Abramoff escapades

In one astonishing escapade, even by jaded Washington standards of palm greasing, Abramoff is accused of receiving big money to help a tribe reopen its casino shortly after taking money from rival tribes to close it.

He lobbied members of Congress to urge the Interior Department on behalf of the Coushatta tribe in Louisiana to close a casino owned by the Tigua tribe in Texas, according to Senate documents, then shifted gears to charge the Tiguas $4.2 million to lobby Congress on their behalf to reopen the gambling operation.

But, the real scandal of representing and wildly overcharging two opposing Indian tribal clients is that it may not have violated any existing laws.

Who writes the laws that lobbyists must follow? Congress. Who benefits most from the money and influence lobbyists toss around? Congress. It’s no surprise the loopholes are huge. This isn’t just a few bad apples rather, the entire orchard seems poisoned by an elite few lining their pockets at the expense of the rest of us.