"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
Fri, Jan 6th, 2006
Posted in Commentary
Posted in Commentary
If we were in Washington, D.C. right now, we could probably hear the swoosh sounds of emails being deleted and the brrrr of faxes and other correspondence being shredded.
Those fat cats we elected are running for cover with the news that lobbyist Jack Abramoff has made a deal with federal prosecutors. To show how desperate things are, the President as well as members of Congress are doing the unthinkable - returning tainted campaign donations. Last Tuesday, Abramoff pled guilty to three federal counts of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials. The indictment includes admission that Abramoff defrauded four Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars. This public corruption scandal is not going away any time soon. According to the New York Times, Abramoff spent more than $1.5 million in campaign donations to hundreds of elected officials, both Republican and Democrat, since 2000. A week before Abramoff made a deal with the Justice Department, Michael Scanlon, an associate of Abramoff, also made a deal with prosecutors. The testimony of these two is expected to rip through Congress like the Avian flu. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, already under indictment in his home state of Texas for campaign finance violations, is expected to be the fattest cat under scrutiny in the Abramoff-Scanlon public corruption investigation. DeLay allegedly received thousands in campaign donations and accompanied Abramoff on a golf holiday to Scotland. Others mentioned as being under investigation are Reps. Bob Ney (R), Ohio; John Doolittle (R), California; and Sen. Conrad Burns (R), Montana. All of this slimeball politics comes on the heels of Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s (R, California) resignation from Congress for admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes from a defense contractor. According to the Christian Science Monitor, at least seven members of Congress are facing indictments, investigations or criminal charges ranging from bribery and securities fraud to campaign-finance violations. This includes Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who has been asked to testify in federal investigations of his stock sale involving a family business. In December, with the ethics cloud hovering over Washington, House Speaker Dennis Hastert suggested that Congress needed to take a refresher course in ethics training. Not that anyone believes it will do much good. Politics at the national level is all about big-money and connections. Selling influence and power, in Washington or anywhere else for that matter, is undoubtedly the oldest profession of all. Stay tuned as this political circus is only just beginning.