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Friday, September 23, 2005

Scandal: Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the Washington Post:

Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff bragged two years ago that he was in contact with White House political aide Karl Rove on behalf of a large, Bermuda-based corporation that wanted to avoid incurring some taxes and continue receiving federal contracts, according to a written statement by President Bush's nominee to be deputy attorney general.

Timothy E. Flanigan, general counsel for conglomerate Tyco International Ltd., said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Abramoff's lobbying firm initially boasted that Abramoff could help Tyco fend off a special liability tax because he "had good relationships with members of Congress," including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Abramoff later said "he had contact with Mr. Karl Rove" about the issue, according to the statement by Flanigan, who oversaw Tyco's dealings with Abramoff and his firm and received reports from Abramoff about progress in the lobbying campaign. Flanigan's statement is the latest indication that Abramoff promoted himself as having ready access to senior officials in the Bush administration.

WTF? In 2006, the Republicans will fear two words: competence & corruption. The worst case scenario is when the Democrat is authentic.

Democrats are lucky that George Bush is too stubborn to fire Karl Rove. He's corrupt! Corrupt hack running an incompetent Republican Administration.

Rove played fast and loose for too long. Now he's been linked to Jack Abramoff. Not only did he compromise National Security for political paybacks, but he is also corrupt. A five-year-old could write this storyline -- even the Establishment Democrats might figure it out.

Bonus points for a very specific, "no recollection" of the scandal:

A White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy, said Rove "has no recollection" of being contacted by Abramoff about Tyco's concerns.

Talking Points Memo has had the best info on the next part:

Rove's personal assistant at the time, Susan Ralston, formerly worked as Abramoff's secretary.

TYCO, in addition to being an awful company, helped fund an "army of lobbyists" to prop-up the GOP:

Tyco was among a raft of companies, including Ingersoll-Rand and Noble Corp., that hired an army of lobbyists to stall the legislation and ultimately kill most of it. House Republican leaders argued that corporate flight was merely a symptom of a much broader problem with the U.S. tax code that should be treated in a larger tax reform package.

Abramoff remains the focus of a lengthy investigation by a task force led by prosecutors at the Justice Department and including investigators at the Internal Revenue Service, the Interior Department and General Services Administration. The probe was initially focused on whether he bilked Native American tribes that paid him tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and other fees, but has since widened to include other matters.

And, of course, our favorite lobbyist firm, makes the story...

The ties between Tyco and Greenberg Traurig have already been investigated by a special counsel appointed by Greenberg to examine Abramoff's activities at the firm. According to knowledgeable sources and Flanigan's written statement, Greenberg has promised to repay three-quarters of a $2 million fee that Tyco paid, at Abramoff's direction, to a firm called Grassroots Interactive.

The fee was supposed to finance a letter-writing campaign by Tyco suppliers against the offshore tax bill, but Greenberg concluded that $1.5 million of it was "diverted to entities controlled by Mr. Abramoff" and misspent, according to Flanigan's statement.

Andrew Blum, a spokesman for Abramoff's law firm, declined to comment, as did Jill Perry, a spokeswoman for Greenberg Traurig.

"No recollection" and denials. This scandal is only going to get bigger. You can't trust Republicans with money. . .

Hat-tip to TPM for the heads-up - Thanks!

Posted at 12:04 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Plamegate, Texas | Technorati


Sorry OT, but are there any other Michiganders around to be scared of the repub contender for senate in 06 with me?


Posted by: desi [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 12:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment