I focus this blog squarely on New York state and Rochester related items. From the outset, I decided that because everyone there were so many blogs dealing with national politics, I wanted to go for the underserviced local route.
I also decided that I would cover an item at the federal level if it involved Rochester or the state. Well, I think this is the first time I'm employing that special privilege.
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter will be giving the Democratic Radio address this weekend and she'll be speaking about the current Republican ethics scandal.
From her post at The Daily Kos:
Hi folks. Again, please only recommend this diary if you think others should see the information I'm posting.
I wanted to let you know that the Democratic leadership requested me to give our party's response to this weekend's (Saturday January 7, 2006) radio address of President Bush. While local radio stations do not carry this speech, the cable network channel C-Span will carry both starting at 2:50 p.m. You will also be able to listen and read my speech at the national Democratic Committee's web site.
The topic of my address is going to be what else - the Republican culture of corruption. Speaking of which, I am posting below a backgrounder I distributed to the national media on Jack and his Republican pals in Washington, making it clear - THIS IS A REPUBLICAN SCANDAL. Keep repeating this over, and over, and over again.
So, again please tune in this Saturday. Let me know what you think by posting your comments here.
Thank you again for making me so welcome to your wonderful community. -LMS
The Jack Abramoff scandal is a bipartisan scandal.
The Abramoff scandal reveals the scope and depth of the corrupt Republican power structure that dominates Congress and Washington today:
Jack Abramoff personifies the Republican culture of corruption through cozy relationships (going well beyond giving out campaign contributions) between Republican Congressional lawmakers, various high level administration officials from government agencies, and the powerful lobbying interests in Washington's K Street. His central role in the numerous, inter-related scandals weave a web of corruption that exemplifies the dangers of one party rule, and one that is truly unique in its scope, nature and impact to the Republican Conference which runs both houses of Congress.
*Abramoff was a Bush "Pioneer," raising more than $100,000 for the President's reelection in '04.
*Tom DeLay once called Abramoff one of his "closest and dearest friends"
*Abramoff was a major part of the Republican's "K Street Project"
*All four lawmakers said to be under Justice Department investigation for the Abramoff scandal are Republicans (Ney, Burns, Doolittle, and DeLay)
*Nearly 2/3rd of contributions from Abramoff's tribal clients, Abramoff himself, his lobbying team, and their spouses from 1999-2004 went to Republicans.
*64 of the 72 skybox fundraising events held by Abramoff between 1999 and 2003, were put on for Republicans, many of them members of the House leadership, and many of them undisclosed.
JACK ABRAMOFF's REPUBLICAN RESUME:
HE AND HIS WIFE ONLY DONATED TO REPUBLICANS AND CONSERVATIVE PACS:From 1992-2004, Jack Abramoff and his wife personally donated $189,003 to Republican candidates, and $111,735 to Republican and conservative PACs. They donated no money to Democrats. [opensecrets.org]
A BUSH "PIONEER":Abramoff was a Bush "Pioneer," raising more than $100,000 for his reelection in '04. [R. Jeffrey Smith, "A High-Powered Lobbyist's Swift Fall From Grace," Washington Post, 8/12/05.]
MEMBER OF BUSH'S PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION TEAM:Abramoff was a member of Bush's Presidential Transition Team, "advising the administration on policy and hiring at the Interior Department, which oversees Native American Issues." [Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey, "Oil Dilemma," Newsweek Web-Exclusive Commentary, 4/21/05.]
TOM DELAY'S "CLOSEST AND DEAREST" FRIEND: Tom DeLay once called Abramoff one of his "closest and dearest friends." [Jeff Shields, "GOP's best friend could be its nightmare," Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/7/05]
CHAIRMAN OF THE COLLEGE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Abramoff was chairman of the College Republican National Committee in the early 80's, where he met his longtime associates Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed. [Michael Crowley, "A Lobbyist in Full," New York Times, 5/1/05]
MAJOR PART OF THE REPUBLICAN'S "THE K STREET PROJECT": Abramoff was a major part of "The K Street Project," in which lobbying firms were pressured to hire and donate to Republicans. ''It was my role to push the Republicans on K Street to be more helpful to the conservative movement.'' [Michael Crowley, "A Lobbyist in Full," New York Times, 5/1/05]
NEARLY 2/3RD OF CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ABRAMOFF'S TRIBAL CLIENTS, ABRAMOFF HIMSELF, HIS LOBBYING TEAM, AND THEIR SPOUSES FROM 1999-2004 WENT TO REPUBLICANS: Of the $5,355,039 in contributions from Abramoff's tribal clients, Abramoff himself, his lobbying team, and their spouses from 1999-2004, 63.7% of it went to Republicans. [Derek Willis and Laura Stanton, "How Abramoff Spread the Wealth," Washington Post, 12/12/05]
ALL FOUR LAWMAKERS KNOWN TO BE UNDER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION FOR THE ABRAMOFF SCANDAL ARE REPUBLICANS: All four lawmakers known to be under Justice Department investigation for the Abramoff scandal are Republicans (Ney, Burns, Doolittle, and DeLay). A former Bush Administration official has also been charged in the case. [Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, "Lawmakers Under Scrutiny in Probe of Lobbyist," Washington Post, 11/26/05]
64 OF HIS 72 SKYBOX FUNDRAISING EVENTS BETWEEN 1999 AND 2003 WERE PUT ON FOR REPUBLICANS: Of the 72 skybox fundraising events held by Abramoff between 1999 and 2003, 64 were put on for Republicans, many of them members of the House leadership, and many of them undisclosed. [Susan Schmidt and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "Tribal Money Linked to GOP Fundraising," Washington Post, 12/26/04]
ACCORDING TO THE HILL, BIGGEST FIGURES IN THE ABRAMOFF SCANDALS ARE ALL REPUBLICANS: In a December '05 article, The Hill listed the 17 biggest figures in the Abramoff scandal. All were Republican lawmakers, officials, and aides save one, a business partner of Abramoff's with ties to the mob. [Josephine Hearn, "High-stakes players who gambled at the table with Casino Jack," 12/7/05]
Rep. Slaughter has been an outspoken critic of House Republican ethics abuses for quite a while now. It's good to see our local representative gain some national prominence.