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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Abramoff Fired It Off

“Embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud, agreeing to cooperate in an influence-peddling investigation that threatens powerful members of Congress.
In a heavily scripted court appearance, Abramoff agreed with U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle when she said he had engaged in a conspiracy involving ‘corruption of public officials.’ The lobbyist also agreed when she said he and others had engaged in a scheme to provide campaign contributions, trips and other items ‘in exchange for certain official acts.’
-Associated Press, January 3, 2006

“When I was a lad they had a simple word for such a thing.. They called it ‘bribery’.”

“According to the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 9½ to 11 years, providing he cooperates with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.”
-Associated Press, January 3, 2006

“Wow.. This is big. I wonder who they are looking at?”

“Abramoff’s travels with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay are already under criminal investigation. The lobbyist’s interactions with the Texas Republican’s congressional office frequently came around the time of campaign donations, golf outings or other trips provided or arranged by Abramoff for DeLay and other lawmakers. In all, DeLay received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.
In a turnabout, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., joined the roster of politicians on Tuesday announcing plans to donate Abramoff’s campaign contributions to charity. According to NBC News, those charities have not yet been identified.
Hastert received almost $69,000 from Abramoff and his associates, NBC News reported on Tuesday.
Court papers released Tuesday also detailed lavish gifts and contributions that Abramoff gave an unnamed House member, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, in return for Ney’s agreement to use his office to aid Abramoff clients.”
-Associated Press, January 3, 2006

“Wow.. Big names too. Oddly enough all of the people in trouble seem to be, um, from one side of the aisle.”

“The continuing saga of Abramoff’s legal problems has caused anxiety at high levels in Washington, in both the Republican and Democratic parties.”
-Associated Press, January 3, 2006

“Yes, but for the Democrats this anxiety was similar to the night before Christmas.”

“Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show.”
-Bloomberg News, December 21, 2005

“Sounds like a Republican problem. I wonder who was implying otherwise?”

“Q Scott, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption and tax evasion here in the federal court in Washington. Already the DNC has put out a statement essentially saying that this is another example of what they are calling the "culture of corruption and abuse of power" that has been the hallmarks of the Bush administration. Any response?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've seen press reports that indicate that he has -- he and his clients have given to both Democrats and Republicans. So that's the first thing that I would say.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, January 3, 2006

“Huh.. I wonder why they’re trying to give that impression..”

“Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for President Bush’s 2004 re-election effort, earning the honorary title ‘pioneer’ from the campaign.
In Bush’s first 10 months in office in 2001, Abramoff and other members of his lobbying team logged at least 200 contacts with the administration on behalf of at least one client, the Northern Mariana Islands. The meetings included some with high-ranking officials such as then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. The Marianas’ agenda included seeking friendly hires at federal agencies and preservation of its exemption from the U.S. minimum wage.”
-Associated Press, January 3, 2006


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