News round up, Monday morning

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Over the weekend, two major pieces appeared regarding DeLay's friend Jack Abramoff, the disgraced superlobbyist at the center of the junkets and Native American casino scandals.

James Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post did a long investigative piece into the circumstances surrounding mob-style murder of Gus Boulis, a colorful businessman who ran the SunCruz casino operation which was sold to Abramoff and a business partner. Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, a former DeLay aide, convinced those associated with the purchase (including the lender) of their influence and power by inviting DeLay to attend a meeting at a stadium skybox, and by getting Rep. Bob Ney to insert remarks into the Congressional Record at will. The story also covers sleazy at best, reprehensiblly criminal at worst, behavior.

(Update: Newsie has a great analysis with additional links, including this diagram from the Post.)

The New York Times Magazine's Michael Crowley (long way from Beacon Hill days, eh, Mike?) sits down with Abramoff and does a long profile. The result? We end up not liking or believing the guy. It's a good read.

On Saturday, the New York Times (no link) covered the conflict of interest for Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) in her upcoming role as chair of the Ethics subcommittee investigating DeLay. She took money from DeLay's PAC and held a fundraiser at Jack Abramoff's restaurant. I say we need an outside counsel. Color me silly for not trusting a jury bought and paid for by the defendant.

This morning, Michael Hedges of the Houston Chronicle looks at the collision of the FBI investigation into Abramoff and Scanlon with the Ethics Committee's work, and Mark Benjamin of Salon examines the connections between DeLay's "charitable work" and his political world.

There's more, I'm sure. But that'll have to wait until a little later...