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Abramoff directed money to Republicans and Democrats
Posted by: Jon Henke on Sunday, January 22, 2006

After taking a lot of abuse from Democrats who object to her characterization that Jack Abramoff "made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties", Deborah Howell responds with something I haven't seen before; something quite damning...
While Abramoff, a Republican, gave personal contributions only to Republicans, he directed his Indian tribal clients to make millions of dollars in campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.

Records from the Federal Elections Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff’s Indian clients contributed between 1999 and 2004 to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats. The Post has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with specific directions on what members of Congress were to receive specific amounts.
Now, maybe the Democrats would like to argue that they aren't involved, because Abramoff-directed contributions aren't a problem; that it's only money directly given by Jack Abramoff. That's certainly the case being made by Howard Dean.

But if that's the case, then the Abramoff scandal amounts to about $200,000 given over several years. I distinctly recall critics bandying about figures much larger than $200,000.

If critics want to argue that Abramoff-directed money is part of this scandal, then they're going to have to come to terms with the fact that Abramoff directed a great deal of money to Democrats as well as Republicans.

And finally, if critics were genuinely and objectively upset about corruption in government, they'd acknowledge that the problem with the party in power is not "the party" — it's "the power". A government responsible for redistributing money and power is a government that can be corrupted by money and power. [cross-posted at Chequer Board]
 
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HAW HAW.....gee, the shit storm splatters on everyone, just like when the Dems stupidly tried to exploit DeLay’s ethics.

As I’ve said before, if they think they can ride this "culture of corruption" theme to victory, they’re sadly delusional. Their own fricking minority senate leader is named!

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark said it first: this spells the end for the House Dem’s "Culture-of-Corruption" meme. Like a fart in a whirlwind, that campaign had the life-span of a housefly!

I smell blood, kinda like after the Swift Boat Vets opened fire on Kerry’s Vietnam-service myths.

The question is will Hillary and her Manhattan Machine take a clue and change tactics now?
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Hey, easy for you to gloat. You’re not the staffer who earned his chops by coming up with the concept for "Culture of Corruption". Oh yeah, Culture of Corruption can be applied to help reform Congress, but who the hell cares about THAT? In the old days (pre internet) the MSM could have made this baby fly, no problem. "Democrats did not take one thin dime from Abramoff!" would have been repeated as many times as "The Swiftvet charges are unsubstantiated."
Nowadays, it is tough to come up with platforms to run on. If we are not careful, we will have only the truth to run on, since nothing else can be counted on to stand up under the pounding of the internet pundits.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
After taking a lot of abuse from Democrats who object to her characterization that Jack Abramoff "made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties" ....
Et tu, Jon?

You apparently suffer from the same malady that ails Ms. Howell. It wasn’t a "characterization." It was a LIE. You know, something that is simply not true. A falsehood. An untruth. Something for which there is no basis in fact. To call it a characterization obscures this basic fact. Indeed, you could have come right out and called it what it was - a falsehood. Or an utnruth. Or something to that effect.

The reason that Howell is taking so much crap is that she refuses to acknowledge it is a lie. She refuses to apologize. She refuses to just come out and say that she got it wrong. When you lie in a newspaper, and then stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what you have done, you deserve abuse. It is really that simple.

Of course, this evidences a larger problem with the mainstream media, namely their willingness to lie and obfuscate on behalf of the Republican party and their unwillingness to acknowledge what they have done when confronted. Had Ms. Howell simply said I was wrong and I apologize we wouldn’t be discussing this right now. But she didn’t.

But I would expect more from you Jon.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Ms Howell and the WaPo have made it clear that Mr Abramoff didn’t make personal contributions to Democrats. There’s a distinction to be made between "direct" contributions and "directed" contributions, but I’m not sure how much the distinction is worth.

Be specific. Which contributions are problematic and which are not? Is it a problem when Abramoff directed his clients to send money to politicians? Is that "Abramoff money"?

Ms Howell’s characterization referred, I think, to the fact that Abramoff directed money, and not to his personal donations, which were comparatively minor.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
What Ms. Howell says is this:
But there is no doubt about the campaign contributions that were directed to lawmakers of both parties. Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff’s Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004. The Post also has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts.

Michael Crowley of the New Republic said in his blog that "while for all practical purposes this is indisputably a Republican scandal, the narrow liberal-blogger definition of whether any Democrats took money ’from Abramoff’ — which neatly excludes contributions he directed his clients to make — amounts to foolish semantics.’’

These facts have been reported many times in The Post and elsewhere. So why would it cause me to be called a "right-wing whore" and much worse?
So, answer her question MK. And then do your dance and show us how it is anything but "foolish semantics".

And she also had this to say:
I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn’t. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.

[...]

Going forward, here’s my plan. I’ll watch every word. I’ll read every e-mail and answer as many legitimate complaints as I can.
What more do you want?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I voted for Republicans, and Democrats during the last election cycle. The Gingrich Republicans of the last decade stated that we were to see a change in the way business is conducted in Washington. Well THEY did not lie! There has been a change to appease big business,political corruption, screw the middle class, and the building a dictatorship.


