Remember ol’ Whatzhizname? You know, Jack Abramoff, the disgraced superlobbyist who confessed early this year to corrupt influence peddling in Washington.
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When Abramoff’s lobbying scandal broke, scores of congress critters and White House officials rushed to distance themselves from their former buddy. One who became especially distant was Karl Rove. He declared that Abramoff was merely a “casual acquaintance” who was barely known by the Bushites. But – oops – Karl forgot that there was a paper trail between the lobbyist and the White House.
Following that trail, a Republican-controlled house committee has now revealed that the “casual acquaintance” and his lobbying team practically had an open-door pass to the Bushites, enjoying 485 direct contacts with the White House in Bush’s first three years, including 82 contacts with Rove.
These were hardly routine or perfunctory. For example, Rove received coveted tickets to the NCAA basketball tournament from Abramoff, sitting with Jack all evening in the owner’s skybox. Also, Karl had a regular table at Signatures, a posh Washington restaurant that Abramoff owned. In turn, records show that Karl and other White House officials did favors for Jack, including delivering several million dollars in federal aid to his lobbying clients.
And if you want coziness, Susan Ralston, who was Abramoff’s executive secretary, went through the White House’s revolving door in 2001 to become Rove’s top executive assistant. This month, when the committee’s report revealed that Ms. Ralston was a frequent conduit between Jack and Karl, she abruptly resigned her White House position, saying it was time to “pursue other opportunities.”
"The issue isn't just jobs. Even slaves had jobs. The issue is wages." --Jim Hightower
This is Jim Hightower saying… The Bushites are trying to make her the Fall Gal for their own sleazy ties to Abramoff – but the one who should be taking the fall is “Corrupt Karl” himself.
“Report Finds 485 Contacts Between Abramoff and White House, 82, With Rove,” The New York Times, September 29, 2006.
“Aide Who Linked Abramoff and Rove Resigns at White House,” The New York Times, October 7, 2006.