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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Et Tu, Newte?

Et Tu, Newte?

Some news items are just too much fun:

With a House Republican committee chairman implicated in the criminal case and the highest echelons of the Republican Party increasingly vulnerable to charges, GOP leaders moved yesterday to distance themselves from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and prepare to combat a growing corruption scandal.

...The Post detailed a fundraiser held by Hastert at one of Abramoff's restaurants that netted from the lobbyist's law firm and tribal clients at least $21,500 for the speaker's political action committee. Since then, numerous lawmakers from both parties have returned such donations, but only yesterday did Hastert join the line.

"While these contributions were legal, he believes that it is appropriate to donate the money to charity," said Ron Bonjean, Hastert's spokesman.

Given all the slush fund charity shenanigans of Team Abramoff, it's delightfully fitting that at least some of the money is finally going to worthy causes. It provides some wonderful poetic justice, even if it is nothing more than CYA. Speaking of CYA, DeLay's people should really stop talking to the press - they never seem to do themselves any favors by it. I've come to think of them as the Keystone Kops of the disinformation set.

Moreover, numerous references to Abramoff-financed trips to Scotland and the Northern Mariana Islands raised anew questions about DeLay's own trips to both locations with Abramoff...Dick DeGuerin, an attorney for DeLay, said he is not concerned about the Abramoff investigation.

..."If Jack Abramoff tells the truth, what he'll do is clear the air, and everyone will see there's no connection between Jack Abramoff's money-dealing and Tom DeLay," DeGuerin said.

No connection...unless you count Abramoff's former partner Mike Scanlon, who also previously worked as a top aide for DeLay. Or pesky details such as these:

Yesterday, Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle, who has been overseeing the probe into illegal corporate donations in Texas, tried to find that connection by sending subpoenas to Abramoff's two former employers in Washington, seeking documents and any correspondence involving DeLay and certain contributions by Abramoff clients.

The subpoenas are based on evidence that the law firm Preston Gates Ellis LLP and several Abramoff clients, including the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, made donations to Texans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee organized by DeLay and his associates. That committee has been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate funds, and Earle now appears to be seeking information on what the donors expected to get in return for their payments.

Nope...no connection between Abramoff's money machine and Tom Delay. What's a little campaign donation between best friends?

Apparently, plenty - DeLay's chances of regaining his position as House Majority Leader are now effectively nil.

And former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) called on House Republicans to elect a new majority leader to permanently replace Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), Abramoff's most powerful ally in Washington, who faces a trial on unrelated criminal charges of violating Texas campaign laws.

"Unequivocally, the House Republicans need to select a new majority leader in late January or early February," said Gingrich, who cited revelations in The Washington Post that a public advocacy group organized by DeLay associates had been largely financed by Russian energy interests.

2006 is going to a very interesting year...

wing tip to Americablog!


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