Following Jack Abramoff’s Money Trail
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: THE LIB FOLLOWS THE MONEY
Embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty earlier today to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud. He also agreed to cooperate in an influence-peddling investigation that has many of the vilest, most powerful Republican members of Congress downing Maalox and powwowing with the Beltways top defense attorneys.
The alternative for the Republican super lobbyist, if you could call it that, was spending the best years of his corrupt, pampered life rotting in a federal prison. So as any one, even the President can see, that was no alternative.
In typical Republican fashion, Abramoff invoked the Lord’s name in his plea, hoping that he could “merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I’ve wronged or caused to suffer.”
According to the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 9 1/2 to 11 years, providing he cooperates with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.
As to the financial aspect of Abramoff’s deal, it is believed that the restitution, which Abramoff will be expected to pay to those he wronged, may reach as high as $25 million dollars with an additional $1.7 million due to the Internal Revenue Service for the taxes that he evaded.
Among the prominent Republicans expected to be caught up in or what we here at the LIB refer to as the GOP Armageddon, are sleaze ball Texas Representative, Tom Delay and Ohio Congressman Bob Ney. Ney is the chairman of the House Administration Committee.
Tom DeLay already under criminal investigation in Texas received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004.
Abramoff also provided trips, sports skybox fundraisers, golf fees, frequent meals, entertainment and jobs for other lawmakers’, their relatives and aides.
- Denis Donovan
THE MONEY TRAIL: PART ONE
Research By Kate McConn
ABRAMOFF LOBBY NETWORK aka (”Team Abramoff”)
To fully understand the significance of Abramoff’s plea arrangement and what it could mean to Republican Washington, it is necessary to follow the money.
Jack Abramoff was a partner since 2004 in Cassidy & Associates Inc, a beltway lobbying firm. He was brought into the firm by Gregg Hartley, a former top aide to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO).
Prior to that Abramoff hung his hat at Greenberg Traurig another DC lobbying firm. Donations at his tenure there included $20,000 to the Republican National Committee for the 2000 elections and $25,000 each to the GOP’s House and Senate fundraising committees in 2000 and again in 2002.
From 1995-2001 Abramoff was a member of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP , still another DC lobbying firm.
It was during this time that he also worked on the George W. Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior.
“This isn’t just a crooked lobbyist. This is someone managing a slush-fund. The sort of unregulated, unwatched pile of money patronage-based political machines always need to keep running.” — Josh Marshall, August 16, 2005
Congo (formerly called Zaire) - Mobutu Sese Seko was the dictator and a client.
eLottery - Wound up in bankruptcy after spending $2 million to defeat the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
Foxcom Wireless - An Israeli telecommunications company given work wiring the House for wireless laptops and phones after Ney approved license.
Gabon (country in West Africa with off-shore oil) - President Bongo met Bush after paying Abramoff. David Safavian, top Bush federal procurement official, was a registered agent in Washington for President Bongo.
Indian tribes that have casinos including: Agua Caliente (CA), Chitimacha (LA),
Choctaw Tribe (MS), LA-Coushatta Tribe (working against Jena Band of Choctaw Indians)
AL-Coushatta Tribe (Livingston, TX), Iowa Meskwaki (Bear faction), Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (MA),
Pueblo of Sandia (NM), Pueblo of Santa Clara, Saginaw Chippewa (MI), Tigua tribe (El Paso, TX).
Abramoff played the tribes against each other while working with religious extremists including Ralph Reed to prevent the casinos from ever opening.
(E-mail from Abramoff to a partner: “I have to meet with the monkeys from the Choctaw tribal counsel.’‘)
(Ralph Reed quoted in the Weekly Standard: Money is like water down the side of the mountain. It will find a way to get around the trees. )
Abramoff secretly pressured the Texas state government to shut down a casino owned by the Tigua tribe of western Texas, then presented themselves as the casino’s savior, offering services to the tribe for a suggested monthly lobbying fee of $125,000 to $175,000 a month.
International Interactive Alliance - Gibraltar-based group that advocates for gambling on the Internet.
Islamic Banks Islam doesn’t approve of banking. Why do they own banks?
Northern Marianas (CNMI) - Pacific islands under U.S. control. Sweatshops use label “Made in USA.” The Marianas industry exploited tens of thousands of women workers, many of whom were channeled into the island sex trade, according to Rep. George Miller (D-CA). They gained at least $2 million more in federal aid and fought off minimum wage laws.
Tan Holdings (Willie Tan, owner) - Governor-elect Benigno R. Fitial says he will cooperate with federal authorities in the ongoing investigation of Abramoff, et al. He is a former executive of Tan Holdings. Tan family gave $36,000 for Bush re-election and $50,000 to the Ntl Republican Senatorial Committee.
Eloy Inos of Saipan
Saipan Garment Manufacturers Association
SunCruz Casinos - A Florida fleet of 11 ships with 2,300 slot machines and 175 gaming tables. Bought with College Republican chum Adam Kidan from Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis. Boulis was later gunned down mafia-style, and Kidan associates are charged in the killing. Kidan and Abramoff diverted $310,000 of SunCruz funds for luxury skyboxes at FedEx Field in Washington, the MCI Center, and Oriole Park .
They gave themselves $500,000 salaries. SunCruz went bankrupt. Federal prosecutors say Abramoff and Adam Kidan defrauded lenders by faking a $23-million wire transfer to make it appear that they put their own money into the purchase of SunCruz Casinos.
Tyco International Ltd. - Paid Abramoff $1.7 million 2003-2004.
UNISYS - Received a $1 billion contract from the Transportation Dept. (TSA) for a communications system linking airports.
“CHARITIES” USED TO LAUNDER MONEY, ETC.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) Grover Nordquist’s group started in 1985 to make government small enough to “drown in a bathtub.” Was used to funnel money to defeat anti-Internet gambling candidates. (The money went to Reed-allied groups.) Received $25,000 each from 2 Indian tribes.
Contributed $1 million from Indian funds to the Capital Athletic Foundation in 2001 per the Texas Observer.
Capital Athletic Foundation - “Less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths.” (Washington Post) Told the IRS it gave away more than $330,000 in grants in 2002 to 4 charities that say they never received the money. Was used to pay for a trip for a member of Congress, Pay for a sniper school (Kollel Ohel Tiferet) in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, and Pay for a Jewish prep school.
Cato Institute - Abramoff paid Cato Senior Fellow Doug Bandow, who was also a Copley News Service syndicated columnist writing weekly columns for publication in magazines and newspapers, to insert items that were favorable to his clients. (Source = Business Week.)
Eshkol Academy - Received $1.9 million from Capital Athletic Foundation. Abramoff’s Jewish prep school for boys.
Institute for Policy Innovation - Senior Policy Adviser Peter Ferrara admits he was paid by Abramoff to write articles favorable to his clients. He wouldn’t identify the articles, but probably they were printed in the Washington Times. (Source = Business Week.)
International Freedom Foundation - a think tank that actively opposed Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress in South Africa in the 80s.
Kollel Ohel Tiferet in Israel (AKA Israeli sniper training school)- received $97,000 from Capital Athletic Foundation to purchase military gear for an Orthodox Jewish settlement in the West Bank. There is no public listing for the Kollel group, and the town’s mayor said he did not know of the organization, according to Newsweek magazine. The money was originally Indian tribal money.
National Center for Public Policy Research - Paid for Tom DeLay’s 2000 trip to Britain and a six-day trip to Moscow in 1997. Also, Ney said they paid for his trip to Scotland. Has received large donations from Abramoff’s Indian clients.
Strategic Business Ethics in California - Rabbi David Lapin received a $1.2 million no-bid contract to promote “ethics in government” in 1996 from the Northern Marianas. Later he ran a school for Abramoff. His brother Rabbi Daniel Lapin introduced Abramoff to DeLay in 1994. The brothers are from South Africa.
Toward Tradition - a Seattle group “working against anti-religion bigotry.” Was founded by Abramoff and run by Daniel Lapin.
Orthodox Jewish academy (Is this the same as Eshkol Academy?) - received Indian tribal money.
American International Center — a “think tank” - A California consulting firm using the address of Abramoff’s brother Robert’s law office. - Received checks for $2.3 million from Gabon
Kay Gold LLC - Abramoff family company received $400,000 from Gabon.
Received $1.5 million from a non-profit that originally came from client International Interactive Alliance (Internet gambling advocates).
GrassRoots Interactive - Established in 2003 by Edward B. Miller, a Republican lawyer who is now deputy chief of staff to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland. Received $3 million from Gabon.
Also received $2 million from Tyco. (Tyco lawyer, Timothy E. Flanigan, withdrew from nomination as Deputy Attorney General.)
Signatures - a restaurant used for wining and dining and fund-raising.
Michael Scanlon Company = Capitol Campaign Strategies - Not registered as a lobbyist; so he didn’t have to disclose clients or report money. Scanlon was a onetime congressional staffer and a former press secretary to then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), who became a top partner to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Michael Scanlon - pleaded guilty November 21 to conspiring to bribe a congressman (AKA “Representative # 1 = Bob Ney) and other public officials and agreed to pay back more than $19 million he fraudulently charged Indian tribal clients.
Adam Kidan - Abramoff’s partner in the SunCruz Casino gambling boats. Copped a plea on fraud charges on Dec. 15 and will provide information on Abramoff to clear his plate before handling the greater threat of a charge in the murder of Gus Boulis. A caterer Kidan hired (Moscatiello) and a security guard (Ferrari) were charged in the murder. Kidan also has history of mafia associations. Ironically, Kidan’s mother was slain in an unrelated mob hit years earlier.
Edward P. Ayoob - Abramoff lobbyist working for Tyco. Former aide to Harry Reid
Fred Baggett - Abramoff lobbyist. Chair of firm’s National Governmental Affairs Practice.
David S. Cordish - Baltimore-based financial advisor and developer. With Manhattan-based Richard Fields, Cordish owned Power Plant Entertainment. Robert Toussie, who provided almost $3 million to Richard Fields to invest in Power Plant Entertainment, was indicted in federal court in Central Islip on four counts of tax evasion in June 2004 and struck a deal with the IRS. (Source = Statement from United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. — USET) Cordish advised the Seminole Tribe of Florida with 2 casino complexes. The Seminoles severed ties with Cordish after the IRS came after them for using tax-exempt bonds for refinancing. The IRS has opened at least eight similar audits of Indian financing across the country. Tribes argue the government is being too restrictive of Indian bond issues. Power Plant’s fee = roughly $1.275 billion (Source = Baltimore Sun). Cordish had worked with Donald Trump.
Cordish also leased the-vacant Rainbow Centre Mall in Niagara Falls, NY, saying he would renovate, but he continued to let the mall run down. Cordish secretly lobbied Albany politicians and the Seneca Nation of Indians to take the mall off his hands for use as a casino.
Todd A. Boulanger - Abramoff lobbyist. Worked several years for ex-Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH). Handled Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana both under Abramoff and now at Cassidy & Associates Inc.
Abramoff team member Tony Rudy, former aide to Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), introduced Boulanger to his wife, Jessica Incitto, who is a former DeLay staffer and former Press Secretary to Rep. Roy Blunt. Incitto now works for Progress for America, a Republican voter non-profit (501c4).
Boulanger drafted a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton on behalf of the Louisiana Coushatta tribe. That letter was signed by Hastert, DeLay, and Blunt.
Abramoff collected about $32 million from the Coushattas.
Trevor Blackann - Abramoff lobbyist. Former staffer of Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Kit Bond (R-MO).
Married Laura Brookshire, a staffer to Tom DeLay.
Ed Buckham - Former DeLay Chief of Staff and Abramoff lobbyist.
Runs Alexander Strategy Group, which employs Tony Rudy and Tom DeLay’s wife, Christine.
Buckham worked for Enron in its bid to build an energy plant in the Northern Marianas, but they lost the bid.
Will Brooke - Former Chief of Staff of Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT).
Brooke reportedly received more money from Abramoff than anyone else.
Brooke flew on Abramoff’s corporate jet to the 2001 Super Bowl to attend the game at Abramoff’s invitation while still working for Burns.
Burns helped secure a controversial $3 million grant for one of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Saginaw Chippewa tribe of Michigan to build a school.
The money was awarded over the objections of the Department of Interior.
Brooks quit working for Burns shortly after that in December 2003, and started working for Abramoff’s firm.
In 2005, Brooke started his own lobbying firm in Bozeman.
Duane Gibson - Former aide to Don Young (R-AK).
Samuel Hook - A partner in Greenberg Traurig.
Ran Grassroots Interactive for Abramoff.
Started the company Federal Program Services LLC, which existed for a year.
His wife also worked for Abramoff.
Tony C. Rudy - Abramoff lobbyist.
Former top aide to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX)
Received money from eLottery, which sent a check to phony charity Toward Tradition, which then hired Lisa Rudy, Tony’s wife.
Now works at the Alexander Strategy Group with Delay’s wife and Ed Buckham.
Kevin A. Ring - Abramoff lobbyist dealing with Indian tribes and the Marianas.
Former staffer for Doolittle (R-CA) and also worked on CATPAC, a PAC run by Doolittle. Ring plead the 5th under questioning by McCain in the Senate.
Ring is still working for the Choctaws, now at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.
Created the limited-liability company KAR LLC, based out of his home address.
KAR received a check for $25,000 in 2003 from Grassroots Interactive, which he returned when the scandal broke.
KAR also received $125,000 from Scanlon’s company, Capitol Campaign Strategies, which came from the Pueblo of Sandia Tribe.
Michael Smith - Abramoff lobbyist working with Iowa Meskwaki tribe (Bear faction).
Was a Gore campaign manager and his sister is a legislative aide to Tom Harkin.
A dispute between the Bear faction, which took control of the tribe away from the Walker faction, led to closing the casino until things could be resolved.
There were lobbyists on both sides, Abramoff for the Bear group.
Shawn Vasell - Abramoff lobbyist.
Former Aide to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT).
Worked on Florida recount along with Tony Rudy, Todd Boulanger, and Duane Gibson (“Republican riot”).
Pled the 5th under questioning by McCain in the Senate.
Neil G. Volz - Abramoff lobbyist.
Former Chief of Staff to Bob Ney (R-OH).
UNISYS was a client.
Ralph Reed - Former Christian Coalition head (1989–1997).
Candidate for GA Lieutenant Governor
Reed has known Abramoff (and Nordquist) since his College Republican days in the early 80s.
Money is like water down the side of the mountain. It will find a way to get around the trees. — Ralph Reed quoted in the Weekly Standard
Abramoff sent eLottery money to a Reed company, using two intermediaries to obscure the source.
On behalf of Abramoff, Ralph Reed recruited Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson to go on the radio and incite his followers to oppose legalized gambling. Abramoff’s eLottery funds also paid Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition for anti-gambling efforts.
Reed worked as a consultant on 2 Alabama anti-gambling campaigns against a state lottery and video poker. That money came from a Mississippi Indian tribe trying to protect its casinos from competition. “We just turned around and wrote out the check to them,” John Giles of Montgomery, president of the Alabama Christian Coalition, which accepted $850,000, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (5/18/05).
They also said that Americans for Tax Reform wrote a check in 1999 for $300,000 to Citizens Against Legalized Lottery in Birmingham.
Reed received $4.2 million from Abramoff’s firm for lobbying in Texas in 2001 and 2002 before registering as a lobbyist, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In Texas, his efforts to close one tribe’s casino were surreptitiously funded by rival tribes.
His firm also received $150,000 from Jack Abramoff’s client, eLottery, as part of his effort to kill an anti-gambling bill. (The money was used to attack GOP House members who backed the bill.)
Reed rallied the religious community against the casinos and met with state lawmakers to kill a bill that would reopen the Tiguas casino (another Abramoff client), according to his e-mails.
Tim Phillips, VP of Ralph Reed’s Atlanta-based Century Strategies, and Tim Cox, co-owner with Phillips of the political consulting firm New Dominion Strategies, helped create a supposedly “non-partisan” tax-exempt organization in Virginia called the Faith and Family Alliance.
Robin Vanderwall served as the organization’s Executive Director.
Robin Vanderwall is now cooperating in the Abramoff investigation. Washington Post quotes (Nov. 3) — “Vanderwall is now serving a seven-year prison term after he was convicted of soliciting sex from a minor on the Internet.
In telephone interviews and correspondence from state prison, Vanderwall said the nonprofit group, Faith and Family Alliance, was used as a pass-through to fund Abramoff’s campaign against an Internet gambling ban and to attack U.S. House candidate Eric I. Cantor in his 2000 primary race.”
“Money was sent from a client of Abramoff’s to Americans for Tax Reform, which kept a portion.
The rest was routed to Faith and Family, records show. Vanderwall then made out a check for the identical amount and sent it to the political consulting firm where Phillips is vice president.
That firm was founded by former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, an Abramoff friend.
The money was meant to attack conservative Republicans who backed the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, a review of records shows.”
Four days before Virginia’s June 12 GOP primary, the Alliance sent out a mailing attacking congressional candidate Eric I. Cantor to boost the prospects of his opponent State Sen. Stephen H. Martin, who had hired Tim Phillips.
Virginia’s Republican attorney general candidate Robert F. McDonnell paid $1,460,133 to Phillips and Cox’s firm, New Dominion Strategies. McDonnell also had used Vanderwall as his campaign manager.
Century Strategies – (Reed’s Firm) was supposed to be a “PR,” firm not a lobbying firm.
ENRON was one of its first clients (1997), and the company helped push deregulation through the PA legislature.
Another early client supported Puerto Rican statehood.
Another was Channel One, which used Preston Gates as its lobbying firm.
The company pushed for permanent normal trade relations with China in spring 2000.
Grover Nordquist - Allied with Abramoff.
He also was partners with former Bush head procurement man, David Safavian. Nordquist’s anti-tax organization Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) was used as a conduit for money to Faith and Family Alliance (tied to Reed) for work on behalf of his gambling clients. He received $360,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaws.
Nordquist also co-founded Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA) with Gale Norton.
This group was used to funnel money and contact the Interior Department on behalf of the Indian tribes.
WILKES/WADE LOBBY NETWORK
Brent Wilkes - Between 1992 and 1997, Brent Wilkes worked for Audre Inc., run by Tom Casey, and during that time employees and family members donated $77,000 to members of Congress.
Audre is tied to Evergreen Information Technologies of Colorado, which often gave donations to the same members of congress on the same days. ($20,000 out of $22,000 in donations were ruled illegal.)
After Wilkes broke from Audre and started his own firm, Duncan Hunter continued to support Audre’s software against Wilkes’s. Thereafter, Wilkes started donating to Cunningham.
Brent Wilkes’s high-school football buddy and best friend is Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo, currently the number 3 man at the CIA.
Wilkes and Foggo were roommates at San Diego State, were best men at each other’s weddings, and named their sons after each other (according to the San Diego Union-Tribune).
Wilkes companies (some of which shared the same address or fax number) =
ADCS Inc. — document-conversion software licensed from a German firm. Records have been subpoenaed by Ronnie Earle.
ADCS PAC — which used a separate address from ADCS Inc. and had its own pseudo companies),
Acoustical Communication Systems
Al Dust Properties — real estate
Archer Logistics — Wilkes’s nephew, Joel Gaylen Combs, runs. Has CIA contracts.
Group W Transportation — consists of a time share in a corporate jet used to fly congress members around
Group W Holdings — another real estate company
Group W Media — an advertising agency (also ran Mirror Labs, or used same address)
Group W Advisors — a lobbying group that hired Alexander Strategy Group (where Tom DeLay’s wife and former chief of staff work)
Liberty Defense Tech.
MailSafe Inc. — mail decontamination/digitizing
Mirror Labs — supposedly a company that tests military equipment
PerfectWave Technologies — speech recognition software. Donated $15,000 to DeLay’s group Texans for a Republican Majority. Records have been ubpoenaed by Ronnie Earle.
Pure Aqua Technologies
The Poway Mafia
These companies have received an estimated $95 million in government contracts since 1996 (source — San Diego Union-Tribune). Wilkes spent at least $600,000 on political contributions and $1.1 million on lobbying.
ADCS got earmarks of $25 million for digitizing software that was largely unnecessary. ADCS got a $9.7 million contract for digitizing documents, including Panama Canal Zone documents that went back to the Teddy Roosevelt administration.
Wilkes ran a hospitality suite, for politicians with several bedrooms, in Washington — first in the Watergate Hotel, then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill.
Mitchell J. Wade - has a Navy Intelligence background, and he started by working with Wilkes.
In September 2002, the General Services Administration signed a blanket purchase agreement (no-bid contract) with MZM totaling $250 million over five years.
Wade’s first contract for $140,000 was to supply office furniture and computers for VP Cheney’s office.
MZM also gained a contract with the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) and two months later, MZM hired the son of the NGIC executive director (William Scott Rich III).
Then, MZM got an even bigger NGIC contract.
NGIC is the group that said Iraq’s aluminum tubes could be used for a centrifuge.
George W. Bush - met with President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon after he paid Abramoff money. Abramoff asked for $9 million.
Wilkes raised at least $100,000 for President Bush’s 2004 re-election bid.
Abramoff also raised $100,000, $36,000 of which came from Northern Marianas island donors, mostly the Tan family.
Lewis Libby – VP Cheney’s Chief of Staff.
Indicted on 5 counts of obstruction of justice and false statements in Plame leak case.
Karl Rove - Under threat of indictment in Plame case. Robert Luskin is Rove’s attorney.
Henry Schuelke - the attorney for Viveca Novac.
Schuelke is also the attorney for Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s old firm.
Rove’s e-mail to Hadley regarding his conversation with Cooper wasn’t turned over with the other documents after the subpoena.
Susan Bonzon Ralston - Rove’s deputy.
She is presumably the most influential Filipino American in the Bush Administration. Ralston patched a call from a reporter to Rove linked to the Plame leak case.
The White House denied a report that she recently moved to Commerce Dept.
Prior to her current position, Ralston was the Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs at Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s firm.
Quotes from Ralston e-mails (source Polysigh blog, by Philip Klinkner, Oct. 16):
“’I have 3 checks from elot: (1) 2 checks for $80K payable to ATR and (2) 1 check to TVC for $25K,’ Abramoff’s assistant Susan Ralston e-mailed him on June 22, 2000. ‘Let me know exactly what to do next. Send to Grover? Send to Rev. Lou?’ “Minutes later Abramoff responded, saying that the check for Sheldon’s group should be sent directly to Sheldon, but that the checks for Norquist required special instructions: ‘Call Grover, tell him I am in Michigan and that I have two checks for him totaling 160 and need a check back for Faith and Family for $150K.’
“According to the e-mails, Reed provided the name and address where Norquist was supposed to send the money: to Robin Vanderwall at a location in Virginia Beach.”
David H. Safavian - The Bush administration’s top federal procurement official.
Charged last month with obstructing a federal investigation and lying to a federal investigator.
Resigned after being arrested for repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002 paid for by eLottery. Was involved in $1 billion UNISYS deal for TSA.
Safavian’s wife is chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees procurement matters, although she’s said she’ll recuse herself.
Safavian worked for Preston Gates with Abramoff in the 90s.
Timothy E. Flanigan - Former Tyco employee nominated for Deputy Attorney General who withdrew after connections were shown with Abramoff.
Patrick Pizzella - Former Abramoff lobbyist who became Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management in the Bush Administration.
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
Italia Federici - Head of “environmental” organization founded by Norton and Norquist to work against environmental causes: Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA).
Personal friend of Norton’s.
Received $300,000 from Indian tribes, including $50,000 from Iowa Meskwaki tribe alone.
Used to funnel money to and contact J. Steven Griles.
Held fundraisers at Abramoff’s restaurant, Signatures.
J. Steven Griles - Deputy to Gale Norton.
Abramoff contacted through Federici.
Kyle Dustin “Dusty” Foggo - was promoted to CIA Executive Director (number 3 job) by Porter Goss (formerly Rep. R-FL).
Best friend and high-school chum of Brent Wilkes of ADCS, who is one of the people who bribed Duke Cunningham and others.
Frederick A. Black - Acting U.S. attorney for Guam. Black was demoted a day after issuing a subpoena for lobbying contracts between Abramoff and the Guam Superior Court. Black was also pulled off the Abramoff case, which involved $324,000, laundered $9,000 at a time, to lobby against a bill in Congress giving the Guam Supreme Court jurisdiction over the superior court.
CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
Political appointees in Civil Rights overruled the career professionals in approving DeLay’s 2003 Texas gerrymander and Georgia’s voter regulation scheme (later blocked by a federal judge) to require voters to buy identification cards that weren’t for sale anywhere in Atlanta.
Not to surprising, at least not for me, is that most of the politicians listed as receiving money and favors from Abramoff’s network are Republicans. I guess in their world view, being paid off for doing the job that they were elected to do, is not immoral or unethical.
To correct America’s troubled direction, we the people should make it a point to send each of the recipients of Abramoff’s generosity packing and replace them with dedicated individuals who will place the good of the nation ahead of personal benefit.
Do such people exist? God, I hope so.
Once again our thanks go to project researcher, Kate McConn, for making this EXCLUSIVE FEATURE possible.
- Denis Donovan
Roy Blunt - (R-MO) Republican Whip (replacing DeLay). Also rode on corporate jets supplied by defense contractor Wilkes mentioned in Cunningham indictment. (Plane fair was reimbursed, according to FOXNews.com.) Received at least $8,500 for his PAC and campaign from Abramoff’s firm and clients between 1999 and 2003. Ronnie Earle has subpoenaed the records of his PAC, Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, in the DeLay case.
Henry Bonilla - (R-TX) Got Wilkes money.
Roy Brown - (R-MT) Got Wilkes money.
Ken Calvert - (R-CA) Went to Saudi Arabia on trip with Duke Cunningham.
Rick Clayburgh - (R-ND) Got Wilkes money.
Lincoln Chaffe - (R-RI) His staffer frequently used Abramoff’s skybox.
Duke Cunningham - (R-CA) Appropriations and Intelligence committees. Cunningham recently resigned and is likely headed to prison. Cunningham accepted $2.4 million worth of bribes from two defense contractors, a finance/mortgage company owner, and a real-estate developer. Cunningham also gave money to 60 incumbent Republicans, which some gave back after the indictment. Since 2000, Cunningham has donated over $250,000 from his PAC to fellow Republicans, according to records compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign donations. People who gave bribes are:
(1) Brent Wilkes = Co-conspirator No. 1. He gave $525,000 to Cunningham on May 13, 2004, to pay off the second mortgage on Cunningham’s home in Rancho Santa Fe. He gave $100,000 to Cunningham on May 1, 2000, which went directly into Cunningham’s personal accounts in San Diego and Washington, D.C. And he paid $11,116.50 to help pay Cunningham’s mortgage on the “Kelly C” yacht.
(2) Mitchell J. Wade = Co-conspirator No. 2. His company is MZM Inc. Wade purchased the Duke-Stir houseboat for $140,000. According to the LA Times, the boat purchase came 2 weeks after getting his first contract.
(3) Tommy Kontogiannis, financial company owner, and a mortgage company president. Bought Cunningham’s boat at double market rates and gave him sweetheart loans.
(4) Ziyad Abduljawad, a San Diego real estate developer, funded trips to Saudi Arabia.
Tom DeLay - (R-TX) PACs = ARMPAC, TRMPAC, Texans for a Republican Majority
Charities = DeLay Foundation for Kids. George Foundation (donated $403,000 in land to DeLay Foundation) (1) In Texas, he’s charged with money laundering and conspiracy to launder money. A charge of conspiracy to violate state election laws was dropped. Co-defendants = Republican fund-raisers John D. Colyandro and James W. Ellis. Prosecutor Ronnie Earle’s current charges center on $190,000 collected from corporate donors in 2002 and routed through Republican PACs to 7 Republicans running for the Texas House. $190,000 went from Texans for a Republican Majority ® Republican National Committee ® $190,000 went from the Republican National Committee ® 7 Texas candidates. Earle has subpoenaed bank records for California defense firms involved in Cunningham scandal, Wilkes companies ADCS and PerfectWave. PerfectWave gave $15,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority in 2002. In addition to subpoenas for DeLay’s ARMPAC records, Earle has also sought records for the PAC Rely on Your Beliefs Fund, Majority Whip Roy Blunt’s PAC. Blunt’s Rely On Your Beliefs Fund PAC paid Jim Ellis’s firm, the J W Ellis Company, $3,000 a month from March 2003 to January 2005, and $4,000 a month from February 2005 to at least July 2005 for political consulting.
Earle also subpoenaed Gov. Matt Blunt’s 2000 campaign records and the records for Missourians for Matt Blunt. Matt Blunt is Roy Blunt’s son. (Source = Fired Up! Missouri.)
(2) In Washington, DeLay’s wife Christine works for Alexander Strategy Group, a lobby company run by former top aide Ed Buckham to which Abramoff regularly referred business. DeLay traveled to Scotland for golf on all-expense-paid trip paid for by Abramoff clients. Traveled to Northern Marianas, where Abramoff clients were. Took trips to England and South Korea financed by Abramoff. In e-mails, Abramoff cited personal pressure from DeLay in trying to persuade Indian tribe clients to send political donations and other money to Washington. (However, Abramoff edited e-mails from others before sending them on to the tribes.)
(3) DeLay got $70,000 from defense contractor Wilkes, mentioned in Cunningham indictment, and his associates, according to FOXNews.com. As mentioned before, Wilkes’ donations to DeLay also included $15,000 from Wilkes-owned PerfectWave to Texans for a Republican Majority. DeLay rode on corporate jets supplied by Wilkes. (Plane fair was reimbursed, according to FOXNews.com.) Wilkes’s firm, Group W Advisors, hired Alexander Strategy Group, run by Ed Buckham, former Chief of Staff to Tom DeLay and employing DeLay’s wife Christine. Wilkes and his wife gave $30,000 to Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC.
Rep. John Doolittle - (R-CA) House Appropriations Committee member.
(1) Abramoff hired Doolittle’s wife Julia to fundraise for a nonprofit organization he founded and frequently used as conduit for the millions of dollars he received in fees from Indian tribes. Documents connected to fundraising Julia did for Abramoff have been subpoenaed. Doolittle used Abramoff’s Washington skybox for a fundraiser without reporting it, and used a restaurant Abramoff used to own. A former Doolittle staffer, Kevin Ring, works at Abramoff’s firm. Doolittle received $140,000 in donations from Abramoff, Ring, et al, plus $127,000 from the tribes to his various PACs.
