ducked the scandals surrounding Abramoff, but he was certainly a beneficiary of the lobbyist’s fundraising: Abramoff was a Bush Pioneer, raising more than $120,000 for the 2004 presidential campaign. He had the largest lobbyist accounts of any Pioneer, at $26 million.


Jack Abramoff, right, listens to his attorney Abbe Lowell on Capitol Hill (AP)

In his Greenberg Traurig biography, which has since been stripped, the firm wrote, “Jack is directly involved in the Republican party and conservative movement leadership structures and is one of the leading fund raisers for the party and its congressional candidates.”

Those close to Abramoff—including his partner Michael Scanlon, a former DeLay press secretary who is also being investigated for lobbying deals—bragged about their access to the president. “Jack has a relationship with the President,” Scanlon told the New Times Broward-Palm Beach in February 2001. “He doesn’t have a bat phone or anything, but if he wanted an appointment, he would have one.”

The AP reports that Abramoff had over 200 contacts with the Bush admin (at least as many as Gannon, eh?) lobbying for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws. Isn’t that special?

Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush’s re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.

Two Tan family companies gave $25,000 each to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2002 elections. Greenberg Traurig, too, was a big GOP giver. Its donations included $20,000 to the Republican National Committee for the 2000 elections and $25,000 each to the GOP’s House and Senate fundraising committees in 2000 and again in 2002.


Well, well…what will RNC head Ken Mehlman have to say about this — or the bat phone?

This is scandalous, and, even more damning because the information is documented.

Do any of you think the mainstream media is going to pick this up? Hmm?

Tip from Shakes Sis.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding