Thursday, January 12, 2006

Abramoff "Just As Close to Blunt"

While our esteemed 7th District Congressman, Roy Blunt, is trying desperately to downplay his cozy relationship with indicted lobbyist/swindler Jack Abramoff, it appears that the Abramoff stain just won't wash out.

We ran across a November 2002 feel-good piece by John Bresnahan in Washington Business Forward that introduces mover-and-shaker Jack Abramoff as the lobbyist who is taking Washington by storm. The article begins:

"Greenberg Traurig’s Jack Abramoff is the most unlikely establishment Washington lobbyist: he made his bones producing a Dolph Lundgren movie, working with Indian casinos and doing a riverboat gambling deal that turned messy. Now Abramoff has emerged as an insider’s insider, with close ties to top Republicans and a hefty book of business. But even with his ally Tom DeLay poised to become House Majority Leader, Abramoff’s still found time to go into the restaurant business. Don’t bet against him."

The piece is pure fluff, with lines like: "It’s classic Abramoff: He’s a master at making money while pushing his conservative, free-market ideals." But there's an interesting quote near the end of Breshahan's little promotional that flies in the face of Blunt's earnest denials that he and Abramoff were fundraising pals for several years running. In this interview, Abramoff made an effort to downplay his close relationship with Tom DeLay by naming other associates who were dear to his heart and pocketbook.

“The DeLay thing is played up a lot in terms of our relationship. The fact is when I pitch a client, I never mention Tom DeLay. I never say I know Tom DeLay.” Abramoff says he’s just as close to other Republicans, like Reps. Roy Blunt (MO), Christopher Cox (CA), John Doolittle (CA), Phil Crane (IL) and Dana Rohrabacher (CA)."

The Washington Business Forward piece closes with this ironic little bit of smarm . . .

"Beyond the political world, it’s Abramoff himself who’s a bit unheard of, but that won’t last for long." I'll bet Ol' Roy is wishing he'd never heard of the guy.

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