Bye, bye, Ney

 Court papers detailed lavish gifts and contributions that it said Abramoff gave an unnamed House member, identified elsewhere as Representative Bob Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee, in return for Ney’s agreement to use his office to aid Abramoff clients.

As part of the plea deal, Abramoff agreed to pay at least $US25 million in restitution.

I’ve been nonplussed by the reaction from liberal blogs, gleeful because they think it’s only Republicans awash in corrupt money. Not so.

Democrats also got tribal donations

Among the biggest beneficiaries were Capitol Hill’s most powerful Democrats, including Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Harry M. Reid (Nev.), the top two Senate Democrats at the time, Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), then-leader of the House Democrats.

Sen. Reid recently called the Congress the "most corrupt in history" yet he was he was sucking on the same money tit as the Republicans.

"Don’t lump me in with Jack Abramoff. This is a Republican scandal," Reid told Fox News Sunday, saying he never received any money from Abramoff.

That’s because he received the money from Abramoff clients, not from Abramoff. Quite the weasel-worded profession of innocence, eh? Reid also refuses to give back the money. Hey Democrats, does Reid still appear to be a squeaky-clean Senator to you?

"It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Abramoff controversy impact both parties," said Tony Raymond, co-founder of, which gathers lobbying and campaign finance information.

Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) (received) $128,000 in the same period. From 1999 to 2001, Kennedy chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which solicited campaign donations for House candidates.

Why does a Kennedy need more money? Just wondering.

Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff’s group, six, or one-third, were Democrats. These included Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2001 to 2002, and Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), a leader in Indian affairs legislation.

The problem is not a corrupt party, the problem is a corrupt system, and both parties are in the slime up to their greedy little eyeballs. Unlike Europe and Britain, where people know they live in a class system, the popular myth here in the States is there are no classes. To which I say, look at the multi-millionaires in Congress fattening themselves corruptly at the expense of the rest of us. They, and their friends in the business and financial worlds, are a tiny privileged class exploiting the rest of us.



  1. Here’s a quote from “Digby” today
    “Anybody who looks at Jack Abramoff and sees anything but a hard core GOP influence peddler who was paid very well to finance the GOP machine is either a shill or a fool.”

  2. I guess Digby must have forgotten about Reid, Daschle, Gephardt, Kennedy, Murray, Baucus, Dorgan, et al.

    However Reid is correct, it’s the most corrupt Congress in history. On both sides of the aisles. Unless you believe in some highly partisan Fantasyland where Republicans are Evil Ogres while Democrats are pristine above-reproach Shining Knights Who Will Save Us All (if they ever find a spine, that is.)

  3. From The Nation

    “But it is important to remember that there are Democrats who have Abramoff problems, as well, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who appears to have collected more than $65,000 in Abramoff-linked contributions between 2001 and 2004.

    If a desire to protect Reid and other Democratic recipients of the lobbyist’s largesse causes the opposition party to pull its punches, Democrats will gain no more ground as a result of this scandal than it did from the Enron imbroglio. Thus, the ultimate question does not boil down to what Abramoff will reveal. Rather, it is this: Will Democrats hold every member of Congress who has been implicated to account. If Democrats are smart, they will recognize that this is, at its core, a Republican scandal. And they will say: Throw all the bums out — just as Republican Newt Gingrich did in the early 1990s when several Republican House members were linked with scandals that generally involved Democrats. Only by being genuine in their commitment to clean up Congress will Democrats turn the Abramoff scandal fully to their advantage. And, as everyone in Washington knows, it has been a long time since Democrats were that genuine — or that smart politically.”

  4. The fact that CLIENTS gave money to DEM campaigns is not illegal. It is likely not even immoral.

    The fact that JACKO gave only to Repukes is highly important. Those who were bribed were more intimate with Abramoff than any DEM mentioned so far. And the fact that the investigation includes only Repukes is what most are referring to when they say they see a Republican culture of corruption. So far, the only indicted, charged, or are being investigated tend to wear are Repuke colors.

  5. It wasn’t illegal for Abramoff to give them money either. What was illegal was the expectation that that money would buy influence or votes. Which is precisely what happened.

    Democrats who pretend Abramoff money is untainted because it didn’t come directly from Abramoff are naive – if not deliberately evasive.

    Abramoff money funneled through one of his dummy groups or given directly by a client because Abramoff told them to, is tainted money too. Unless you believe they gave the money to Democrats with no expectation of influencing votes. In which case you probably believe in the tooth fairy too.

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