Thursday, February 09, 2006
Senator Harry Reid has long been leading the chorus attacking members of the GOP for their associations with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. And rightfully so. But when Reid and that raving lunatic Howard Dean go all around the media talking about the need for "ethical cleaning" in Congress and the Bush administration, maybe they need to start with the mess in their own backyards first.
Reid Aided Abramoff Clients, Records Show
By JOHN SOLOMON and SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writers
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.
The activities — detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press — are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.
Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters — such as blocking some tribal casinos — in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff.
"All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long-held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents," spokesman Jim Manley said.
Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.
But Abramoff's records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid's office in 2001 alone.
Admittedly, the Abramoff scandal has affected Republicans more than Democrats - but if this was a "GOP-only" issue as both Reid and Dean have tried to portray it than why did questions pop up about Reid from the moment the scandal was made public?
That's according to a Washington Times article that lists Reid amongst the first group of federal lawmakers looked at in a federal probe surrounding Abramoff.
My other question is if the Democrats really had nothing to do with Abramoff, than why were they throwing money back to various Abramoff clients as fast as they could?
So while anyone involved with Abramoff deserves their due, the Democrats' choice to deny any involvement with Abramoff serves as yet another example of why Howard Dean should no longer be allowed to speak for the party.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 5:03 PM