When Mr. Clinton was fighting his martial woes and discretions, Republicans cast him in many unsavory and unflattering ways. O’reilly and Matthews, as well as the mainstream press contiously branded him a liar, waffler, and a person that could not be trusted. I find it ironic that we will not investigate the man that has sent America into a war that should of never happened.

Please do not brand me as unpatriotic! I served my country well for 13 years! I do not question going to Afghanistan to fight UBL and the Taliban; but I question our predestined committment to Iraq.

The present administration and media seems hell bent on ruining and questioning the motives of those that oppose the war in Iraq, but never investigate or pursue the questions of why this administration chose to extend the war to Iraq instead of concentrating on UBL. IS the press in bed with this administration? I believe that they carry, conceal and bury a lot of this administration mis-deeds. I hope that you have the courage to print my comments.

I, like every American was willing to back this President, and accompany him to the victory line based on the evidence and information presented. Now I have doubts, through many reading of critical and favorable books about Mr. Bush administration have given me insight and reason to question the motives of those he chose to serve.

I basically believe Mr. Bush to be a decent and moral man; I am beginning to understand that the individuals he have surronded himself with are unethical, biased, and corrupt! I appreciate his loyalty to staff members, but there is a time when necessary cargo must be jettisoned!

I do not worry about the government tapping my phone; you see I am a homeless VET and Graduate student. I work every day, sleep in my car at night, I take showers everyday, people see me they think I make a substansive income (by the way I dress); you could say I am the classic example of the WORKING POOR!

I will receive my MBA in July of 2006. I can not afford a place to live, pay child support, a car note, insurance (a must to have), an apartment, and an education ( which is what Mr, O’reilly stated is the way to pull yourself up in the land of Plenty). I find it ironic that he would deem himself the poster-boy of DIVERSITY, and that Dr. King would be proud, well I beg to differ.

I do not fault or blame anyone one for the situation that I am in, I just ask for a level playing field, select the person best qualified for the position, and to see the American color-blind society that we have chosen to champion and advocate.



My life under CLINTON was remarkable, I PROGRESSED, under this administration I REGRESSED! Seems like the only people who are prospering are those that are the super rich, politicians, and corporate America.

Even though I work I am still in the job market, and see not much movement to hire Black Males of my experience, education level and age. The jobs that the administration touts are largely service, and part-time jobs that pay no benefits; again this favors big business. Increased profits, less expenses means more money for investors. WAKE-UP!

Jhatch




 
Written By: Jhach
URL: http://
I cannot hope to address all of the points you brought up in your little ramble. Then again it really doesn’t deserve it anyway. Let’s take just one piece of it.
The jobs that the administration touts are largely service, and part-time jobs that pay no benefits; again this favors big business. Increased profits, less expenses means more money for investors. WAKE-UP!
Are you aware that the average American is an investor, jhach?
We’re not talking about rich people here. We’re talking about the middle class. We’re talking about anyone with a retirement plan. We’re talking about union workers. We’re talking about older folks were living off of their investments at this point. Why are you so intent on invalidating their ticket?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
My life under CLINTON was remarkable, I PROGRESSED, under this administration I REGRESSED! Seems like the only people who are prospering are those that are the super rich, politicians, and corporate America.

Really? I’m hardly rich, connected or corporate. But under this administration, my wages and my 401(k) are doing quite nicely thanks.

And plenty of people (record numbers)found the means to become 1st time home owners.

Maybe if you’re regressing the fault is.........yours.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
You apparently suffer from the same malady that ails Ms. Howell. It wasn’t a "characterization." It was a LIE
Actually, No, MK... as usual you get it wrong.
It was the truth.
Maybe if you’re regressing the fault is.........yours.
Now, shark, you really must stop this using facts to back your arguments. You know how that upsets them.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
1. Indian Tribes are a traditional Democratic constituencey.
2. The documentary evidence looks like it says CUT BACK on donations to DEMOCRATS.
3. Financial evidence suggests the verbal threats were even stronger because the documentary suggestions are more than actual (for Democrats, only).
4. It is hard to imagine that a man so steeped in the Republican Party as Abramoff, so sharply linked to so many key Republican "leaders" including Norquest, Reed, DeLay, etc., and so specifically tied to th Republican agenda would press for Democratic donations. This doesn’t pass the laugh test. Take your lies down, you only look like a fool.
 
Written By: NotAsStupidAsU
URL: http://
Considering that the Democrats are trying to sell the idea that a Republican being in the same state with Abramoff is enough of a "direct link" to justify execution, the fact that he directed clients to send contributions to Democrats seems mighty relevant to me.
 
Written By: Martin A. Knight
URL: http://
So, answer her question MK. And then do your dance and show us how it is anything but "foolish semantics".
God, sometimes you can be so dense. Howell too. She is an idiot.

Do you understand the LEGAL distinction between contributions from an individual person and those from an Indian tribe? No. Obviously not. Neither does Henke.

Here is a piece of advice: Refrain from alluding to legal matters until you get your legal degree. You embarassed yourself enough when it came to your "analysis" of the Oregon assisted suicide law. The distinction between Dems and Rethugs when it comes to the Abramoff scandal is a legal one. It has to do with the rule of law. You obviously are not a lawyer and have no training in legal analysis. Neither does Henke. You don’t understand the rule of law, nor do you have an respect for it. The president you worship does not either.

