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Political Animal (Dems are all giddy about this)
The Washington Monthly ^ | November 22, 2005 | Steve Benen

Posted on 11/23/2005 7:01:15 AM PST by Hank All-American

THE GOP'S SCANLON NIGHTMARE....Uber-activist Paul Weyrich told the LA Times a few weeks ago, "I've been talking to some [Republican] members who are scared to death" by the Abramoff affair. Weyrich added, "That one has the potential for blowing into something far larger." With this in mind, it's difficult to overstate just how much Michael Scanlon's plea deal strikes fear into the heart of Congress.

A onetime congressional staffer who became a top partner to lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to bribe a congressman and other public officials and agreed to pay back more than $19 million he fraudulently charged Indian tribal clients.

The plea agreement between prosecutors and Michael Scanlon, a former press secretary to then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), provided fresh detail about the alleged bribes. The document also indicated the nature of testimony Scanlon is prepared to offer against a congressman it calls "Representative #1" -- who has been identified by attorneys in the case as Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio). [...]

Investigators are looking at half a dozen members of Congress, current and former senior Hill aides, a former deputy secretary of the interior, and Abramoff's former lobbying colleagues, according to sources familiar with the probe who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Because of his central role in much of Abramoff's business, Scanlon could be a key witness in any trials that arise from the case.

To be sure, House Administration Chairman Bob Ney clearly has the most to worry about. As subscription-only Roll Call recently reported, federal prosecutors' case against Scanlon alleges that Ney agreed to "perform a series of official acts" that benefited Scanlon and Abramoff's clients in return for a series of favors, including a golf junket to Scotland, tickets to sporting events, and free meals.

And, unfortunately for Ney, the "series of official acts" were plentiful. There's already evidence that Ney pressured a casino owner to sell a fleet of ships to benefit one of Abramoff's clients, received one of those luxurious Scottish golf trips that Abramoff is famous for, promised to use his role on the House Administration Committee to help reopen a casino for an Abramoff client, and placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's purchase of a Florida gambling company. In all, prosecutors have found 11 instances in which the lawmaker used his office to help Scanlon, Abramoff, or their clients.

Ney claims Abramoff duped him. We'll see how that defense works out for him.

As for broader panic on the Hill, Plato Cacheris, Scanlon's lawyer, was asked at a news conference yesterday whether other lawmakers will be caught up in this fiasco. He said, "I would rather not comment on that."

Republicans shuddered when the Plame scandal captured the political world's attention, but that was a White House affair -- it's the Abramoff/Scanlon controversy that threatens lawmakers on the Hill directly. Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional specialist at the Brookings Institution, said, "I think this has the potential to be the biggest scandal in Congress in over a century. I've been around Washington for 35 years, watching Congress, and I've never seen anything approaching Abramoff for cynicism and chutzpah in proposing quid pro quos to members of Congress."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; abramoff; bribery; congress; michaelscanlon; plea; scanlon; weyrich
If you read the comments after the article, you can see the libs are salivating over the prospect. But if you read the piece carefully, the "bribes" sound more like the kind of normal lobbyist stuff you expect, and there doesn't seem to be any allegation of votes being purchased. Don't lobbyists always pay for junkets and meals? Seems like another attempt by the Left to use the court system--specifically, their newest favorite tool, prosecutors--to change the political landscape in ways the electoral process won't let them.
1 posted on 11/23/2005 7:01:16 AM PST by Hank All-American
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To: Hank All-American

So lobbyist only lobby Republicans?

Me thinks their making all this noise cause there may be some Rats in the cookie jar too.


2 posted on 11/23/2005 7:04:53 AM PST by digger48
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To: Hank All-American

The only reason they have to be scared is if they're afraid to FIGHT BACK. Otherwise, they'll get caught up in the same idiocy as John McCain.


3 posted on 11/23/2005 7:05:20 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: Hank All-American

--and when do we get the complete story on Murtha's brother, Nancy Pelosi and military contracts---???


4 posted on 11/23/2005 7:07:27 AM PST by rellimpank (urbanites don' t understand the cultural deprivation of not being raised on a farm:NRABenefactor)
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To: Hank All-American

This guy might take down Harry Reid, who was the recipient of $66,000 in Abramoff campaign contributions.


5 posted on 11/23/2005 7:09:59 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: Hank All-American

IIRC when the Abramoff deal first surfaced and all the dems were pointing their fingers at DeLay .. it turned out that Abramoff had treated MORE DEMS TO TRIPS than he had repubs.

So .. let the libs salivate. Seems like that's all they know how to do.


6 posted on 11/23/2005 7:13:10 AM PST by The Final Harvest ( I believe Congressman Curt Weldon re Able Danger)
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To: CyberAnt

Thanks for posting that -- 'more Dems that Republicans' -- their little tricks always seem to backfire. There is nothing like raw jealousy and resentment for setting yourself up. The Dems are stuck on stupid.


7 posted on 11/23/2005 7:41:29 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Hank All-American

When Chris Mathews hears the name 'Scanlon'... he lifts his skirt to cool-off.


8 posted on 11/23/2005 7:43:30 AM PST by johnny7 (“You have a corpse in a car, minus a head, in the garage. Take me to it.”)
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To: Hank All-American
in return for a series of favors, including a golf junket to Scotland, tickets to sporting events, and free meals

"Here's the deal, Bob .... if you'll push through three or four multimillion dollar deals for me, I'll give you some football tickets, buy you dinner, and send you on a golf outing."

If the allegations are true, then not only is Bob Ney a prostitute, but he's an extremely inexpensive prostitute.

9 posted on 11/23/2005 8:05:58 AM PST by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: bboop

"raw jealousy and resentment"


BINGO!! That's what it really is all about. The dems believe they have been chosen to rule the little people and they cannot believe the little people do not recognize their superiority. Such arrogance leads to jealousy and resentment.


10 posted on 11/23/2005 10:24:03 AM PST by The Final Harvest ( I believe Congressman Curt Weldon re Able Danger)
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To: Hank All-American
Abramoff is a bad actor, implicated by association in a murder-for-hire here in south Florida. It never ceases to amze me that creeps like this get such access on the hill. Anyone who laid down with this guy got up with fleas, guaranteed.

Let's just hope the damage is controllable.

11 posted on 11/23/2005 11:49:10 AM PST by beckett (Amor Fati)
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