Politics: Corruption: First major corruption scandal bipartisan, Abrahamoff tangential to Delay, distant from Bush
At last something concrete, but alas! a gentleman-lobbyist is shown to be corrupt up to his eyeballs, admitting to fraud after months of Federal investigation. The accusations against Jack Abrahamoff at present center on the conspiracy charge, according to MarketWatch.com.
According to the conspiracy charge, Abramoff and fellow lobbyist Michael Scanlon sought to "corruptly give, offer and promise things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment" to public officials and their relatives in return for agreement to perform official acts that benefited the lobbyists and their clients.
The charge says Abramoff used unnamed former congressional aides to influence lawmakers, in violation of laws prohibiting former aides from lobbying lawmakers within a year of leaving Capitol Hill.
The conspiracy charge also accuses Abramoff and Scanlon of defrauding several Indian tribes of millions of dollars. Scanlon entered a guilty plea in November.
Abramoff has also reportedly agreed to plead guilty to two counts in a related Florida case connected to his purchase of the SunCruz casino boat line.
The lobbyists attempted to corrupt the political process, by what amounts to buying votes in Congress. Presumably for a liter sentence, Abrahamoff will cooperate with the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation to expose upto 24 Members of the US House of Representatives and aids to some Congressmen (the Senate has not been mentioned in the scandal). Democrats and Republicans are allegedly implicated.
Former leader of the Republican majority in the House, Tom Delay (representing a Texas Congressional district) may be accused by Abraham when he reaches the witness stand, MarketWatch speculates.
Even without the lobbyist doing his worst regarding Delay, the timing of his case and this one backs up onto Delay's ability to run an election campaign in the 2006 November vote. If not in jail, he will still be under a cloud for a long time to come, it seems safest to assume at this point. He has already lost his standing of leadership, so were he yet to prove innocent of anything coming from Abrahamoff's mouth and innocent of the unrelated charges for financial offenses during a previous campaign, the damage is done to his political career. If innocent, perhaps he should nevertheless resign from Congress, at least he should not try to run in the next round, should concentrate his energies on clearing his name as much as possible and/or paying the penalty of any misdeeds, then find another line of work. Perhaps as a lobbyist? How about the oil industry? Neither sounds appropriate. If he's guilty, throw the book at him.
None of this reflects on President Bush. And whether Delay is guilty or innocent, it's no secret that he is just one of a whole list of Republicans in Congress and the Administration who have been on a Democrat smear-list, the purpose of which is to tarnish Bush on all sorts guilt-by-association counts. Democrats have sawt to generate a cloud of basic doubt about Bush as a political leader of great morality. The Democrats have used that tactic regarding the War against Terror in Iraq and the building of democracy there, but to that they have tried to append all sorts of other accusations, sometimes trivial, even laffable. It hasn't stuck.
Compared to the financial scandals of the Liberal Party of Canada, the stuff in the US looks exceedingly distant, distant from the more serious scandal here and distant from the Presidency there (unlike the closeness of the scandal here to the Prime Minister and his close associates). Some of the other Republican targets are charged with political crimes - Rove and Libby in particular, in their case because they tried to stop a pro-Kerry cell in the CIA. Actually, Rove and Libby belong in a class of politically-targetted persons like Harriet Miers, Judge Alito, now Chief Justice Roberts, and John Bolton. The pattern of attack does no good for the attackers, the Democrats - especially the most ostreperous Sens. Kennedy, Boxer, Reid, and Kerry. The far left in the USA Senate is all huff-and-puff-and-accuse-and-rant. To serve their purposes, the lobbyist Jack Abrahamoff has become a scapegoat, a scapegoating that plays on his yarmulka and membership in the Orthodox Jewish community. It's a bit like the number done on Harriet Miers because of her membership in the Evangelical community, mention of which by Bush was seized upon by Democrats and twisted into a "religious criterion" for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice - waiving away the demographic and sociological reality that "out" Evangelicals cannot be appointed to the Supreme Court of either the USA or Canada because of religious bigotry against them. Whereas the distribution of Hi Court seats by all sorts of other demographic and sociological criteria is common practice in both countries. - Politicarp
But damn, seeing that Abrahamoff has confessed to guilt in ripping off American Native Peoples tribes, that sticks and stinks in my mind above all else in his case. - Politicarp