Each of you should stop embarassing yourselves.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The fact remains: Abramoff directed money towards Demonrats - including Harry Reid.
 
Written By: Martin A. Knight
URL: http://
2. The documentary evidence looks like it says CUT BACK on donations to DEMOCRATS.
The level of donations is not the problem. There’s nothing implicitly illegal, unethical or problematic with donations. It wouldn’t matter if they’d donated 100 times as much to Dems as to Republicans. The problem is why they donated.
(It is hard to imagine that a man so steeped in the Republican Party as Abramoff, so sharply linked to so many key Republican "leaders" including Norquest, Reed, DeLay, etc., and so specifically tied to th Republican agenda would press for Democratic donations.or why they thought they were donating)
Well, that’s just absurd. Abramoff was a lobbyist and he needed votes and influence from Congressmen. The majority Party was Republican, but he also wanted help from Dems. There is evidence that he directed donations to Dems. This isn’t in dispute.
Do you understand the LEGAL distinction between contributions from an individual person and those from an Indian tribe?
Yes. Indian tribes are not considered "individuals" under current FEC law, and they are not subject to the hard money limits of individuals. But Abramoff is not accused of directing "too much money" to politicians. He’s accused of engaging in, essentially, bribery. The dollar figure is irrelevant. A politician can be bribed with $1,000,000 or $10,000.

The fact is — and you do not dispute this — that Abramoff directed donations to politicians of both parties. All of his personal donations and 2/3rds of his directed donations were to Republicans, but 1/3rd of directed donations went to Democrats.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You obviously are not a lawyer and have no training in legal analysis.
MK, please give us your expert analysis on the potential legal issues with the following senario from this WaPo June 2005 article:
According to documents and tribal officials familiar with the Abramoff team’s methods, the lobbyists devised lengthy lists of lawmakers to whom the tribes should donate and then delivered the lists to the tribes. The tribes, in turn, wrote checks to the recommended campaign committees and in the amounts the lobbyists prescribed. The money went to incumbents or selected candidates in open seats.
I look forward to your analysis.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I do not worry about the government tapping my phone; you see I am a homeless VET and Graduate student. I work every day, sleep in my car at night, I take showers everyday, people see me they think I make a substansive income (by the way I dress); you could say I am the classic example of the WORKING POOR!
If you are going to be getting your MBA this year and you think you are regressing, then why are you ’wasting’ your time? Sounds to me like you have made the mistake of feeling sorry for yourself, and have found the easiest way to make it feel better is to blame the President - who has less impact on your daily existance than you make it seem.

It soulnds like you have drive, so get over feeling sorry for yourself.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Here is a piece of advice: Refrain from alluding to legal matters until you get your legal degree.
Translation: "Yes, it’s a semantic difference and so I’ll throw out the usual red herring, become insulting, and hope you won’t notice".

Typical.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I do not worry about the government tapping my phone; you see I am a homeless VET and Graduate student. I work every day, sleep in my car at night, I take showers everyday, people see me they think I make a substansive income (by the way I dress); you could say I am the classic example of the WORKING POOR!

If you sleep in your car, where do you shower and keep your nice clothes?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"Democrats did not take one thin dime from Abramoff!"

MK was expecially amusing in this thread. Several years ago there was an amusing movie called “Short Circuit” in which much of the humor came from a likable robot that could speak, but not too coherently and not with a grasp of everyday idiom. At one point when its batteries were weak it shorted out and became incoherent. That is what I thought of reading MK’s last comment. Having jogged around the park (well before dark, I can tell you) while chanting "Democrats did not take one thin dime from Abramoff!" MK felt totally prepared for discussions of the Abramoff scandal. So to battle.
First the WaPo stabbs the Democrats in the back by reporting the truth. But wait! It was phrased awkwardly – there is still hope. Awwww... Howell didn’t cave completely and only apologized for the awkwardness. She stuck to her guns on the truth. Damn! In the Swiftvet days that never would have happened. Well, everyone else will close ranks and shout down this disagreement with confirmed (see H. Dean’s remarks) Democratic campaign strategy. Oh no! They are backing off. What’s happening? Don’t they know.......? What..... Why....... rrrrrrrrrghghgh sput.
“Of course, this evidences a larger problem with the mainstream media, namely their willingness to lie and obfuscate on behalf of the Republican party and their unwillingness to acknowledge what they have done when confronted. Had Ms. Howell simply said I was wrong and I apologize we wouldn’t be discussing this right now. But she didn’t.”
(Wait! I’m saying the WaPo lies! Omigod. Why are things whirling around? Those lights! Ohhhhh)
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
"The distinction between Dems and Rethugs when it comes to the Abramoff scandal is a legal one. It has to do with the rule of law. " - MK

Does MK understand that none of Abramoff’s contributions violated any laws? Does MK understand the difference between ethics and laws?

Until MK earns a doctorate in ethics, (s)he should stop embarassing his/her self.

 
Written By: equitus
URL: http://

 
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