The Peregrine Gallery
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
The Perfect Political Storm
* * * * *
From Congresspedia, a project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Media & Democracy...
JACK ABRAMOFF, former Republican "superlobbyist" and now a convicted and sentenced felon cooperating with federal prosecutors, is the central figure in a web of corruption within the U.S. Republican Party, which will likely be the most far-reaching Washington corruption scandal of recent decades.
In January 2006, Abramoff reached a plea agreement with Federal prosecutors, in which he pled guilty to a number of felonies and agreed to cooperate with the authorities. It is likely that this cooperation will lead to prosecution of numerous Republican lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists, and operatives.
Abramoff's principal activity was the collection of tens of millions extorted from Indian tribal gambling operations. Much of the money was used to buy influence from Washington Republican figures, but a considerable amount was used for self-enrichment or personal pet projects.
The disgraced long-time Washington insider whom Congressman Tom DeLay once referred to as one of his "closest and dearest friends," collected $100,000+ for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign, "earning premier status within the campaign" as a Bush Pioneer, as well as raised funds for GOP congressional candidates. 
As a Republican Party lobbyist, Abramoff was Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm from January 2001 to March 2004, when he was fired and became a consultant at the Cassidy & Associates lobbying shop. Abramoff was "brought into Cassidy" by Gregg Hartley, a former top aide to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)," according to Roll Call's Brody Mullins. 
Abramoff cut his ties with Cassidy & Associates on or around July 8, 2004, "to form his own company, Middle Gate Ventures," to do "such business opportunities as energy projects, real estate development and motion picture production -- no lobbying," according to the Washington Post's Judy Sarasohn. In March 2004, Abramoff had "signed an exclusive contract with Cassidy for him to steer lobbying business to the company."
Abramoff was College Republican National Committee (CRNC) National Chairman from 1981-85, as well as a Director of the National Center for Public Policy Research. 
Abramoff and his partner Adam Kidan were sentenced March 29, 2006, by Judge Paul Huck of the Federal District Court in Miami, Florida, to 70 months in federal prison, placed on three years' probation, and "ordered to pay a total of $21.7 million in restitution" for their role in a fraud scheme involving the "$147.5 million purchase of the shipping line, SunCruz Casinos, in 2000." 
Abramoff will remain free for at least six months "so that he can continue to aid in the investigations that swirl around him and his former lobbying practice, and the judge said he would be receptive to that request." 
Guilty Plea Deals
On January 4, 2006, a day after he entered guilty pleas to "defrauding Indian tribal clients of millions of dollars, conspiring to bribe members of Congress and evading taxes" before a federal judge in Washington, DC, Abramoff pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck to "conspiracy and wire fraud stemming from his 2000 purchase" of SunCruz Casinos, a fleet of gambling boats in Florida. ...
Follow the Money: Dumping $$$ ... and Waiting
Abramoff's plea deals cleared "the way for his cooperation with federal prosecutors in bringing charges against former business and political associates" and is sending "seismic waves across the political landscape," as predicted by the Associated Press's Tom Raum.
Almost immediately following Abramoff's second guilty plea in Miami on January 4, 2005, President Bush, Representative Tom DeLay, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Representative Roy Blunt and "numerous lawmakers hastily jettisoned campaign donations linked" to Abramoff while Republican Party officials "pondered the impact of a spreading scandal on their 2006 election prospects," the Associated Press's David Espo wrote.
The Wall Street Journal reported November 25, 2005, that the Justice Department's "investigation into possible influence-peddling ... [was] examining his dealings with four lawmakers, more than a dozen current and former congressional aides and two former Bush administration officials, lawyers and others involved in the case. ... [Namely] House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R., Mont.), according to several people close to the investigation." Ney agreed to plead guilty to at least one criminal charge related to the scandal and a false expense report for a golf trip to Scotland bankrolled by Abramoff. 
"Five of the former aides worked for Mr. DeLay, including" Tony Rudy, Ed Buckham and Susan B. Hirschmann. "The three were top aides to Mr. DeLay and are now Washington lobbyists." 
Chart of "How Abramoff Spread the Wealth" posted December 12, 2005, by the Washington Post.
"Unraveling Abramoff. Key Players in the Investigation of Lobbyist Jack Abramoff" posted December 23, 2005, by the Washington Post. Includes links to "The Players", "Timeline", "Follow the Money", "The 'A' Team", and "'Post' Coverage".
Jack Abramoff Lobbying and Political Contributions, 1999 - 2006 , Capital Eye.
Client "Company A" is Tyco
Tyco International Ltd., "whose former CEO" L. Dennis Kozlowski "became a symbol of corporate corruption, acknowledged" January 5, 2006, that "it is the Jack Abramoff client referred to as 'Company A' in court documents describing the lobbyist's scheme to funnel millions of dollars in lobbying fees to himself," the Associated Press's Sharon Theimer reported....
For much more of the Perfect Political Storm, see...
# # #
VISIT “THE PEREGRINE GALLERY” TO
VIEW MORE BIRDS OF PREY!
Jack Abramoff - Henry Paulson - Gale Norton
Faye Kurren - Nancy Johnson - Peter Savio
Bruce Babbitt - Ben Benson - David Cole
James Watt - Jeff Watanabe - Greg Dunn
Haunani Apoliona - Colbert Matsumoto
Linda Lingle - Lee Bass - James Nicholson
(...with more to come!)
AND, FOR EVEN MORE...
THE EAGLE HOODED: THE 9-11 COVERUP
PART I - PART II - PART III
~ ~ ~
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING KAMEHAMEHA’S COURT
ALLIED WORLD ASSURANCE
AIG: THE UN-AMERICAN INSURANCE GROUP
ALOHA, HARKEN ENERGY!
THE BANKRUPTCY BUZZARDS OF ORANGE COUNTY
BIRDS IN THE TRAILER PARK
THE CARLYLE GROUP: BIRDS THAT DRINK FROM CESSPOOLS
THE CHUBB GROUP
~ ~ ~
DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY POLITICS & BISHOP ESTATE
Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI
~ ~ ~
CONFESSIONS OF A WHISTLEBLOWER
THE DISSECTION OF ‘FRISTY’
DYING FOR DYNCORP
HALLIBURTON FROM HELL
HENRY PAULSON’S SECRET TREASURY
HOW TO COOK A GOLDEN GOOSE
MARSH & McLENNAN: THE MARSH BIRDS
NESTS IN THE PENTAGON
OF DAISIES & VAMPIRES
THE FIRING OF EVAN DOBELLE
THE NESTS OF CB RICHARD ELLIS
SPOTTING THE SEC
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE VS. HARMON
THE PIMPS TO POWER
TINKERING WITH ETOYS
TRACKING THE TYCO FLOCK
RICO IN PARADISE
THE SECRET NESTS
THE STEPHEN FRIEDMAN FLOCK
THE KISSINGER OF DEATH
THE TORCH OF ERIC SHINE
THE TURNSTONE BIRDS
THE VULTURES IN ORANGE COUNTY
YAKUZA DOODLE DANDIES
MORE OF THE CATBIRD’S FAVORITE LINKS
THE CATBIRD SEAT FORUM
THE CATBIRD SEAT
FAIR USE NOTICE. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last Updated on May 25, 2007 by The Catbird