The Facts on The Jack Abramoff Lobbying Scandal
1-6-06 -- Any media outlet that tells you this is a bi-partisan scandal is dishonest and they are lying to you. This is a Republican scandal, Jack Abramoff is a Republican lobbyist, he is the top Republican lobbyist in America, and he has been for 25 years. Jack Abramoff has donated over $250,000 to 220 members of Congress since 2000, all of it, yes I said all of it, has gone to Republicans, including more than $100,000 he raised for President Bush in 2004.
Not one dime of Jack Abramoff money has went to one Democrat, not one.
Update - 1-30-06 -- Paul Krugman from the NY Times comments on the Abramoff Scandal, these are partial quotes from his NY Times article.
"How does one report the facts," asked Rob Corddry on "The Daily Show," "when the facts themselves are biased?" He explained to Jon Stewart, who played straight man, that "facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda," and therefore can't be reported.
Mr. Corddry's parody of journalists who believe they must be "balanced" even when the truth isn't balanced continues, alas, to ring true. The most recent example is the peculiar determination of some news organizations to cast the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff as "bipartisan."
Why does the insistence of some journalists on calling this one-party scandal bipartisan matter? For one thing, the public is led to believe that the Abramoff affair is just Washington business as usual, which it isn't. The scale of the scandals now coming to light, of which the Abramoff affair is just a part, dwarfs anything in living memory.
More important, this kind of misreporting makes the public feel helpless. Voters who are told, falsely, that both parties were drawn into Mr. Abramoff's web are likely to become passive and shrug their shoulders instead of demanding reform.
Over the past few weeks a number of journalists, ranging from The Washington Post's ombudsman to the "Today" show's Katie Couric, have declared that Mr. Abramoff gave money to both parties. In each case the journalists or their news organization, when challenged, grudgingly conceded that Mr. Abramoff himself hasn't given a penny to Democrats. But in each case they claimed that this is only a technical point, because Mr. Abramoff's clients -- those Indian tribes -- gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans, money the news organizations say he "directed" to Democrats.
But the tribes were already giving money to Democrats before Mr. Abramoff entered the picture; he persuaded them to reduce those Democratic donations, while giving much more money to Republicans.
So the reluctance of some journalists to report facts that, in this case, happen to have an anti-Republican agenda is a serious matter. It's not a stretch to say that these journalists are acting as enablers for the rampant corruption that has emerged in Washington over the last decade.
Update - 1-8-06 -- Wolf Blitzer Interview With Howard Dean (Abramoff Scandal)
BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who's now pleaded guilty to bribery charges among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington — should the Democrats who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?
DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff. Not one. Not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican, every person under investigation is a Republican, every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money, and we've looked through all those FEC reports to make sure that's true.
BLITZER: [Stammering] But through various Abramoff-related organizations, and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.
DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either, there's no evidence...
BLITZER: What about Senator, what about, what about, what about Senator Byron Dorgan?
DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others took money from Indian tribes. They're not agents of Jack Abramoff. There's no evidence that I've seen that Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to Democrats. I know the Republican National Committee would like to get the Democrats involved in this. They're scared. They should be scared. They haven't told the truth, and they have misled the American people, and now it appears they're stealing from Indian tribes. The Democrats are not involved in this.
BLITZER: [Long pause, apparently getting direction in his earpiece] [Sigh] Unfortunately, we, uh, Mr. Chairman, we've got to leave it right there.
Note: I love how Blitzer says that money donated by Indian tribes "presumably originated with Jack Abramoff," with absolutely no evidence or basis in fact. Objective journalism at its finest. And this is from CNN, the so-called Liberal news network, just imagine what FOX will say about the scandal.
At least 24 politicians have now pledged to relinquish $515,199 in Abramoff-tainted campaign cash, including some of the most powerful Republicans in Washington. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will give up at least $60,000. DeLay, the former House majority leader, has pledged to donate $57,000 in Abramoff-linked contributions to charity. And acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) plans to shed the $8,500 that Abramoff and his wife donated to his political action committee.
All but three of the 24 politicians giving up the funds are Republicans. The three Democrats -- Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.) -- have pledged to shed a total of $97,000 in contributions. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Reid has no intention of shedding the $47,000 he has received from Abramoff's lobbying team and tribal clients.
"Abramoff was a Republican operative, and this is a Republican scandal," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. "Any effort by Republicans to drag Democrats into this is doomed to failure."
The half-million dollars in pledged donations and refunds make up a fraction of the $5.3 million that Abramoff, some of his lobbying colleagues and tribal clients showered on 364 federal candidates and campaign committees from 1999 to 2004. About 64 percent of that money went to Republicans, about 35 percent went to Democrats, and 1 percent went to candidates not affiliated with either party.
Source: The Washington Post
To be perfectly clear, the 34% that went to Democrats was not from Abramoff, it was money donated by clients of his, not by Abramoff himself. This needs to be made clear to everyone, Jack Abramoff did not give one dime to any Democrats. But his clients did give money to Democrats, this does not not make them involved in the Abramoff scandal unless they knew the money was from Abramoff and they did something for it, as of today there is no evidence that any Democrat ever got any money from Jack Abramoff.
The washington post and a lot of the media is being dishonest by implying the 34% of Democrats are part of the scandal, so much for that so-called liberal media. That money was given to Democrats by Abramoffs clients, not by Abramoff, they are trying to make it look like a bi-partisan scandal, which it is not.
Number of Politicians Jack Abramoff Donated Money to:
Republicans - 220
Democrats - 0