Skip to comments.Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid won't be returning lobbyist Jack Abramoff contributions
Posted on 06/04/2005 7:15:25 PM PDT by Libloather
Reid won't be returning lobbyist contributions
Spokeswoman says senator sees no reason to return funds
By TONY BATT
STEPHENS WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON -- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will not return campaign contributions he received during the past five years from lobbyists and clients associated with Jack Abramoff, a Reid spokeswoman said Friday.
Federal officials are investigating whether Abramoff, a lobbyist, bilked millions of dollars from Indian gaming tribes.
Reid, D-Nev., and other Democrats have been sharply critical of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who has close ties to Abramoff.
About two-thirds of Abramoff-related campaign funds were given to Republicans. But The Washington Post reported that Abramoff also cultivated Democrats, including Reid.
Reid received $6,500 from Abramoff's associates at the Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm from 1999 through 2004, The Washington Post reported Friday.
During the same period, Reid received $40,500 from Indian tribes that were Abramoff clients, the paper reported based on research of federal records.
Reid does not know Abramoff, Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen said.
But Abramoff hired Eddie Ayoob, who was Reid's legislative counsel until 2002 and was assistant finance director on Reid's 1998 Senate campaign.
Ayoob held a fund-raising reception for Reid at the offices of Greenberg Traurig, according to The Washington Post.
Calls to Ayoob on Friday were not returned. Ayoob left Greenberg Traurig earlier this year to join Barnes & Thornburg, another Washington law firm.
Hafen said Ayoob has not done any fund-raising for Reid this year. But, she added, "there is no reason to expect that he will not continue to raise money."
Reid declined an interview request Friday. Hafen said he sees no reason to return the money.
"Indian tribes have the same opportunity as anyone else to participate in the political process," Hafen said. "There is no reason to even make that suggestion."
Federal investigators are examining millions of dollars that Abramoff collected from Indian tribes for lobbying and public relations work.
Reid received his contributions while serving on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He gave up that assignment after he was elected minority leader late last year.
Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, said he does not think money from gaming tribes has made a big difference with Reid.
"We don't always agree with Senator Reid, but I think he has been consistent on Indian gaming issues, and I don't think the contributions have changed his posture on any of those issues," Stevens said. "This is all part of the political process and we have a right to participate."
Sen. Boob, meet Ayoob. Ayoob, meet Sen. Boob.
Things that make you go hmmm.
Imenently unfair to hold "dingy" Harry to the same standard as everyone else. He is, after all, so sincere.
They want to hang Delay for taking money from this guy, but Harry Reid took money too , but thats ok because he didnt get as much. Makes sense I suppose if youre a Democrat.
let's see if the MSM touches this one....
The media still won't ask Harry about those land deals he made with a big Vegas casino.
Check this out..MSM won't touch this either
Ping re hypocritical Dingy Harry.
Thanks for the ping, hipaatwo
Can you say, Hypocrite
OLD MEDIA will never ask Reid about why he is a hypocrite. I think there needs to be a huge investigation into Harry Reid's campaign finances!
Hypocrites need to clean their own dirty closets before they start on someone else's.
I demand a full investigation by the Ethics Committee. Then I insist that they refuse to meet to allow Reid to come before them to answer the charges and that instead, they let the media just keep printing allegations about Reid on a daily basis.
Shocked, I tells ya.
But Democrat Patrick J. Kennedy, a congressman from Rhode Island, ran second, receiving $128,000 during the same period.
Senate Democrats Harry Reid of Nevada and Tom Daschle of South Dakota each got more than $40,000, and Sen. Dick Gephardt of Missouri received $32,500.
Yeah, but they're all giving the money back, right? Right?
I'M SURE 60 MINUTES WILL BE DOING A SPECIAL ON THIS RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTIONS. NOT.
BTTT !!(..for Harry's upcoming "tour"....)