So I am going through the Vanity Fair (pdf file) article on Abramoff and all I can say is WOW. It really shows us more into the connections this slime has. Here are some interesting excerpts from it:
…the head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, said in an interview, “Abramoff is someone who we don’t know a lot about. We know what we read in the paper,” even though, according to documents obtained by Vanity Fair, Mehlman exchanged e-mail with Abramoff, did him political favors
Sol now we got Mehlman involved. That is a nice one. The head of the party of corruption (aka the GOP) is also involved in the very scandal that has earned them that title. Time for John to break out the Ken Mehlman Talking Points Action Figure again.
The article then goes on to talk about Rove and Abramoff’s history. I had pointed this out a few months ago. The White House has tried the same claim of their relationship as they have done with the President. The fact of the matter is Rove and Abramoff go way back were even heads of the Young Republican National Committee.
Of course what would an article about Abramoff be without highlighting Tom Delay. Here is an interesting paragraph about the relationship the two shared:
A key ally in that effort had been DeLay, whom Abramoff met in 1994. “I have admired Tom DeLay and his family from the first meeting with him, and I still do to this day,” says Abramoff. I mentioned that De- Lay once referred to him as one of his closest friends. “I am honored that he ever thought that of me,” he says. “We would sit and talk about the Bible. We would sit and talk about opera. We would sit and talk about golf. I mean, we talked about philosophy and politics.” He adds, “I didn’t spend a lot of time lobbying Tom for things, because the things I worked on were usually consistent with the conservative philosophy, and I knew Tom would be supportive.” Still, whether he was lobbying DeLay or not, his $450,500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee must have made De- Lay very happy.
As I mentioned earlier, Kos has found out Burns is deeply involved in the scandal. Here is a good highlight of that.
Also in the prosecutorial crosshairs may be Republican senator Conrad Burns, of Montana, one of the largest single recipients of Abramoff loot. As head of the Senate appropriations subcommittee for the Department of the Interior, which handles Indian affairs, he was Abramoff’s point man in the Senate for federal goodies. A
Now comes the interesting case of John McCain. McCain’s committee is the ones who held hearings on Abramoff’s dealings with Indian Tribes. It was also those same hearings where Abramoff, Scanlon and all their cronies came in and loved to mimic the words “I invoke my constitutional rights under the fifth amendment”. Now Abramoff seems to be firing back at McCain.
Abramoff believes the hearings were unfair and blames McCain, with whom he says he has long had a contentious relationship: Abramoff raised money for Bush in 2000 and urged tribes not to contribute to McCain. Mc- Cain staffers deliberately humiliated him, he says, doling out to the press embarrassing e-mails that the Senate committee had subpoenaed— like the one in which he attempted to fabricate a Talmudic scholarship award from a Jewish organization to fortify his application to Washington’s prestigious Cosmos Club.
That right there is something the Democrats have been hoping for. How great would it be if the Republican front runner for the White House in 2008 ends up getting dragged through the mud on the GOP’s biggest scandal in history.
The article even goes on to talk about relationships Abramoff had with former President Reagan. This shows you how deep the connections of Abramoff runs through the GOP.
If Reagan had a favorite designated “young person,” it was surely Jack Abramoff. Accustomed, from his time as governor of California, to dealing with bearded Berkeley rabble-rousers, the president found this cleancut, earnest young man a breath of fresh air. In the College Republicans’ annual report for 1983 is a picture of the two in the Oval Office, with radiant beams emanating from chairman Jack Abramoff’s 24-year-old eyes. “It was like meeting the king,” he now recalls. At a birthday party the College Republicans threw for Reagan in the early 1980s Abramoff met his wife, Pamela, who knew Ralph Reed.
With Abramoff due in court for sentencing at the end of the month, more should be coming from the DOJ on their investigation in time for the fall elections. If you have the time be sure to check out the full article. It is 9 printed pages and each page is packed full of information.
Now onto read Drudge’s spin of the article.