$40K And a Round of Golf

That'll get you some decent favors in Washington these days. The former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and former labor secretary for the Northern Marianas Islands, Mark Zachares will plead guilty tomorrow to accepting a series of gifts, perks and bribes (totalling about $40K) from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for aiding Abramoff in his schemes in Guam and the Marianas.

 

Zachares was a pipeline of intel for Abramoff, feeding him information about pending congressional action and putting pressure on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to direct funds to Guam in a way that benefitted Abramoff.

 

As his "benefits package" for participating in this two year scheme with Abramoff, Zachares got money from Abramoff's sham charity, tickets, a spot on the St. Andrews golfing Junket That Launched a Thousand Convictions. Zachares is the fifth congressional staffer to plead guilty in connection with the Abramoff probe; meanwhile former Rep. Bob Ney is serving his sentence for his activities with Abramoff and Rep. John Doolittle is still awaiting the results of the investigation into he and his wife's dealings with the lobbyist.