I think that your free-thinking readers should watch this video of a recent, frank interview with ex- Washington 'lobbyist,' Jack Abramoff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Jack Abramoff, has just served three and a half years in prison. He received this remarkably-lenient sentence after agreeing with US federal prosecutors to plead guilty to serious corruption, conspiracy and tax-evasion charges. In the television interview, he freely-admits that he owned scores of US politicians and political aides. Although he once earned $20 millions a year, Jack Abramoff now says he works in a pizza restaurant.
In 2000, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a reform bill to extend the protection of U.S. labour, and minimum-wage, laws to the workers in the Northern Mariana Islands. DeLay (then the House Republican Whip) stopped the House from considering the bill. DeLay later blocked a fact-finding mission planned by Representative Peter Hoekstra, by threatening him with the loss of his sub-committee chairmanship.
DeLay received piles of valuable gifts from Abramoff, including paid golfing holidays to Scotland, concert tickets, and the use of Abramoff's private sports-stadium boxes. DeLay, Tony Rudy, another aide and Abramoff took a trip to London and Scotland. Abramoff paid for the airfare for the trip. 'Lobbyist', Ed Buckham, paid for the hotel at St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. Abramoff was reimbursed by 'The National Center for Public Policy Research', the non-profit organization that arranged the trip. On the same day that the trip began, The 'National Center' received large 'donations' from two of Abramoff's clients, Internet lottery service 'eLottery, Inc.', and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Both organizations denied that they had intended to pay for DeLay's trip. House rules forbid members to accept travel expenses from 'lobbyists,' and require that members establish the actual sources of funds that non-profit organizations use to pay for trips. DeLay simply denied knowing that 'lobbyists' had paid for travel expenses. In July 2000, DeLay voted against a bill that would have restricted Internet gambling. Both 'eLottery' and the Choctaws opposed the bill. TonyRudy, who was then DeLay's deputy chief of staff, killed the bill by engaging a parliamentary procedure that required a two-thirds majority vote, rather than a simple majority, in order for the bill to pass. Rudy's illegal actions on behalf of Abramoff's clients during this time were mentioned in Abramoff's guilty plea in January 2006.
Michael Scanlon, who had become Abramoff's 'lobbying' partner, plead guilty in November 2005 to conspiracy charges. Abramoff plead guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy charges on in January 2006, agreeing to co-operate with the government's investigation. His co-operation forced DeLay to abandon his efforts to return to his position as House Majority Leader, a decision that DeLay announced only a few days after Abramoff's plea bargain. Tony Rudy plead guilty in March 2006, to acting illegally on Abramoff's behalf, in exchange for gifts.
Abramoff referred clients to Ed Buckham's 'Alexander Strategy Group' (ASG), a 'lobbying' firm. Abramoff's clients gave more than $1.5 million to Buckham's 'U.S. Family Network', which then paid ASG more than $1 million. From 1998 to 2002, ASG paid Tom DeLay's wife, Christine, a monthly salary averaging between $3,200 and $3,400. DeLay's attorney, Richard Cullen, first said the payments were for telephone calls that she made periodically to the offices of certain members of Congress seeking the names of their preferred charities, and that she then forwarded that information to Buckham, along with some information about those charities. In early June 2006, Cullen changed his story and said the payments were also for general political consulting she provided to her husband. In total, Christine DeLay was paid about $115,000 directly by ASG, and got another $25,000 via money put into a retirement account by the firm. Her work with ASG has also been the subject of a feeble inquiry by the US Department of Justice, but, mysteriously, no charges have been filed.
In August, 2010, the federal government suddenly dropped its six-year investigation into the web of corruption spun by the convicted criminal, Jack Abramoff. However, a State case continued in Texas. Last year, Tom DeLay was tried in Austin, Texas. On November 24th, 2010, a Texas jury convicted him of money laundering and conspiracy to money launder. He faced a prison sentence of anywhere from 2 to 20 years for conspiracy and 5 to 99 years, or life, for money laundering. On January 10th, 2011, Texas Senior Judge, Pat Preist, sentenced DeLay to just 3 years in prison.
To add insult to injury, 'Amway's' long-time Washington stooge, immediately filed an appeal.
David Brear (Copyright 2011)
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