Want to read the lobbyist's handbook on how to get to an elected lawmaker, choked on power and out of touch with our, the American constituents' reality? Read this carefully. Jack needs Ed and Ed needs Jack. Ed gets to Tom who is drunk on power. Tom delivers and Tom, Jack and Ed all profit. We lose. How a lobbyist can purchase influence in Washington. DeLay allowed himself to be bought and sold. Sadly, Tom a.ka. the hammer and cockroach, is probably not the only one. Most disturbing, however, is how religion is blatantly manipulated and used as a political tool. I suppose it is another "talking point." What a despicable lot.
In concluding his letter, Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, used a religious flourish that likely strengthened his bond with Buckham, a Christian minister," the Journal reporter writes. "It was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and Abramoff wrote: 'Today, all I can do is pray, but, as you know, prayer is really the only important thing any of us can do. It is all in the hands of Heaven, though we can help move things along, too.'"
From Raw Story.com http://rawstory.com/exclusives/byrne/abramoff_delay_national_journal_422.htm
"Lobbyist Jack Abramoff got to be good friends with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, with some inside help," the (paid-restricted) National Journal reports in Saturday's editions.
In an extended piece, the Journal's Peter Stone will reveal how DeLay's former chief of staff brought now-fallen GOP power lobbyist Abramoff to the leader's table.
In September 1996, Stone pens, "after what sources say was a golf date, Abramoff dashed off a thank-you note to DeLay's then-chief of staff, Ed Buckham."
"I hope this finds you well," Abramoff wrote Buckham. "Friday was fun. I hope we can get together again soon." Abramoff also included concerns about issues facing three of his largest clients: the Mississippi Choctaws, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rican businessmen seeking statehood.
The note began what would become a fruitful friendship between the two and give Abramoff DeLay's ear. Buckham would later travel with Abramoff and DeLay to Mariana Islands, Russia and Scotland, some of which were covered at Abramoff's expense.
"Abramoff's friendship with Buckham underscores how the once high-flying lobbyist built his business by forging ties with top congressional aides, a few of whom worked for DeLay," Stone notes. "These aides helped Abramoff when they worked on the Hill, and some of them later became his business partners. Buckham, for example, became an Abramoff ally in both lobbying and fundraising ventures."
Sources told Stone that Abramoff aided Buckham's lobbying career after he left DeLay. In doing background work for Abramoff clients, Buckham did not have to register as a lobbyist.
"A lobbyist who talked with Abramoff at the time recalls Abramoff saying that in the first year or two after Buckham left the Hill, Abramoff's clients paid him as much as $500,000," Stone remarks.
A lobbyist close to DeLay's office explained to Stone how the Buckham-Abramoff relationship ripened.
"Jack needed Ed for access to DeLay, and Ed needed Jack for his business acumen," the lobbyist told National Journal. Remarked an erstwhile GOP leadership aide, "When Ed left, he wasted little time in capitalizing on his relationship with Jack."
Buckham was warm to Abramoff's clients.
In an e-mail to Buckham from a Mariana Island official in 1997, the official thanked him profusely, saying, "DeLay was also very kind to allow our group to virtually take over his office yesterday."
Some Puerto Rican businessmen who hired Abramoff directed huge chunks of money to Republican candidates and enterprises associated with Abramoff in an attempt to win statehood. In the 2001-02 cycle, some $68,500 in contributions were made, mostly to GOP candidates.
In August 2001, Stone reports, DeLay met Abramoff and Buckham in Kuala Lumpur, Abramoff had recently agreed to represent government of Malaysia—somewhat unusual as the prime minister was under fire for anti-Semitic comments.
A deal Abramoff inked funneled $1 million to DeLay's former press secretary's thinktank, Stone adds, which then paid another firm to hire Abramoff and others, including DeLay aide Tony Rudy. It brought in a further $620,000 to Buckham's firm.
From there, Abramoff, Buckham and DeLay enjoyed at $70,000 junket to Scotland, of which $50,000 was paid by Abramoff clients, in violation of House rules. What's more, Abramoff billed his firm for $13,318 for some of the trip's expenses, including more than $4,000 for the DeLays' posh lodgings.
Stone concludes with Abramoff's 1996 thank-you note to Buckham, which, he says, "alluded to another link between the two men."
"In concluding his letter, Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, used a religious flourish that likely strengthened his bond with Buckham, a Christian minister," the Journal reporter writes. "It was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, and Abramoff wrote: 'Today, all I can do is pray, but, as you know, prayer is really the only important thing any of us can do. It is all in the hands of Heaven, though we can help move things along, too.'"
Article originally published Apr. 22, 2005. Original upon which this article is based on appears in Saturday's The National Journal.
I'll Call That Interesting
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