Archive for Abramoff

Oriental massages, hookers, whatever…

Posted in Native Vote Washington with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by nativevotewa

The Abramoff Scandal continues to leave us scratching our collective heads.

 

Yesterday, police arrested Kevin Ring, a former lobbyist for Team Abramoff with both the Greenberg Traurig and Preston Gates law firms.  Ring was a key player who, according to the indictment, traded gifts like dinners, football, baseball, and concert tickets with Congressional and Justice and Interior Department staffers in return for favors for Abramoff’s clients.  In one case, Abramoff put Rep. John Doolittle’s wife Julie on the payroll to the tune of $96,000 at one of his charities but told Ring to make sure she was “not be overburdened with work.”  In another instance, Ring plied Robert Coughlin, a Justice Department official, with gifts to protect an earmark for a tribal jail in Mississippi.  After saving the $16 million earmark, Ring e-mailed Padgett Wilson, another Justice official:

 

Ring: “I have the suite filling up with [Department of Justice] staffers that just got our client $16 million. Come to the [Dave Matthews Band] show, baby.”

 

Wilson: “Are there any tickets left?  And as for DOJ staffers, those guys should get anything they want for the rest of the time they are in office – opening day tickets, Skins v Giants, oriental massages, hookers, whatever…..”

 

One thing is for sure – we wouldn’t want to land in the middle of a Verizon Center skybox full of DoJ staffers and pantellas at a DMB concert.  We guess it’s a good thing that their boss John Aschcroft, whose “operation pipedream” ended with the prosecution and jailing of Tommy Chong, wasn’t there to witness the spectacle

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Jack Abramoff gets 4 years

Posted in Native Vote Washington with tags , , , , , , on September 5, 2008 by nativevotewa

Abramoff in Better Days

Abramoff in Better Days

Jack Abramoff, former super-lobbyist and now common-thief, was sentenced yesterday to four years of jail time for crimes that include stealing from Indian tribes while at the same time calling them all sorts of names behind their backs.

 

We want to note that Presidential candidate John McCain worked hard as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to seriously investigate Abramoff at a time when the GOP-controlled Congress was not especially keen on investigating a lobbyist with strong GOP ties.  McCain, aware that the investigation might not shine an entirely friendly or positive light on Indian gaming, or the tribes that used Abramoff’s services, said back in 2005:

 

“I commend the tribes and their leaders for having the wisdom to understand that this investigation is not an attack on tribal sovereignty, for displaying the courage to cooperate in the face of their critics, and for having the perseverance to see this through until the bitter end.”

 

McCain unearthed the fact that six tribes – the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Pueblo of Ysleta del Sur of Texas, and the Pueblo of Sandia of New Mexico – paid over $66 million to Abramoff’s partner Mike Scanlon’s firm, which secretly rerouted $21 million to Abramoff himself. The $66 million does not include the millions paid directly to Abramoff or to his foundation or the Council for Republican Environmental Advocacy, or a fake think tank (run by a lifeguard)! Since McCain’s investigation discovered that Abramoff and Scanlon used most fees on their own projects (restaurants, schools) and their own homes, it is hard to see how the tribes got a good deal. In fact, the McCain report shows that the Coushatta paid Scanlon $30 million, of which about $21 million was profit, which Scanlon and Abramoff secretly split.

 

Oh well, as a non-profit we can only sigh when we recall former Abramoff confidant (and convicted criminal/girlfriend of Steve Griles) Italia Federici’s e-mail that said, “ahhh – the glamorous world of non-profit work – about one half step above beggar!”

 

 

Ironically, we are not sure how Abramoff (a man who once impressed tribal leadership with talk about “breaking bones and busting kneecaps”, McCain report page 187) will fare in jail. We’ll be checking out his new prison tats for clues. We think he should have to work as some sort of prison butler (let’s be honest, we can think of another word) for Leonard Peltier as part of his sentence, but that’s just us.

 

And to think that this whole investigation started because Scanlon decided to call off his engagement so he could start dating a 24 year old waitress … Keep that in mind.