More News on Jack Spilling the Beans
The WSJ (via the WaPo) reports that a whole lot of lawmakers may have reason to pucker a bit more in the New Year.
It remains unclear which lawmakers prosecutors are looking at, and also how persuasive Mr. Abramoff could be in helping to make potential cases against any of them stick. A onetime chairman of College Republicans — a close ally of such party luminaries as Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist — Mr. Abramoff says he has information that could implicate 60 lawmakers.
Nice. Along with the WSJ, the LATimes has a great piece of reporting out today on the KStreet Project — the scheme cooked up by Abramoff, DeLay, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and others to turn "the K Street lobbying corridor into a cog of the GOP political machine." The article goes on to explain the details as follows:
GOP leaders, seeking to harness the financial and political support of K Street, urged lobbyists to support their conservative agenda, give heavily to Republican politicians and hire Republicans for top trade association jobs. Abramoff obliged on every front, and his tentacles of influence reached deep into the upper echelons of Congress and the Bush administration.
The LATimes reveals that Republicans in Congress have decided the best defense is a good offense and are going to propose new lobbying and ethics legislation to try and blunt criticism from Democrats. (One might ask what criticism, since the news reports have been very, very light on Dem quotes.) Also included is a quote from a Congressman close to Denny Hastert, who is clearly distancing himself from potential indictees (*cough* DeLay *cough*) in an effort to insulate himself from the scandal.
For some color commentary on yesterday’s plea, try Dana Milbank at the WaPo.
For more news analysis, try here (describing heightened scruntiny of lobbying relationships), here (describing Republicans trying to run away from Jack as fast as they can), and here (Prof. Bainbridge’s analysis of power corrupting absolutely).
For an interesting potential twist, Tom Paine has some Russian connection information with Tom DeLay that needs more digging. Intriguing article and I look forward to much more on this angle.
Oh, and The Hotline blog says that Republicans are liars. Who knew? (snark intended)White Collar Crime Prof. blog has some analysis on yesterday’s plea deal. As does Jeralyn. TalkLeft also has some info on today’s Miami plea here.
And as if that weren’t enough, Howard Kurtz also reminds us of this gem from the NYTimes:
Unlike many lobbyists who take almost any client who is willing to pay their fee, Mr. Abramoff says he represents only those who stand for conservative principles. They include three Indian tribes with big casinos and, until recently, the Northern Mariana Islands. ‘All of my political work,’ he said, ‘is driven by philosophical interests, not by a desire to gain wealth.’
Erm…yeah. Tell that to the Native American clients you called "troglodytes."
REMINDER: Jane will be on Majority Report today at 4:51 PT/7:51 ET with Janeane Garafalo and Sam Seder. (RH: Yay, Jane!) If you don’t have an Air America station near you, there is an online feed that you can listen to at the Majority Report link.