Mary Curtius, Janet Hook and John-Thor Dahlberg, staff writers for the Los Angel Times, tried to put into perspective what former lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty pleas in Washington, D.C. yesterday and Miami today "in fraud and corruption cases" mean for certain powerful political figures in Washington. Reports say Abramoff greased the palms of powerful Republicans. Democrats shouldn't start gloating just yet, if at all. I suspect there are some dirty hands on that side the aisle too.
Significantly, The Times reporters said January 4, 2005 that, "From the Oval Office to Capitol Hill, prominent Republicans scrambled today to rid themselves of campaign contributions"from Abramoff, "as his guilty pleas in fraud and corruption cases opened a painful debate within the party over its leadership and direction."
The Times noted that, "President Bush, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, his temporary successor in that post, Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the fourth-ranking House Republican, joined a list of nearly two dozen lawmakers who have returned or donated to charities the money Abramoff and his clients gave them during his decade as an influential mover-and-shaker on Capitol Hill."
As might be expected, there is a lot of fear and loathing in Washington since Abramoff's guilty pleas. A lot of careers are at stake, and somebody besides Abramoff may do the jailhouse rock in a Federal Country Club. People will get desperate when Washington's ultimate influence peddler really starts talking and sharing the contents of his Blackberry and E-mails with the Feds. So, don't be surprised if someone makes an attempt to take him out to keep him from singing like a canary.
For more, please see "GOP Leaders Seek Distance From Abramoff."