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Thursday, November 17, 2005

When You Really Wanna Go...

Go Primm, Nevada.

Lawmakers Acted on Heels of Abramoff Gifts

"At least 33 lawmakers wrote letters to Norton and got more than $830,000 in Abramoff-related donations as the lobbying unfolded between 2001 and 2004, AP found."

A bunch of people - Reps and Dems.

Mostly Reps, though. Had to point that out.

Wait. The donations were made between 2001 and 2004? That's when we were solely focused on the "war on terror," right?

WASHINGTON - Nearly three dozen members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, pressed the government to block a Louisiana Indian tribe from opening a casino while the lawmakers collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Many intervened with letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton within days of receiving money from tribes represented by Abramoff or using the lobbyist's restaurant for fundraising, an Associated Press review of campaign records, IRS records and congressional correspondence found.

Lawmakers said their intervention had nothing to do with Abramoff, and the timing of donations was a coincidence.
They said they wrote letters because they opposed the expansion of tribal gaming — even though they continued to accept donations from casino-operating tribes.

Many lived far from Louisiana and had no constituent interest in the casino dispute.
Constituent interest.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, held a fundraiser at Abramoff's Signatures restaurant in Washington on June 3, 2003, that collected at least $21,500 for his Keep Our Majority political action committee from the lobbyist's firm and tribal clients.

Seven days later, Hastert wrote Norton urging her to reject the Jena tribe of Choctaw Indians' request for a new casino. Hastert's three top House deputies also signed the letter.

Approving the Jena application or others like it would "run counter to congressional intent," Hastert's June 10, 2003, letter warned Norton.

It was exactly what Abramoff's tribal clients wanted. The tribes, including the Louisiana Coushattas and Mississippi Choctaw, were trying to block the Jena's gambling hall for fear it would undercut business at their own casinos.
Here's the tally of Abramoff & Tribal contributions to our friends in Washington.


Denny Hastert, R-The creepiest suburbs outside of Chicago - $100,000

Thad Cochran, R-Miss - $77,000

The Hammer, R-Hell - $57,000

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa - $62,200

T. Lott - $65,000

Pete Sessions, R-TX - $5,000

J. Doolittle, R-CA - $33,000

Roy "I'm taking over for The Hammer" Blount, R-Miss - $3,000

Vitter, R-LA - $6,000

And Dems:

Reid, D-NV - $66,000

Mary Landrieu, D-LA - $24,000

J. Breaux, D-LA - $11,000

QUESTION: What's the best Indian Casino in the US?

Your comments, please.

More later...


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