Jack Abramoff

Teacher Appreciation

Heh. As a follow up to yesterday's news that Congress' favorite influence-peddler Jack Abramoff might be getting out of jail early we have this delightful item about how Abramoff has been spending his time in prison.

Ralphie Run Out

We asked last week why Sen. John McCain, a guy who prides himself on a reputation as a "reformer" would attend a fundraiser that Ralph Reed -- buddy of Abramoff who profitted handsomely off the corrupt lobbyist's tribal casino scam -- helped pull together.

Reed It and Weep

Um, if your campaign is taking heat for being run and financed by a large circle of lobbyists, it's perhaps not the best idea to get Ralph Reed, FOA (Friend of Abramoff) Extraordinaire, to host a fundraiser for you. And yet, that's what Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is doing.

Marianas Reunion

Jack Abramoff hasn't been around Washington, DC much lately but his extensive legacy of corruption just keeps on giving. TPM Muckraker is going after the story on the McCain fundraiser, Juan Carlos Benitez, with ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Looks like Benitez helped Abramoff out when he was lobbying on behalf of the Northern Marianas Islands and their infamous sweatshops.

Three Wrongs

Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project is rolling out a new ad today to hold Colorado Senate candidate Bob Schaffer (R) accountable for a $13,000 junket he took (courtesy of Jack Abramoff) while in Congress to the Northern Mariana Islands where factories are notorious for abusing their largely female workforce. Schaffer must have been too busy parasailing on Abramoff's dime to note these abuses. He later received thousands in campaign contributions from the factory owners.

Repent

It's totally David Donnelly day in the papers -- this op-ed for the Denver Post, authored by David in his capacity as Director of Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project, goes in to the relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff that Colorado Senate candidate, and former U.S. Representative Bob Schaffer (R) would rather keep quiet. And its no wonder, dealings with Abramoff have sunk more than a few political careers.

Same Apple, New Barrel

Former Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) who lost his bid for re-election in 2006 thanks to suspicions around his taking campaign contributions from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has registered as a lobbyist himself, having just cleared the one year moratorium (new rules will make it a two-year ban) on lawmakers becoming lobbyists. He's now working, along with a former staff member, for a firm, Gage LLC, founded by another ex-staffer. DC's a small town.

Coming to a Theater Near You

Fresh off his Oscar win for best documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side director Alex Gibney is turning his attention to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Gibney's next release, slated to come out later this year, will profile the Abramoff scandal and "give viewers a greater understanding, in a blow-by-blow way, of how the political process works, particularly with regards to lobbying."

Dear John

Dear John,

It's over between us.

Love,
Congress

Doolittle Done?

Is scandal-plagued Congressman John Doolittle (R-CA) on his way out? Speculation is rampant that he's soon to announce his retirement and hand the reigns over to former state Sen. Rico Oller. Doolitte, who barely survived re-election in 2006 amid allegations about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is facing money and polling woes going into his 2008 rematch against Democrat Charlie Brown.