SPECIAL REPORT

Abramoff: The House That Jack Built

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"Abramoff: The House That Jack Built"

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A comprehensive look at the potential scope of the “biggest scandal in Congress in over a century“:

SunCruz

Sen. Conrad Burns +
Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. Bob Ney *
Adam Kidan *
Neil Volz

Tigua Casino

Sen. John Cornyn
Rep. Bob Ney * +
Rep. Don Young
Ralph Reed
Michael Scanlon *
Neil Volz

Mariana Islands

Sen. Conrad Burns +
Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. John Doolittle
Rep. Don Young
President Bush +

Saginaw Funding

Sen. Conrad Burns +
Sen. Byron Dorgan +
Rep. J.D. Hayworth +

Choctaws

Grover Norquist
Ralph Reed

Capital Athletic Foundation

Julie Doolittle *

Coushatta Campaign

Rep. Roy Blunt +
Rep. Eric Cantor +
Sen. Thad Cochran +
Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. John Doolittle
Sen. John Ensign
Sen. Charles Grassley
Rep. J. Dennis Hastert +
Rep. Ernie Istook +
Sen. Trent Lott
Sen. Harry Reid
Rep. Pete Sessions
Rep. David Vitter +
Rep. Roger Wicker
Grover Norquist

Cronyism

Sen. Conrad Burns +
Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. John Doolittle
Rep. Bob Ney * +
Grover Norquist
Tony Rudy
Neil Volz
J. Steven Griles
Susan Ralston

Favors

Rep. Bob Ney * +
Rep. Richard Pombo +
Rep. David Vitter +
Rep. Don Young
Doug Bandow
Italia Federici
Timothy Flanigan
J. Steven Griles
Gale A. Norton
Susan Ralston

Trips

Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. John Doolittle
Rep. Tom Feeney +
Rep. Bob Ney *
Ed Buckham
Susan Hirschmann
Ralph Reed
David Safavian

Mashpee

Rep. Richard Pombo +

Gifts

Rep. Tom DeLay +
Rep. John Doolittle
Sen. Tom Harkin +
Rep. J.D. Hayworth +
Rep. Bob Ney * +
Rep. Don Young

* denotes individuals who have been subponaed, indicted, or found guilty in the Abramoff investigation.

+ denotes individuals who have returned donations from Abramoff, his clients, or his partners.

Methodology: Members of Congress were included if they received over $10,000 from Abramoff, his clients or his partners and have allegedly done favors for Abramoff, his clients or his partners. Members who were acting on behalf of a constituent in their state were excluded, even if those constituents were Abramoff clients. Certain members who received less than $10,000 in Abramoff were included because of extensive allegations of favors done for Abramoff.

Jack Abramoff

Former Lobbyist

INVESTIGATION — ABRAMOFF PLEADED GUILTY TO THREE FEDERAL FELONY COUNTS: Abramoff pleaded guilty in federal court on Jan. 3, 2006, “to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion.” [Bloomberg, 1/3/06]

INVESTIGATION — ABRAMOFF PLEADED GUILTY TO TWO MORE FELONY COUNTS: Abramoff “pleaded guilty in federal court…to conspiracy and wire fraud stemming from his 2000 purchase of a gambling boat fleet [SunCruz Casinos].” [Associated Press, 1/4/06]

INVESTIGATION — ABRAMOFF INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AND INTERIOR DEPARTMENT: “The FBI, the Justice Department’s public integrity section and the Interior Department inspector general are investigating Abramoff’s lobbying practices, focusing on tribal clients that paid him and a public relations associate $82 million between 2001 and 2003. Among the areas investigators are examining, former Abramoff associates and tribal representatives said, are whether legislative favors were granted in Congress in exchange for tribal campaign contributions, and whether Abramoff opened doors on Capitol Hill by wooing congressional aides with the promise of jobs, as well as tickets to sporting events, trips, meals and other gifts.” [Washington Post, 9/28/05]

CONTRIBUTIONS — ABRAMOFF GAVE OVER $127,000 TO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES AND COMMITTEES: “Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show. At the same time, his Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats. ” [Bloomberg, 12/21/05]

CONTRIBUTIONS — 210 LAWMAKERS RECEIVED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: “According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, 210 current members of Congress have received contributions from Abramoff, his Indian tribe clients or SunCruz Casinos since 1999.” [LA Times, 12/22/05]

GIMME-FIVE — SCANLON AND ABRAMOFF’S ‘GIMME-FIVE’ SCHEME: In a scheme the duo termed “gimme-five,” Abramoff advised tribes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Michigan to hire Scanlon’s company, Capital Campaign Strategies LLC, for grass-roots public relations work while hiding the fact that Abramoff would receive half the profits. The purpose of the scheme, the prosecutors allege, was to “enrich themselves by obtaining substantial funds from their clients through fraud and concealment and through obtaining benefits for their clients through corrupt means. Prosecutors detailed the alleged fraud perpetrated on four tribes, contending that Scanlon billed the four tribes $53 million and then kicked back $19 million to Abramoff.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF TRADED JOBS FOR FAVORS: Federal prosecutors in the Abramoff investigation “are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors. … Prosecutors are trying to establish that ‘it’s not just a ticket to a ballgame, it’s major jobs’ that exchanged hands, the participant in the case said. Also under examination are payments to lobbyists and lawmakers’ wives.” [New York Times, 12/2/05]

CAPITAL ATHLETIC FOUNDATION — ABRAMOFF FORMED BOGUS CHARITY AND KEPT PROFITS: Abramoff’s Capital Athletic Foundation, which took in $6 million in its first four years allegedly for “needy and deserving” sportsmanship programs, actually used “less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths. Three of Abramoff’s tribal clients — the Choctaws, Coushattas, and Saginaws — contributed a total of $2.02 million to the foundation. In 2002, the Foundation reported it had given away more than $330,000 in grants to four organizations who said they never received the money. Instead, Abramoff used the organization for pet projects, including a $4.03 million Jewish school, $248,742 for Abramoff’s house in Silver Spring, and other funds for sniper training in Israel. Travel was also a major expense of the organization, “totaling $240,416 in 2001 and 2002, records show. More than half of that was spent in August 2002 on the chartered jet that flew at least six people — [including Ney, Reed, and Safavian] — to St. Andrews, Scotland” for a golfing trip. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Austin-American Statesman, 12/15/05; Washington Post, 11/19/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” The Coushattas wanted to protect their income — “about $300 million a year.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003, letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” Cantor received “roughly $4,500 [from Abramoff and his clients] in the period around which the letter was sent.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

SUNCRUZ — ABRAMOFF AND KIDAN INDICTED: In 2001, Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, were embroiled in “acrimonious efforts” to buy SunCruz Casinos from Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis. “Boulis, millionaire founder of the Miami Subs sandwich chain, sold SunCruz to Abramoff and Kidan in September 2000.” To help along the sale, Abramoff had Ney criticize Boulis in statements placed in the March 30, 2000, Congressional Record, putting pressure on Boulis to sell. (Ney also praised Kidan as Suncruz’s new owner on the floor when the sale went through.) “Abramoff and Kidan were indicted [in August 2005] on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with a $60 million loan they obtained to purchase the casino company.” Boulis was killed on a Fort Lauderdale street on Feb. 6, 2001. Two of the three men charged had been hired as consultants by Kidan. [Washington Post, 12/26/04; Washington Post, 9/28/05]

SAGINAW FUNDING — BURNS BENT RULES TO HELP ABRAMOFF CLIENT: Abramoff lobbied Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), who oversaw the budget of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to help award “a $3 million government award for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan to build a school.” The federal funds were intended for “impoverished Indian tribal schools” and in 2003, the Interior Department ruled the Saginaw tribe too rich to participate. The Saginaws received the funding in 2004 when “Burns pressed for the appropriation over the objections of Interior officials.” Abramoff persuaded the Saginaws to donate $32,000 to Burns between 2001-2003. [Bloomberg, 11/21/05]; Washington Post, 3/1/05]

TIGUA CASINO — CORNYN PART OF ABRAMOFF, REED, SCANLON SCHEME TO CLOSE TIGUA CASINO: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. (“In the end, Abramoff and Scanlon failed to get the casino reopened.”) [Washington Post, 9/26/04; Associated Press, 11/12/05]

CHOCTAWS — ABRAMOFF DISGUISED TRIBAL MONEY: Shortly after the 1994 congressional elections, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians hired Abramoff to stop congressional legislation “calling for Indian casinos to be taxed in the same manner as Las Vegas gambling facilities.” Abramoff sought guidance from Reed “in disguising Indian tribal money sent to anti-gambling campaigns whose leaders were wary of accepting casino cash” by funneling it through Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Abramoff earmarked $10,000 of the Choctaws’ money for Reed’s 2001 campaign for chairman of the Georgia Republican party.” [Washington Post, 11/8/04; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/23/05]; Indian Affairs Committee, 6/22/05]

CHOCTAWS — ABRAMOFF PADDED THE BILLS: “Mr. Abramoff consistently manipulated the bills [of tribal clients]…in order to have them approach a minimal billing target of fees and expenses of between $135,000 and $150,000. When the actual hours of work completed were insufficient to approach that target, Mr. Abramoff routinely directed that the bills be padded and pumped up.” [Washington Post, 11/8/04; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/23/05]; Indian Affairs Committee, 6/22/05]

MARIANA ISLANDS — ABRAMOFF OVERCHARGED NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS: The Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association and the Northern Mariana Islands hired Abramoff in 2001 “to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” In 2001, the association paid Abramoff $460,000 and the Islands paid him $1.1 million. He used these fees “to cultivate ties to members of Congress, flying dozens of lawmakers and their aides for luxurious vacations. Abramoff is being investigated for bilking the islands out of money. … [C]harges included ‘$2,000 for a June 1996 golf tournament.’” [ABC, 4/6/05; Billings Gazette, 12/3/05; Fox News, 4/29/05]

GUAM — BUSH REMOVES FEDERAL PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING ABRAMOFF: In 2002, Abramoff was the target of a grand jury investigation in Guam. On November 18, 2002, U.S. Atty. Frederick A. Black issued a grand jury subpoena issued seeking records involving a highly unusual contract between Abramoff and the Superior Court in Guam. Apparently, Superior Court officials in Guam paid Abramoff over $324,000 — funneled through a Laguna Beach attorney Howard Hills — to lobby against a bill in Congress that gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court. The Los Angeles Times reported this August that the day after Black issued the subpeona, “President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor [Black] and the inquiry ended soon after.” Black had “served as acting U.S. attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands since 1991.” He was replaced by Leonardo Rapadas, the man that the Guam Republican Party recommended to Karl Rove be given the job. [Los Angeles Times, 8/7/05]

GABON — ABRAMOFF ARRANGED MEETING WITH BUSH FOR A FEE: Abramoff “asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.” On July 28, 2003, Abramoff wrote to Gabon’s president, Omar Bongo, “Without advance resources, I have been cautiously working to obtain a visit for the president to Washington to see President Bush.” “In a draft agreement with Gabon dated Aug. 7, 2003, Mr. Abramoff and his associates asked that $9 million in lobbying fees be paid through wire transfers – three of them, each for $3 million – to GrassRoots [small Maryland consulting firm run by Abramoff] instead of the Washington offices of Greenberg Traurig. … The agreement promised a ‘public relations effort related to promoting Gabon and securing a visit for President Bongo with the president of the United States.’” On May 26, 2004, Bongo met with Bush. [New York Times, 11/10/05]

Congress

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

House Majority Leader

CONTRIBUTIONS — BLUNT RECEIVED $8,500 FROM ABRAMOFF: “Mr. Abramoff has donated $8,500 to Rep. Blunt’s leadership PAC, Rely on Your Beliefs.” In January 2006, Blunt pledged to get rid of the Abramoff donations. [CREW, 9/29/05; Washington Post, 1/5/06]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003 letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — BLUNT RECEIVED OVER $3,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: Blunt “signed three letters to Norton. He took $1,000 from Abramoff and $2,000 from the lobbyist’s firm around the time he sent a May 2003 letter.” [AP, 11/17/05]

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)

CONTRIBUTIONS — BURNS RECEIVED $150,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: “In all, Burns collected nearly $150,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004.” In December 2005, Burns pledged to return all the donations. [AP, 11/24/05; AP, 12/16/05]

CRONYISM — BURNS CHIEF OF STAFF WENT TO WORK FOR ABRAMOFF: Will Brooke, Burns’s chief of staff, “went to work for Abramoff’s group at the end of 2003, two months after the adoption of an Interior Appropriations conference report that included other provisions benefiting Abramoff clients, among them the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts.” [Washington Post, 3/1/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF EMPLOYEE ‘SHUTTLED’ BETWEEN LOBBYING AND BURNS’S STAFF: “Shawn Vasell, another member of Abramoff’s lobbying team, served as client manager on the Mississippi Choctaw account, and shuttled between jobs in Burns’s Montana office and Abramoff’s shop. Vasell was registered as a lobbyist for the Choctaw and Coushatta tribes in 2001, joined Burns’s staff in 2002, then rejoined Abramoff’s team as a lobbyist for the tribes in 2003.” [Washington Post, 3/1/05]

SUNCRUZ — BURNS AND DELAY STAFFERS ACCEPTED SUPER BOWL TRIP FROM ABRAMOFF, SUNCRUZ: Two Burns staff members “traveled to the 2001 Super Bowl on the Abramoff corporate jet, along with several staffers from the office of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).” The trip was funded by Abramoff-owned SunCruz, a Florida casino cruise line, and “staffers were taken out to a Suncruz gambling ship during the trip.” [Washington Post, 3/1/05]

SAGINAW FUNDING — BURNS WON RICH ABRAMOFF CLIENT FUNDS MEANT FOR IMPOVERISHED TRIBES: “Senator Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican [who oversees the budget of the Bureau of Indian Affairs], helped win a $3 million government award for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan to build a school.” The federal funds were intended for “impoverished Indian tribal schools” and in 2003, the Interior Department ruled the Saginaw tribe, an Abramoff client, too rich to participate. The Saginaws received the funding in 2004 when “Burns pressed for the appropriation over the objections of Interior officials.” The tribe “donated $32,000 to Burns from 2001 to 2003.” [Bloomberg, 11/21/05]; Washington Post, 3/1/05]

SAGINAW FUNDING — BURNS ACCEPTED $8,000 FROM ABRAMOFF CLIENTS FOR LETTER TO NORTON: “A year later, Burns would co-write a second letter with Taylor, dated May 16, 2003, specifically pressing the Interior Department to approve funding for the Saginaw. In the weeks before, Burns got $1,000 from the Saginaw and $5,000 from a second Abramoff tribe. A month later, the Saginaw sent another $2,000.” [AP, 11/24/05]

MARIANA ISLANDS — BURNS CHANGED HIS MIND ON BILL AFTER $5,000 DONATION: The Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association and the Northern Mariana Islands hired Abramoff in 2001 “to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” In February, Abramoff donated $5,000 to Friends of the Big Sky, Burns’s political action committee and his firm, Greenberg Traurig, in March donated another $2,000. On April 20, 2001, an employee of a a major Saipan garment manufacturer, “donated $5,000 to Friends of the Big Sky.” In 1999, Burns voted for a bill that “would have broadened federal oversight of immigration and labor rules on the islands.” On May 23, 2001, one month and three days after the $5,000 donation, Burns voted against the exact same bill and took the unusual step of calling for a roll call vote, so that his vote was recorded. Burns “and his staff met Jack Abramoff’s lobbying team on at least eight occasions” around the deal. [ABC, 4/6/05; AP, 12/6/05; Billings Gazette, 12/3/05; Congress Daily AM, 12/7/05; AP, 12/6/05]

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Chief Deputy Majority Whip

CONTRIBUTIONS — CANTOR RECEIVED $31,500 FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: Cantor “received about $31,500 from Abramoff, his lobbying partners and tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.” In Jan. 2006, he announced he will give $10,000 of the money to charity. [AP, 11/17/05; Richmond Times-Dispatch, 1/4/06]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003, letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” Cantor received “roughly $4,500 [from Abramoff and his clients] in the period around which the letter was sent.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — COCHRAN RECEIVED OVER $77,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” On June 14, 2001, Cochran became one of the first of many lawmakers to write to Norton opposing the Jena casino. “Cochran’s political committee got $6,000 from Abramoff tribes in the weeks before the letter, and an additional $71,000 in the three years after.” He will donate $8,000 to the hurricane fund. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05; Clarion-Ledger, 1/5/06]

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

TIGUA CASINO — CORNYN PART OF ABRAMOFF, REED, SCANLON SCHEME TO CLOSE TIGUA CASINO: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. (“In the end, Abramoff and Scanlon failed to get the casino reopened.”) “Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed claimed in a 2001 e-mail to [Jack Abramoff] that he choreographed John Cornyn’s efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down” the casino. [Washington Post, 9/26/04; Associated Press, 11/12/05]

TIGUA CASINO — CORNYN RECEIVED $1,000 FROM ABRAMOFF FOR CLOSING CASINO: Cornyn knew of Abramoff’s efforts to help him. On November 12, 2001, Reed sent Abramoff an e-mail stating, “get me details so I can alert cornyn and let him know what we are doing to help him.” On January 7, 2002, Reed wrote to Abramoff, “I think we should budget for an ataboy for cornyn.” Abramoff contributed $1,000, the maximum amount legally allowed. [CREW, 4/18/05]

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)

CONTRIBUTIONS — DELAY RECEIVED $65,000 FROM ABRAMOFF: “Since 1997, Abramoff and his wife have contributed $40,000 to DeLay’s political action committees, and last year the Capital Athletic Foundation [Abramoff's bogus charity] donated $25,000 to the DeLay Foundation for Kids, a charity the lawmaker founded. Abramoff has long been a member of DeLay’s Congressional Council, which DeLay describes in promotional materials as a ‘special group of supporters.” In January 2006, DeLay pledged to donate $57,000 of the contributions to charity. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Washington Post, 1/5/06]

GIFTS — DELAY ACCEPTED EXPENSIVE GIFTS FROM ABRAMOFF: “DeLay was Abramoff’s guest at skyboxes Abramoff maintained at MCI Center and the Redskins’ FedEx Field, and his staff members were flown to a Super Bowl game in Florida and to the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, Calif.” [Washington Post, 9/30/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HELPED RUDY OBTAIN HIGH-POWERED LOBBYING JOB: Tony Rudy, former deputy chief of staff to DeLay, left the congressional office in 2001 for a lucrative lobbying position obtained with the help of Abramoff. E-mails between Rudy and Abramoff reveal that Rudy “was in close contact with a future employer [Abramoff] about issues in which the employer had an interest.” Federal prosecutors “are examining whether he [Abramoff] brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.” Rudy is now at the Alexander Strategy Group, run by Buckham, another former DeLay aide. [Business Week, 7/11/05; New York Times, 12/2/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003, letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

SUNCRUZ — BURNS AND DELAY STAFFERS ACCEPTED SUPER BOWL TRIP FROM ABRAMOFF, SUNCRUZ: Two Burns staff members “traveled to the 2001 Super Bowl on the Abramoff corporate jet, along with several staffers from the office of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).” The trip was funded by Abramoff-owned SunCruz, a Florida casino cruise line, and “staffers were taken out to a Suncruz gambling ship during the trip.” [Washington Post, 3/1/05]

MARIANA ISLANDS — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SAIPAN: Abramoff “arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, over the New Year’s holiday in 1997. DeLay, his wife and daughter, and several aides, stayed for free at a beachfront resort.” The trip “was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” Abramoff was paid $1.36 million by Saipan officials. On that trip, DeLay promised a prominent factory owner that he would use his position to stop the reform laws: “[I]f they elect me majority whip, I make the schedule of the Congress, and I’m not going to put it on the schedule.” [ABC, 4/6/05]

TRIP (RUSSIA, 1997) — DELAY AND BUCKHAM ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO RUSSIA: Abramoff also set up a legally questionable six-day trip to Moscow for DeLay in 1997, arranged by “Ed Buckham, a lobbyist and former DeLay staffer and spiritual advisor, who also traveled with DeLay to Russia.” Abramoff eventually joined them in Moscow. The $57,000 trip was “underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government” and allegedly paid for by a DC non-profit, the National Center for Public Policy Research. But sources involved in planning the trip revealed that an Abramoff client, Chelsea Commercial Enterprises, which was registered in the Bahamas and deeply involved with Russian oil executives, actually paid for the trip. “House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.” [Washington Post, 4/6/05]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2000) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO LONDON AND SCOTLAND: In 2000, Abramoff arranged another trip for DeLay, his wife, and several congressional staff members, allegedly through the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research, as in the Russia trip. But DeLay’s airfare to London and Scotland was charged to Abramoff’s American Express card. While in Europe, the guests played golf at St. Andrews and attended the musical The Lion King. “House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists.” “Multiple sources, including DeLay’s then-chief of staff Susan Hirschmann, have confirmed that DeLay’s congressional office was in direct contact with Preston Gates [Abramoff's lobbying firm] about the trip itinerary before DeLay’s departure, to work out details of his travel.” [Washington Post, 4/24/05; New York Times, 4/25/05]

TRIP (KOREA, 2001) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO KOREA: In 2001, DeLay, his wife, and staff, including Buckham, took a “$106,921 educational and golfing trip…to Korea on the tab of a registered foreign agent — a violation of House rules.” Similar to the arrangement in the Russia trip, the funding “was funneled through a Washington tax-exempt group and the trip arranged by longtime DeLay associate Jack Abramoff.” [Salon, 4/8/05]

Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)

CONTRIBUTIONS — DOOLITTLE RECEIVED $64,500 FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: Doolittle received $64,500 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. [AP, 11/17/05]

GIFTS — DOOLITTLE FAILED TO REPORT USE OF ABRAMOFF SKYBOXES: Hayworth, Doolittle, and Ney “were allowed free use of Abramoff’s sports skyboxes for fund-raisers held as long ago as 1999. They didn’t declare the value of the accommodations until records surfaced in ongoing U.S. Senate and criminal investigations of suspected exploitation by the lobbyist in charging six Indian tribes $82 million for representation.” [Arizona Republic, 5/10/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HIRED DOOLITTLE’S WIFE AND HIS CHIEF OF STAFF: “Abramoff’s connections to Doolittle are also of interest to investigators, sources said. Doolittle’s former chief of staff, Kevin A. Ring, went to work with Abramoff. Doolittle’s wife, Julie, owned a consulting firm that was hired by Abramoff and his firm, Greenberg Traurig, to do fundraising for a charity he founded. Two sources close to the investigation said that Ring, while working for Abramoff, was an intermediary in the hiring of Julie Doolittle’s firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., which last year received a subpoena from the grand jury investigating Abramoff.” [Washington Post, 11/26/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DOOLITTLE RECEIVED OVER $30,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” On February 27, 2002, “27 lawmakers told Norton she should reject the Jena casino because gambling was a societal blight.” Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., received $1,000 from Abramoff several weeks after he signed a February 27, 2002 letter to Norton then got $16,000 from two of Abramoff’s casino-operating tribal clients about two months later. By year’s end [2002], Doolittle also had used Abramoff’s restaurant to cater a campaign event and received an additional $15,000 from tribes. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

TRIP (PUERTO RICO, 2001) — LOPEZ ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO PUERTO RICO: John Lopez — then chief of staff to Doolittle — traveled to Puerto Rico in July 2001 for what he described on a travel disclosure form as a week-long “fact finding” trip. The $1,352 trip was paid for by Abramoff’s lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig. At the time, Lopez believed that the “firm was to be reimbursed by the sponsor.” However, five years later Lopez is unable to recall “what he did in Puerto Rico or who he thought would reimburse Greenberg Traurig.” “House rules prohibit lawmakers and staff from taking trips paid for by registered lobbyists or lobbying firms.” [Associated Press, 2/9/06]

MARIANA ISLANDS — DOOLITTLE RECEIVED $14,000 SHORTLY AFTER SECURING CONTRACT: Doolittle helped Abramoff “secure a lucrative lobbying contract with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in 1999 and then assisted the now-disgraced lobbyist’s efforts to route federal money to the islands and defend its garment industry.” Along the way, Abramoff donated $4,000 to Doolittle’s reelection campaign and $10,000 to the congressman’s political action committee. Doolittle helped a commonwealth legislator, Benigne Fitial, win election as speaker of the House. Fitial, in turn, “pushed through the Marianas House legislation directing the government to hire Abramoff’s firm, Preston Gates, as its lobbying firm, and the deal was accepted July 27.” [San Jose Mercury News, 8/4/06]

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

CONTRIBUTIONS — DORGAN RECEIVED NEARLY $95,000 FROM ABRAMOFF’S CLIENTS: “In all, Dorgan got nearly $95,000 in Abramoff-related money between 2001 and 2004.” In Dec. 2005, Dorgan announced he will return $67,000 received from Abramoff’s tribal clients. [AP, 11/24/05; Washington Post, 12/14/05]

SAGINAW FUNDING — BURNS AND DORGAN WROTE LETTER ON BEHALF OF ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: “Senator Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican [who oversees the budget of the Bureau of Indian Affairs], helped win a $3 million government award for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan to build a school.” The federal funds were intended for “impoverished Indian tribal schools” and in 2003, the Interior Department ruled the Saginaw tribe, an Abramoff client, too rich to participate. On February 11, 2002, Burns and Dorgan sent a letter to the Interior Department benefiting the Saginaws. “Nine days later, Dorgan’s campaign got $2,000 from the Choctaw and by late spring Dorgan’s political action committee had received $17,000 more from three other Abramoff tribes and his firm.” But Dorgan had also initially expressed support for the program in “six months earlier” than the February letter. [Bloomberg, 11/21/05]; Washington Post, 3/1/05; AP, 11/24/05; Statement, 11/28/05]

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

CONCTRIBUTIONS — ENSIGN RECEIVED $16,293 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: Ensign received $16,293 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. [AP, 11/17/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — ENSIGN AND REID WROTE LETTER ON BEHALF OF ABRAMOFF CLIENT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Ensign and Reid sent a letter to Norton on behalf of the Coushatta tribe on March 5, 2002. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Washington Post, 11/18/05]

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)

CONTRIBUTIONS — FEENEY RECEIVED AT LEAST $1,000 FROM ABRAMOFF: Abramoff donated $1,000 to Feeney’s 2003 campaign for Congress. He will return an unspecified amount. [Newsmeat]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2003) — FEENEY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SCOTLAND: Feeney traveled in 2003 to Scotland allegedly on the bill of the DC non-profit, the National Center for Public Policy Research. But the Center denied paying for the trip and the “$5,643 bill was actually paid by lobbyist Jack Abramoff,” which is a violation of House rules. While in Scotland, Feeney seemed to have few official duties and mostly played golf, another violation of House rules. [CREW]

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — GRASSLEY RECEIVED OVER $62,200 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Grassley, whose committee is investigating Abramoff, sent a letter to Norton on March 1, 2002, opposing the Jena casino. “Grassley got $1,000 from Abramoff’s firm the following month and a total of $62,200 in related donation by 2004.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

CONTRIBUTIONS — HARKIN RECEIVED $21,000 FROM ABRAMOFF’S PARTNERS AND CLIENTS: Harkin received $22,000 in 2003 and 2004 from Abramoff’s partners and his clients. [USA Today, 12/3/05]

GIFTS — HARKIN USED ABRAMOFF SKYBOX: “Harkin twice used Abramoff’s skybox for fundraisers — once in 2002 and again in 2003 — without reimbursing.” Harkin reimbursed Abramoff’s clients in fall 2005. [USA Today, 12/3/05]

Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)

Speaker of the House

CONTRIBUTIONS — HASTERT RECEIVED $100,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: “Hastert ultimately collected more than $100,000 in donations from Abramoff’s firm and tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.” In Jan. 2006, Hastert pledged to give approximately $70,000 of the donations to charity. [AP, 11/17/05; CNN, 1/3/06]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003 letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — HASTERT HELD FUNDRAISER AT ABRAMOFF RESTAURANT, SUPPORTED COUSHATTA LETTER: “House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, held a fundraiser at Abramoff’s Signatures restaurant in Washington on June 3, 2003, that collected at least $21,500 for his Keep Our Majority political action committee from the lobbyist’s firm and tribal clients. Seven days later, Hastert wrote Norton urging her to reject the Jena tribe of Choctaw Indians’ request for a new casino.” [AP, 11/17/05]

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)

CONTRIBUTIONS — HAYWORTH ACCEPTED $64,520 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: “Hayworth got about $64,520…in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004.” [AP, 11/24/05]

GIFTS — HAYWORTH FAILED TO REPORT USE OF ABRAMOFF SKYBOXES: Hayworth, Doolittle, and Ney “were allowed free use of Abramoff’s sports skyboxes for fund-raisers held as long ago as 1999. They didn’t declare the value of the accommodations until records surfaced in ongoing U.S. Senate and criminal investigations of suspected exploitation by the lobbyist in charging six Indian tribes $82 million for representation.” Hayworth did not include Abramoff’s name on his updated financial disclosures, but now “has reported repayments totaling $12,880 to the Chitimacha and Choctaw tribes for in-kind contributions at 10 fundraising events.” [Arizona Republic, 5/10/05; Washington Post, 12/14/05]

SAGINAW FUNDING — HAYWORTH LOBBIED ON BEHALF OF SAGINAWS: “Senator Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican [who oversees the budget of the Bureau of Indian Affairs], helped win a $3 million government award for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan to build a school.” The federal funds were intended for “impoverished Indian tribal schools” and in 2003, the Interior Department ruled the Saginaw tribe, an Abramoff client, too rich to participate. Hayworth, along with several other lawmakers, wrote to the Interior Department on the Saginaws’ behalf. [Bloomberg, 11/21/05; Washington Post, 3/1/05; AP, 11/24/05]

Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK)

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — ISTOOK ACCEPTED $29,000, WROTE LETTER ON BEHALF OF CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Istook wrote Norton to “seriously urge” she reject the Jena casino. He received $29,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. Istook has pledged that “campaign contributions he or his political action committee received from [Abramoff] will be donated for Indian health research.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05; AP, 11/17/05; AP, 12/23/05]

Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS)

CONTRIBUTIONS — LOTT RECEIVED $92,000 FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: Lott received $92,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. [AP, 11/17/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — LOTT RECEIVED MONEY FOR WRITING LETTER: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” On March 1, 2002, Lott wrote Norton to “seriously urge” she reject the Jena casino. “Lott received $10,000 in donations from Abramoff’s tribal clients just before the letter and $55,000 soon after.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)

House Administration Committee Chairman

INVESTIGATION — NEY DOCUMENTS SUBPOENAED FOR ABRAMOFF INVESTIGATION: In November 2005, the Department of Justice subpoenaed Ney, “requesting documents to aid in its ongoing investigation of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.” [The Hill, 11/4/05]

INVESTIGATION — NEY IDENTIFIED AS ‘REPRESENTATIVE 1′ IN SCANLON PLEA AGREEMENT: In Scanlon’s 18-page plea agreement, “prosecutors detailed evidence against Scanlon that would have been presented had his case gone to trial. He and his lawyers agreed to all of the evidence. The new items include details on trips and other gifts made to the member of Congress and members of his staff. The documents describe the recipient as ‘Representative 1.’ Details in the plea agreement describe actions taken by Rep. Robert Ney (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Administration Committee.” Ney gave away $6,500 in donations received from Abramoff and Scanlon to the American Indian College Fund. [Chicago Tribune, 11/22/05; AP, 1/4/06]

GIFTS — NEY FAILED TO REPORT USE OF ABRAMOFF SKYBOXES: Hayworth, Doolittle, and Ney “were allowed free use of Abramoff’s sports skyboxes for fund-raisers held as long ago as 1999. They didn’t declare the value of the accommodations until records surfaced in ongoing U.S. Senate and criminal investigations of suspected exploitation by the lobbyist in charging six Indian tribes $82 million for representation.” [Arizona Republic, 5/10/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HELPED VOLZ OBTAIN HIGH-POWERED LOBBYING JOB: Neil Volz, former chief of staff to Ney, left the congressional office in 2002 for a lucrative lobbying position obtained with the help of Abramoff. Federal prosecutors “are examining whether he [Abramoff] brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.” [New York Times, 12/2/05]

FAVORS — NEY ACCEPTED GIFTS FROM ABRAMOFF, PASSED LEGISLATION IN RETURN: Prosecutors said Scanlon and Abramoff “provided a stream of things of value to Representative #1 [Ney] and members of his staff,” including a “lavish” Scotland golf trip in 2002, tickets to sporting events, and meals at Abramoff’s restaurant. “The two also allegedly provided campaign contributions to Ney’s political action committee and to other political committees on Ney’s behalf. In return, federal prosecutors allege, Ney agreed to ‘support and pass legislation,’ meet with Scanlon and Abramoff clients, and place statements in the Congressional Record.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]

FAVORS — NEY AWARDED ABRAMOFF CLIENT LUCRATIVE CONTRACT: “Ney also approved granting a 2002 license to install cellular telephone antennas in House office buildings to an Israeli telecommunications company. The company had donated to an Abramoff-controlled charity and later became Abramoff’s lobbying client.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]

SUNCRUZ — NEY’S PRAISED ABRAMOFF ASSOCIATES IN CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: “Abramoff’s fundraising log shows an event for Ney at MCI Center on March 15, 2001. FEC records show that Abramoff and three men associated with him in a Florida-based casino cruise line called Suncruz each donated $1,000 to Ney that day. Ney had been helpful to them the year before, when Abramoff and a partner, Adam Kidan, were embroiled in acrimonious efforts to buy Suncruz. In an unusual step, Ney criticized the cruise line’s owner, Gus Boulis, in statements placed in the March 30, 2000, Congressional Record, putting pressure on Boulis to sell; he then praised Kidan as Suncruz’s new owner when the sale went through. The following year, five weeks before the MCI Center fundraiser for Ney, Boulis was slain gangland style in a case that is under investigation.” [Washington Post, 12/26/04]

TIGUA CASINO — NEY PART OF ABRAMOFF, REED, SCANLON SCHEME TO CLOSE TIGUA CASINO: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. Abramoff’s plan was simple: “He would have one or more representatives or senators slip into a conference report very discrete language allowing the Tigua to reopen their casino. After passage of such an amendment, Michael Scanlon and his company would then run a public relations campaign to beat back any attempts to repeal the language.” On March 20, Abramoff reported to Scanlon that Ney would be that representative: “Just met with Ney!!! We’re f’ing gold!!!! He’s going to do Tigua.” [Washington Post, 9/26/04; The Hill, 11/18/04]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2002) — SAFAVIAN, NEY, AND REED ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SCOTLAND: “Travel was another major foundation [Capital Athletic Foundation] expense, totaling $240,416 in 2001 and 2002, records show. More than half of that was spent in August 2002 on the chartered jet that flew at least six people — including Abramoff, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), lobbyist and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, and then-General Services Administration chief of staff David Safavian — to St. Andrews, Scotland, with a stopover in London on the way back. … Noam Neusner, a spokesman for Safavian — who has been nominated for a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget — said the trip was ‘primarily for golfing.’” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA)

House Resources Chairman

CONTRIBUTIONS — POMBO RECEIVED MORE THAN $35,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: “Pombo has received more than $35,000 in contributions from Abramoff and Indian tribes he represented.” He has given away more $7 he received from Abramoff. [The Hill, 12/15/05; AP, 1/13/06]

FAVORS — POMBO REFUSED TO INVESTIGATE ABRAMOFF: Rep. George Miller (D-CA), a member of the Resources committee that has sole jurisidiction over the Marianas, has continually petitioned Pombo for an investigation into Abramoff’s dealings there, to no avail. [The Hill, 12/15/05]

MASHPEE — POMBO PASSED A BILL HELPING ABRAMOFF CLIENT, RECEIVED MONEY IN RETURN: In 2004, Pombo ushered a bill through his committee helping the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians tribe — an Abramoff client — gain federal recognition and special benefits, which was approved in Sept. 2004. “Members of the tribe, the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians, have donated at least $20,000 to Pombo’s political group since he was named Committee on Resources Chairman on Jan. 8, 2003. Tribe members gave an additional $12,000 to his re-election campaign earlier this year. The first Mashpee donation – $12,000 from six members of the tribe to Pombo’s leadership political action committee, Rich PAC – came Sept. 29, 2003. That same day, Abramoff gave $5,000 to the fund. Abramoff also gave $2,000 to Pombo’s re-election campaign days after he was named resources committee chairman.” [Lodi News Sentinel, 12/5/05]

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senate Democratic Leader

CONTRIBUTIONS — REID RECEIVED $66,000 FROM ABRAMOFF’S CLIENTS: “Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations from 2001 to 2004.” [Washington Post, 11/18/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — ENSIGN AND REID WROTE LETTER ON BEHALF OF ABRAMOFF CLIENT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Ensign and Reid sent a letter to Norton on behalf of the Coushatta tribe on March 5, 2002. “The next day, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana issued a $5,000 check to Reid’s tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second Abramoff tribe also sent $5,000 to Reid’s group.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Washington Post, 11/18/05]

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)

CONTRIBUTIONS — SESSIONS RECEIVED $22,500 FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: “The lawmaker received about $22,500 from Abramoff, his lobbying partners and tribal clients between 2001 and 2004, including roughly $7,500 in the period around which the February 27, 2002, letter was sent. Rep. Sessions also used Abramoff’s restaurant, Signatures, for a fund-raiser or other event, records show.” [AP, 11/17/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — SESSIONS RECEIVED OVER $5,500 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” On February 27, 2002, “27 lawmakers told Norton she should reject the Jena casino because gambling was a societal blight.” Sessions “received four donations totaling $5,500 from casino-operating tribes represented by Abramoff exactly one month and a day after he signed the Feb. 27, 2002, group letter.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)

FAVORS — VITTER RECEIVED $6,000 FROM ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: “Vitter received $6,000 from Abramoff tribes from 1999 to 2001 and refunded it the day before he sent one of his letters to Norton in February 2002. He also used Abramoff’s restaurant for a September 2003 fund-raiser but failed to reimburse for it until this year.” [AP, 11/17/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — VITTER INSERTED LANGUAGE INTO BILL HELPING ABRAMOFF CLIENT, AFTER ABRAMOFF HOSTED FUNDRAISER FOR HIM: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Vitter “inserted language in the fiscal 2004 Interior appropriations bill — completed late in 2003 — requesting that the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Indian Gaming Commission deny an application from the Jena Choctaw Tribe of Louisiana for land for a gambling casino.” To encourage him, Abramoff had hosted a September 2003 fundraiser at his restaurant, “just two months before Vitter inserted a provision in an Interior spending bill helping one of Abramoff’s tribal clients [the Coushattas].” [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Roll Call, 3/16/05]

Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — WICKER LOBBIED ON BEHALF OF ABRAMOFF CLIENT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Wicker wrote Norton to “seriously urge” she reject the Jena casino. He received $20,100 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05; AP, 11/17/05]

Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

CONTRIBUTIONS — YOUNG RECEIVED $20,000 FROM ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: Abramoff’s clients have contributed about $20,000 to Young’s Midnight Sun political action committee. [Anchorage Daily News, 2/19/05]

FAVORS — YOUNG SPONSORS BILL FAVORED BY ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: “In 1997, Young sponsored a bill to hold a vote in Puerto Rico on statehood for the U.S. territory. Abramoff was a lobbyist for a group called Future of Puerto Rico that wanted the same thing.” [Anchorage Daily News, 2/19/05; Roll Call, 1/25/06]

FAVORS — YOUNG SIGNED A LETTER PUSHED BY ABRAMOFF, COLLECTED CAMPAIGN CASH: “In 2002, Young and another congressman signed a letter requesting that the administration favor minority and disadvantaged bidders for the redevelopment of a historic Washington, D.C. post office. At the time Abramoff’s clients — The Mississippi Choctaw and California Aqua Caliente — “wanted the same rules applied to the project, and [Abramoff] was seeking congressional signatures on a letter to that effect.” Young’s Midnight Sun PAC received $7,000 from the tribes on Oct. 17, 2002, just five weeks after signing the letter. [Anchorage Daily News, 2/19/05; Roll Call, 1/25/06]

GIFTS — YOUNG FAILED TO REPORT USE OF ABRAMOFF SKYBOXES: “Young also used Abramoff’s skybox at the MCI Center in D.C. for two fundraisers, events he did not report to the Federal Election Commission until after the Abramoff scandal broke.” [Roll Call, 1/25/06]

MARIANA ISLANDS — YOUNG BLOCKED BILL, FAVOR TO ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: Following a trip to Mariana Islands in 2000, Young “blocked a bill sponsored by House Democrats that would have made the garment industry there comply with federal labor laws” — an action that was favored by the Abramoff-represented local government and garment industry. [Anchorage Daily News, 2/19/05]

MARSHALL ISLANDS — YOUNG LED CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO ISLANDS AT BEHEST OF ABRAMOFF: In 1999, Young led a congressional delegation to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Abramoff’s firm claims that it was responsible for “organizing a visit by a congressional delegation led by Representative Don Young (R-AK) to the RMI … and coordinating the delegation’s activities with the RMI military.” Abramoff represented the local government of the Marshalls at the time of the trip.
[Anchorage Daily News, 2/19/05]

* * * * *

Right Wing

Doug Bandow

Former Senior Fellow, Cato Institute

FAVORS — BANDOW ACCEPTED PAYMENTS FROM ABRAMOFF IN RETURN FOR WRITING COLUMNS FAVORABLE TO ABRAMOFF’S CLIENTS: Bandow was “typically paid $2,000 per column to address specific topics of interest to Abramoff’s clients.” According to BusinessWeek, Bandow “wrote favorably about Abramoff’s Indian tribal clients — as well as another Abramoff client, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — as far back as 1997.” Bandow never disclosed the Abramoff payments in his op-eds or to the Cato Institute. [BusinessWeek, 12/16/05]

Ed Buckham

Former Chief of Staff to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)

TRIP (RUSSIA, 1997) — DELAY AND BUCKHAM ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO RUSSIA: Abramoff also set up a legally questionable six-day trip to Moscow for DeLay in 1997, arranged by “Ed Buckham, a lobbyist and former DeLay staffer and spiritual advisor, who also traveled with DeLay to Russia.” Abramoff eventually joined them in Moscow. The $57,000 trip was “underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government” and allegedly paid for by a DC non-profit, the National Center for Public Policy Research. But sources involved in planning the trip revealed that an Abramoff client, Chelsea Commercial Enterprises, which was registered in the Bahamas and deeply involved with Russian oil executives, actually paid for the trip. “House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.” [Washington Post, 4/6/05]

TRIP (KOREA, 2001) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO KOREA: In 2001, DeLay, his wife, and staff, including Buckham, took a “$106,921 educational and golfing trip…to Korea on the tab of a registered foreign agent — a violation of House rules.” Similar to the arrangement in the Russia trip, the funding “was funneled through a Washington tax-exempt group and the trip arranged by longtime DeLay associate Jack Abramoff.” [Salon, 4/8/05]

Julie Doolittle

Wife of Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA)

INVESTIGATION — DOOLITTLE SUBPOENAED: “Another, Representative John T. Doolittle, Republican of California, has acknowledged that his wife, who helped Mr. Abramoff organize fund-raisers, was subpoenaed.” [New York Times, 11/20/05]

CAPITAL ATHLETIC FOUNDATION — DOOLITTLE RAISED FUNDS FOR ABRAMOFF’S BOGUS ORGANIZATION: “You get tired of dinners and receptions. This time we wanted to do a gala event to raise awareness for the Capital Athletic Foundation, and back that awareness up with funds,” said Doolittle in 2003. But, the Capital Athletic Foundation didn’t raise money for children, as it was advertised to do. “[T]ax and spending records of the Capital Athletic Foundation obtained by The Washington Post show that less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths. Instead, the documents show that Jack Abramoff…has repeatedly channeled money from corporate clients into the foundation and spent the overwhelming portion of its money on pet projects having little to do with the advertised sportsmanship programs.” [Hollywood Reporter, 3/5/03; Washington Post, 9/28/04]

Italia Federici

President, Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy

FAVORS — FEDERICI OFFERED ABRAMOFF ACCESS TO HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIALS: “Federici entered into an unspoken deal with Abramoff. … He funneled nearly $500,000 in donations from these clients to her environmental organization. In exchange, Federici became his advocate in the inner sanctum of the Bush administration, offering him access to at least two of her close friends, Norton and Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles.” [Salon, 11/18/05]

Timothy Flanigan

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Tyco International

FAVORS — FLANIGAN OVERLOOKED ABRAMOFF’S MISSPENDING: “The Bush administration’s choice for deputy attorney general has withdrawn his nomination amid mounting questions from Senate Democrats over his dealings with indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and over his role in shaping controversial interrogation policies. In April 2004, Greenberg Traurig informed Tyco that Abramoff had misspent $1.5 million of the more than $2 million that Tyco had paid him in lobbying fees, by diverting the funds to companies that Abramoff controlled. But the [Senate committee] then wondered why Flanigan…had not caught the alleged misconduct himself.” [Washington Post, 10/8/05]

Susan Hirschmann

Former Chief of Staff to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2000) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO LONDON AND SCOTLAND: In 2000, Abramoff arranged another trip for DeLay, his wife, and several congressional staff members, allegedly through the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research, as in the Russia trip. But DeLay’s airfare to London and Scotland was charged to Abramoff’s American Express card. While in Europe, the guests played golf at St. Andrews and attended the musical The Lion King. “House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists.” “Multiple sources, including DeLay’s then-chief of staff Susan Hirschmann, have confirmed that DeLay’s congressional office was in direct contact with Preston Gates [Abramoff's lobbying firm] about the trip itinerary before DeLay’s departure, to work out details of his travel.” [Washington Post, 4/24/05; New York Times, 4/25/05]

Adam Kidan

Businessman

CHARGES — KIDAN PLEADED GUILTY TO FRAUD, WILL COOPERATE IN INVESTIGATION: Kidan pleaded guilty “to fraud and conspiracy charges related to a deal to buy a fleet of Florida-based gambling boats.” Kidan said that he and Abramoff “defrauded lenders of $60 million five years ago by faking a $23-million wire transfer to get financing to buy the SunCruz Casinos fleet.” “Kidan could receive as much as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the two counts.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/16/05]

SUNCRUZ — ABRAMOFF AND KIDAN INDICTED: In 2001, Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, were embroiled in “acrimonious efforts” to buy SunCruz Casinos from Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis. “Boulis, millionaire founder of the Miami Subs sandwich chain, sold SunCruz to Abramoff and Kidan in September 2000.” To help along the sale, Abramoff had Ney criticize Boulis in statements placed in the March 30, 2000, Congressional Record, putting pressure on Boulis to sell. (Ney also praised Kidan as Suncruz’s new owner on the floor when the sale went through.) “Abramoff and Kidan were indicted [in August 2005] on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with a $60 million loan they obtained to purchase the casino company.” Boulis was killed on a Fort Lauderdale street on Feb. 6, 2001. Two of the three men charged had been hired as consultants by Kidan. [Washington Post, 12/26/04; Washington Post, 9/28/05]

Grover Norquist

President, Americans for Tax Reform

CRONYISM — NORQUIST SEES NOTHING UNETHICAL IN ABRAMOFF’S DEALINGS: “In an interview about Abramoff for National Public Radio a couple months ago, his old friend Norquist said, ‘To this day I can’t find anything he did or he’s accused of doing that’s illegal, immoral, or fattening.’” [Weekly Standard, 12/20/04]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — NORQUIST SET UP A MEETING WITH BUSH IN RETURN FOR LARGE DONATIONS: “Abramoff helped get the chief of the Coushatta invited to a meeting with President George W. Bush in early 2001, set up by Grover Norquist, once Abramoff’s executive director at the College Republicans and now Washington’s pre-eminent conservative lobbyist. It was suggested that a donation to Norquist’s think tank, Americans for Tax Reform, might be appreciated. Abramoff pressed the Coushattas. The $25,000 check was sent to ATR.” [Slate, 4/7/05]

CHOCTAWS — ABRAMOFF CLIENTS DONATED LARGE AMOUNTS TO NORQUIST’S GROUP: Shortly after the 1994 congressional elections, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians hired Abramoff to stop congressional legislation “calling for Indian casinos to be taxed in the same manner as Las Vegas gambling facilities. … Norquist formed a coalition of anti-tax organizations to oppose the tax on Indian casino gambling. The coalition lobbied lawmakers, wrote letters and called editorial writers. … The Choctaw began contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Americans for Tax Reform and similar groups. Norquist won’t disclose how much, but Abramoff told the Wall Street Journal in 2000 that the Choctaw have given ‘several million dollars’ to outside groups, and that Americans for Tax Reform was a leading recipient.” [Washington Post, 11/8/04]

ELOTTERY — NORQUIST USED HIS NON-PROFIT TO LAUNDER MONEY BETWEEN ABRAMOFF AND REED: Elottery Co. paid Abramoff’s firm $1.15 million as a part of its effort to defeat a federal Internet gambling ban in 2000. $150,000 of that payment was then routed to Reed though Norquist’s anti-tax non-profit, Americans for Tax Reform. “Norquist then wrote a check for $150,000 to a group called Faith and Family Alliance of Virginia Beach. Faith and Family Alliance wrote a check for the same amount to Reed’s Century Strategies.” [Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 03/04/06]

Ralph Reed

Former Director, Christian Coalition

TIGUA CASINO — CORNYN PART OF ABRAMOFF, REED, SCANLON SCHEME TO CLOSE TIGUA CASINO: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. (“In the end, Abramoff and Scanlon failed to get the casino reopened.”) “Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed claimed in a 2001 e-mail to [Jack Abramoff] that he choreographed John Cornyn’s efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down an East Texas Indian tribe’s casino.” Reed, “an avowed foe of gambling,” was “paid $4.2 million by Abramoff and Scanlon for his work opposing several tribal casinos in southern states from 2001 to 2003, government sources said.” [Washington Post, 9/26/04; Associated Press, 11/12/05]

CHOCTAWS — REED ADVISED ABRAMOFF ON DISGUISING CLIENT MONEY: Shortly after the 1994 congressional elections, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians hired Abramoff to stop congressional legislation “calling for Indian casinos to be taxed in the same manner as Las Vegas gambling facilities.” Abramoff sought guidance from Reed “in disguising Indian tribal money sent to anti-gambling campaigns whose leaders were wary of accepting casino cash” by funneling it through Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Abramoff earmarked $10,000 of the Choctaws’ money for Reed’s 2001 campaign for chairman of the Georgia Republican party, and other e-mail exchanges “indicate that Reed knew from the beginning of his professional association with Abramoff in 1999 that [the Chotaws' gambling money] was bankrolling much of his anti-gambling activity in Alabama against a state-sponsored lottery and video poker.” [Washington Post, 11/8/04; Atlanta Journal Constitution, 6/23/05]

CHOCTAWS — REED PAID $4.2 MILLION TO HELP ABRAMOFF CLIENTS: Reed “was paid $4.2 million from 2001 to 2003 to mobilize Christians to oppose the plans of those threatening Abramoff’s Indian gaming clients [the Choctaws].” [Washington Post, 11/8/04]

ELOTTERY — REED KNOWINGLY FOUGHT AGAINST GAMBLING BAN, ON BEHALF OF ABRAMOFF: In May of 2003, Reed — a longtime anti-gambling advocate — and his political consulting firm Century Strategies were retained by Abramoff and his lobbying firm, Preston Gates, to lobby against the federal Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. At the time Abramoff represented eLottery Inc., a company that “helps states sell lottery tickets online.” Abramoff paid Reed “$20,000 a month plus expenses” to “rally grass-roots voters against the ban in targeted congressional districts.” Reed claimed he had no idea that an “online lottery business was behind his effort to fend off a ban against internet gambling.” However, a recent series of e-mails between Abramoff and Reed show that Reed was “offered the name of the company at the beginning of his involvement in the campaign.” [Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 3/4/06]

ELOTTERY — REED SWITCHED POSITIONS AFTER ORIGINALLY SUPPORTED GAMBLING BAN AS HEAD OF CHRITSIAN COALTION: As head of the national Christian Coalition, Reed backed the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act when it was first proposed by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) in 1997. However, in May 2000, when “James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family; Charles Donovan, then the acting head of the Family Research Council; Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority; and Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition” threw their support behind an amended version of the bill, Reed, “a lifelong opponent of gambling,” opposed their efforts. [Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 3/4/06]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2002) — SAFAVIAN, NEY, AND REED ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SCOTLAND: “Travel was another major foundation [Capital Athletic Foundation] expense, totaling $240,416 in 2001 and 2002, records show. More than half of that was spent in August 2002 on the chartered jet that flew at least six people — including Abramoff, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), lobbyist and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, and then-General Services Administration chief of staff David Safavian — to St. Andrews, Scotland, with a stopover in London on the way back. … Noam Neusner, a spokesman for Safavian — who has been nominated for a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget — said the trip was ‘primarily for golfing.’” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

Tony Rudy

Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HELPED RUDY OBTAIN HIGH-POWERED LOBBYING JOB: Tony Rudy, former deputy chief of staff to DeLay, left the congressional office in 2001 for a lucrative lobbying position obtained with the help of Abramoff. E-mails between Rudy and Abramoff reveal that Rudy “was in close contact with a future employer [Abramoff] about issues in which the employer had an interest.” Federal prosecutors “are examining whether he [Abramoff] brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.” Rudy is now at the Alexander Strategy Group, run by Buckham, another former DeLay aide. [Business Week, 7/11/05; New York Times, 12/2/05]

CRONYISM — RUDY HELPED ABRAMOFF, ABRAMOFF HIRED RUDY’S WIFE’S FIRM: “Investigators are looking into whether Rudy aided Abramoff’s lobbying clients while he was working on the Hill, the sources said, and are reviewing payments from Abramoff clients and associates to Liberty Consulting, a political firm founded by Rudy’s wife, Lisa. The Washington Post reported last month that Rudy, while on DeLay’s staff, helped scuttle a bill opposed by eLottery Inc., an Abramoff client, and that Abramoff had eLottery pay a foundation to hire Liberty Consulting.” [Washington Post, 11/26/05]

Michael Scanlon

Public Relations Consultant; Former Aide to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) (1998-2000)

INVESTIGATION — SCANLON PLEADED GUILTY, WILL COOPERATE IN INVESTIGATION: “Former public relations specialist Michael P.S. Scanlon has pleaded guilty to a charge of participating in a conspiracy with others to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud, and honest services fraud from at least January 2000 through at least April 2004.” [US DOJ, 11/21/05]

INVESTIGATION — ABRAMOFF AND SCANLON’S FAVORS TO NEY: “In the charging document filed yesterday, prosecutors said Scanlon and Abramoff ‘provided a stream of things of value to Representative #1 and members of his staff,’ including a ‘lavish’ Scotland golf trip in 2002, tickets to sporting events and meals at Abramoff’s Pennsylvania Avenue restaurant. The two also allegedly provided campaign contributions to Ney’s political action committee and to other political committees on Ney’s behalf.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]

GIMME-FIVE — SCANLON AND ABRAMOFF’S ‘GIMME-FIVE’ SCHEME: In a scheme the duo termed “gimme-five,” Abramoff advised tribes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Michigan to hire Scanlon’s company, Capital Campaign Strategies LLC, for grass-roots public relations work while hiding the fact that Abramoff would receive half the profits. The purpose of the scheme, the prosecutors allege, was to “enrich themselves by obtaining substantial funds from their clients through fraud and concealment and through obtaining benefits for their clients through corrupt means. Prosecutors detailed the alleged fraud perpetrated on four tribes, contending that Scanlon billed the four tribes $53 million and then kicked back $19 million to Abramoff.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]

TIGUA CASINO — CORNYN PART OF ABRAMOFF, REED, SCANLON SCHEME TO CLOSE TIGUA CASINO: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. (“In the end, Abramoff and Scanlon failed to get the casino reopened.”) “Former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed claimed in a 2001 e-mail to [Jack Abramoff] that he choreographed John Cornyn’s efforts as Texas attorney general to shut down an East Texas Indian tribe’s casino.” Reed, “an avowed foe of gambling,” was “paid $4.2 million by Abramoff and Scanlon for his work opposing several tribal casinos in southern states from 2001 to 2003, government sources said.” [Washington Post, 9/26/04; Associated Press, 11/12/05]

Neil Volz

Former Chief of Staff to Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH)

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HELPED VOLZ OBTAIN HIGH-POWERED LOBBYING JOB: Neil Volz, former chief of staff to Ney, left the congressional office in 2002 for a lucrative lobbying position obtained with the help of Abramoff. Federal prosecutors “are examining whether he [Abramoff] brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.” [New York Times, 12/2/05]

TIGUA CASINO — NEY SPONSORED ABRAMOFF LEGISLATION PUSHED BY VOLZ: Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed (“an avowed foe of gambling”) secretly helped then Texas Attorney General Cornyn shut down the Tigua tribe’s Texas casino. They then exploited “the financial crisis they were helping to create for the tribe” by convincing the Tiguas to pay Abramoff $4.2 million (and $300,000 they doled out in political contributions to Abramoff allies) to get Congress to reopen the casino. “In early 2002, Volz left his post as Ney’s chief of staff to join Abramoff’s lobbying team. Soon after, in March 2002, Ney agreed to sponsor legislation that would” reopen the Tigua casino. [Washington Post, 9/26/04; Washington Post, 10/18/05]

SUNCRUZ — SCANLON WENT THROUGH VOLZ TO HAVE NEY PLACE REMARKS IN CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: In 2000, “Abramoff and a partner, Adam Kidan, were embroiled in acrimonious efforts to buy Suncruz. In an unusual step, Ney criticized the cruise line’s owner, Gus Boulis, in statements placed in the March 30, 2000, Congressional Record, putting pressure on Boulis to sell; he then praised Kidan as Suncruz’s new owner when the sale went through. The following year, five weeks before the MCI Center fundraiser for Ney, Boulis was slain gangland style in a case that is under investigation.” “Ney agreed to place his critical remarks of Boulis in the Congressional Record in March 2000 after Scanlon asked Ney’s chief of staff, Neil Volz, to do the favor.” [Washington Post, 12/26/04; Miami Herald, 11/26/05]

* * * * *

Administration

J. Steven Griles

Former Deputy Secretary, Interior Department

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF OFFERED GRILES JOB AT KEY MOMENT: “J. Steven Griles, testified that Mr. Abramoff had offered him a position at Greenberg Traurig while Mr. Griles was in a position to affect decisions involving Mr. Abramoff’s Indian clients.” [New York Times, 12/2/05]

FAVORS — GRILES PROVIDED ABRAMOFF WITH INSIDE INFORMATION: “The contacts [between Abramoff and Griles] concerned gambling-related issues affecting four tribal clients who were paying Abramoff tens of millions of dollars to represent them. According to the e-mails, Griles advised Abramoff how to get members of Congress to pressure the department and provided him information about Interior decision-making. In one instance, Abramoff wrote to his lobbying colleagues that Griles would be providing a draft of an Interior letter to Congress to give them ‘a head start.’” [Washington Post, 11/5/05]

Gale A. Norton

Secretary of the Interior Department

FAVORS — NORTON’S GROUP RECEIVED $50,000 FROM ABRAMOFF’S CLIENTS: “Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and to DeLay’s personal charity. The Coushatta Indian tribe, for instance, wrote checks in March 2001 for $50,000 to the Norton group and $10,000 to the DeLay Foundation, tribal records show. The lobbyist and the Coushattas eventually won face-to-face time with the secretary during a Sept. 24, 2001, dinner sponsored by the group she had founded.” [AP, 11/3/05]

Susan Ralston

Special Assistant to the President and Assistant to Karl Rove; Former Personal Assistant to Jack Abramoff

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF CONNECTED RALSTON AND ROVE: “As presidential adviser Karl Rove set up shop in the West Wing in 2001, he was looking for an assistant to serve as the trusted gatekeeper of his new fiefdom. Superlobbyist and Republican fundraiser Jack Abramoff was happy to lend a hand. Abramoff knew just the right person for the job: his own assistant, Susan Ralston. She interviewed with Rove and got the position.” [National Journal, 3/27/04]

FAVORS — RALSTON PLAYED KEY ROLE IN DOLING OUT FAVORS: “On April 20th, 2000, Jack Abramoff’s personal assistant Susan Ralston wrote a memo outlining guidelines for doling out skybox seats to clients, politicians and Capitol Hill staffers.” [TPM]

David Safavian

Former Head, Office of Federal Procurement Policy

INVESTIGATION — SAFAVIAN ARRESTED FOR LYING AND OBSTRUCTING ABRAMOFF INVESTIGATION: “The Bush administration’s top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dealings with the federal government. … The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002. … It also contends that he concealed his efforts to help Abramoff acquire control of two federally managed properties in the Washington area.” [Washington Post, 9/20/05]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2002) — SAFAVIAN, NEY, AND REED ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SCOTLAND: “Travel was another major foundation [Capital Athletic Foundation] expense, totaling $240,416 in 2001 and 2002, records show. More than half of that was spent in August 2002 on the chartered jet that flew at least six people — including Abramoff, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), lobbyist and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, and then-General Services Administration chief of staff David Safavian — to St. Andrews, Scotland, with a stopover in London on the way back. … Noam Neusner, a spokesman for Safavian — who has been nominated for a senior position at the Office of Management and Budget — said the trip was ‘primarily for golfing.’” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

President George W. Bush

CONTRIBUTIONS — BUSH RECEIVED MORE THAN $100,000 FROM ABRAMOFF: Abramoff was a “Pioneer” in the Bush 2004 reelection campaign. Bush has returned $6,000. [AP, 1/4/06]

MARIANA ISLANDS — BUSH SUPPORTED ABRAMOFF CLIENT INTERESTS, RECEIVED DONATIONS: Abramoff was hired by the Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association and the Northern Mariana Islands to “stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory.” In 1997, “Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory’s school choice proposal, his billing records show. … Abramoff and his wife each gave $5,000 to Bush’s 2000 recount fund and the maximum $1,000 to his 2000 campaign. By mid-2003, Abramoff had raised at least $100,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign, becoming one of Bush’s famed ‘pioneers.’ … Money also flowed from the Marianas to Bush’s re-election campaign: It took in at least $36,000 from island donors, much of it from members of the Tan family, whose clothing factories were a routine stop for lawmakers and their aides visiting the islands on Abramoff-organized trips.” [ABC, 4/6/05; AP, 5/7/05]

GUAM — BUSH REMOVES FEDERAL PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING ABRAMOFF: In 2002, Abramoff was the target of a grand jury investigation in Guam. On November 18, 2002, U.S. Atty. Frederick A. Black issued a grand jury subpoena issued seeking records involving a highly unusual contract between Abramoff and the Superior Court in Guam. Apparently, Superior Court officials in Guam paid Abramoff over $324,000 — funneled through a Laguna Beach attorney Howard Hills — to lobby against a bill in Congress that gave the Guam Supreme Court authority over the Superior Court. The Los Angeles Times reported this August that the day after Black issued the subpeona, “President Bush removed the supervising federal prosecutor [Black] and the inquiry ended soon after.” Black had “served as acting U.S. attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands since 1991.” He was replaced by Leonardo Rapadas, the man that the Guam Republican Party recommended to Karl Rove be given the job. [Los Angeles Times, 8/7/05]

GABON — ABRAMOFF ARRANGED MEETING WITH BUSH FOR A FEE: Abramoff “asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.” On July 28, 2003, Abramoff wrote to Gabon’s president, Omar Bongo, “Without advance resources, I have been cautiously working to obtain a visit for the president to Washington to see President Bush.” “In a draft agreement with Gabon dated Aug. 7, 2003, Mr. Abramoff and his associates asked that $9 million in lobbying fees be paid through wire transfers – three of them, each for $3 million – to GrassRoots [small Maryland consulting firm run by Abramoff] instead of the Washington offices of Greenberg Traurig. … The agreement promised a ‘public relations effort related to promoting Gabon and securing a visit for President Bongo with the president of the United States.’” On May 26, 2004, Bongo met with Bush. [New York Times, 11/10/05]