Documents: Abramoff Paid for DeLay's Aides' Travel

The New York Times reports:

Newly disclosed documents from an American territory in the Pacific show that the powerful Washington lobbyist at the center of federal corruption investigations here paid directly for travel to the islands by several members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, as well as two senior aides to Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, despite House rules that bar such payments.

The total exceeded $350,000.

The lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, submitted bills to his law firm for more than $350,000 in expenses for several trips to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1996 and 1997 on behalf of the congressmen, as well as several others including Edwin Buckham, Mr. DeLay's former chief of staff, and Tony Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff.

The island government had hired Abramoff to lobby against local labor laws.

House travel rules bar lobbyists from paying for Congressional travel, even if the lobbyist is reimbursed by a group or government agency that is allowed to pay for travel.

Is he toast, yet?

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    Wow. This thing is going to spread. It has all the hallmarks of a major congressional scandal, a la the house banking fiasco. There could be major turnover in '06.

    Re: Documents: Abramoff Paid for DeLay's Aides' Tr (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mreddieb on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    I think it is important to constantly echo That Delay came into Office promising to Clean up the corruption and bring back ethics to the house. This is why his behavior is especially repugnant.

    This should be a lesson to conspiracy theorists (myself included). They must have, or at the very least should have known about these rules - after all they are professional lobbyists. So you'd think they'd try not to break them so obviously. But no, even these people with easy access to the levers of power make basic mistakes.

    congress should appropriate 1 billion dollars to have deposited into Tom Delay's personal savings account. No- ten billion No - one hundred billion He could use it to buy a night with Paris Hilton. Isn't that special?

    Re: Documents: Abramoff Paid for DeLay's Aides' Tr (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    Washington is so soured by corruption, I wouldn't know where to start cleaning it up. Voting out every incumbent in the midterms, that might do it. Scare them straight.

    I like the idea of scared straight. These folks (dems and repubs) are selling our economy down the river. I say root em all out.

    I think there are many ethical legislators in DC. DeLay is not one of them. Personal enrichment should be monitored during the course of a politician's career. Graft is subtle, but accumulating lots of property, wealth, high-paying jobs with little or no accountability for job hours or duties, these things tell the story.

    Yeah, let's 'vote' them out. Just like in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Thems were fair elections.

    Best government that money can buy.

    Re: Documents: Abramoff Paid for DeLay's Aides' Tr (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    Best policy money can buy. Legislation and regulation benefitting the highest bidder.

    Let the chips fall where they may, Dmeocrat or Republican, prosecute any one who is taking illegal money. There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

    Re: Documents: Abramoff Paid for DeLay's Aides' Tr (none / 0) (#12)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    I think what we are all assuming is that there is some quid pro quo here; likely so. I think a far more expensive and pernicious form of QPQ is congressional pork. Bring home some expensive unnecessary project and your guaranteed another term. In the first case we call it a bribe, the second a salary.

    Bush, Delay and the others are just hoping to ride this one out...it's up to the Democrats to hold their feet to the fire, 'cause the media sure as hell ain't...when it comes to MSM concerning the Repugnant-cans, it's "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil..."

    That wasn't bribe money, those were freedom dollars! Up next on Fox News...

    WHICH DEMS are involved? And to what extent? I believe the Repubs are trying to say that DeLay's transgressions shouldn't count, because the Dems are doing it too. But I saw a response from on Dem, saying he had inadvertently let the company involved pay for air travel for ONE trip ($500), thinking he was charging it to a legit sponsor. He repaid the $500 from his own funds, and said that this was ONE SMALL, INADVERTENT INFRACTION -- compared with DeLay's hundreds of thousands of dollars of gifts to himself and his staff.

    Brilliant billboard! This is how you fight back: a simple message that says a lot. DeLay's name recognition is skyrocketing, and for him, that isn't good.

    I'm less concerned about the lobby paid trips than I am about DeLay's role in events leading up to the redistricting fiasco in Texas. I don't think Ron Earl is quite finished with the good Senator.

    I think the dems are handling this just right. Innuendo, unsupported accusations of wrong-doing, never letting themselves be put in the position of having to answer just what laws DeLay's broken. But not getting the ethics committee cranked up. The ethics committee will ask what laws have been broken--which would be embarrassing since none have--and some dems' travel arrangements might be brought to light. As one commentator said, the dems' mantra is, "Where there's nothing, there's got to be something." Good tactics here. They do point to an utter lack of honesty and honor among the dems and their supporters who know they lie and lie and lie. Like that's new. There was a report some time ago that Senators of both stripes do better than the public at large guessing on stock moves. The report did not think it was some kind of financial IQ thing. That should be investigated.

    atta boy, RA. DeLay is the poster boy for corruption, graft, and personal enrichment, pay for votes, so why should he get so much attention?

    As one commentator said, the dems' mantra is, "Where there's nothing, there's got to be something."
    I thought that was Ashcroft's Mantra. Worked for Whitewater and Paula Jones.

    Mfox. Ashcroft? Whitewater? Jones? Connection?