(2) Got about $46,000 from Wilkes and his associates, according to FOXNews.com and San Jose Mercury-News. George W. Gekas - (R-PA) Got Wilkes money.
Virgil Goode - (R-VA) Also received money from Wilkes and Wade.
Mark Green - (R-WI) Chief of Staff Mark Graul frequently used Abramoff skyboxes.
Maria Guadalupe Garci -a (R-CA) Got Wilkes money.
J.D. Hayworth - (R-AZ) used sports skyboxes without reporting for years. Finally, reimbursed the Choctaw and Chitimacha $12,880 for 5 skybox uses.
Katherine Harris - (R-FL) Received $1000 from Duke Cunningham’s PAC. Also received money from Wilkes and Wade. Said she donated the money to charity.
Dennis Hastert - (R-IL) House Speaker. Flew on Wilkes jets and records don’t show that he paid for the flights. Collected more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from Abramoff’s firm and clients between 2001 and 04.
Pete Hoekstra - (R-MI) House Intelligence Committee Chairman. Also received money from Wilkes and Wade. Said he donated the money to charity.
Duncan Hunter - (R-CA) House Armed Services Committee Chair.
PAC = Peace Through Strength PAC received $245,670 from missile defense contractors.
Received $46,000 from Wilkes, Wade, and their associates, according to FOXnews.com and San Jose Mercury-News. Said he donated the money to charity. Between 1992 and 1997, Rep. Duncan Hunter got $7,250 from Audre Inc. employees and family members. This is where Wilkes worked during that time period. When Wilkes broke with Audre, Hunter continued to support Audre. Hunter pushed the military to buy $2.5 million in Audre software in February 1997. According to Pentagon’s Inspector General, the software wasn’t needed and is still flaky. Cunningham shifted Pentagon money for the unneeded software from Audre to ADCS. The East County Californian reported that Hunter “ranks among the top ten recipients who accepted contributions from MZM and ADCS.”
Hunter also shares ownership in a Virginia cabin with Pete Geren (formerly Rep. D-TX), who was the chief procurement officer for the Air Force (Acting Secretary from August — November). (Hunter is pushing for the Air Force to buy planes from Boeing.) Michael Wynne, the current Secretary of the Air Force, also has been accused of deals favoring Boeing.
Also got money from Titan, independent contractors involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal. He is said to be blocking an investigation of that scandal. They also have a contract for post-Katrina work in Louisiana.
Darrell Issa - (R-CA) Got money from Wilkes.
Samuel Johnson - (R-TX) Got money from Wilkes.
Jerry Lewis - (R-CA) Appropriations Committee Chairman. Received $50,000 from Wilkes, Wade and their associates, according to FOXnews.com. Said he donated the money to charity.
Robert Livingston - (R-LA) chaired the Appropriations Committee and received money from Wilkes.
Thaddeus G. McCotter - (R-MI) Got money from Wilkes.
Alan Mollohan - (D-WV) Ranking member of the House Ethics committee. Received donations from Mitchell Wade’s MZM.
Constance Morella - (R-MD) Got money from Wilkes.
Bob Ney - (R-OH): Chairman of House Administration Committee. Ney has been subpoenaed by the Justice Department to turn over any documents relating to his dealings with Abramoff and has been informed by prosecutors that they are preparing a possible bribery case against him. Ney twice inserted comments into the Congressional Record favorable to a casino company that Abramoff was seeking to buy. Ney received $32,000 from a Texas tribe. Traveled to Scotland on golf trip with Safavian and Reed. Traveled to Northern Marianas.
Devin Nunez - (R-CA) Got money from Wilkes.
Steve Pearce - (R-NM) Got money from Wilkes.
Richard Pombo - (R-CA) Chairman of the House Committee on Resources, with jurisdiction over Indian tribal affairs, Pacific island territories, the environment, and natural resources. Frequently used Abramoff’s skybox. Failed to report the value of two foreign trips paid for by a lobby group, paid family members from political accounts, and accepted campaign contributions from Abramoff and DeLay. Gave money back that he’d received from Duke Cunningham.
George Radanovich - (R-CA) Received $1000 (in 1994) from Duke Cunningham and hasn’t given it back yet.
Dana Rohrabacher - (R-CA) Received a $23,000 option on his screenplay from Hollywood producer Joseph Medawar. Then showed Medawar the inner workings of Homeland Security and introduced him around. Abramoff used Rohrabacher as his character reference for the loan to buy the SunCruz. Rohrabacher received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Abramoff.
Bill Van de Weghe Jr. - (R-CA) Got money from Wilkes.
Jerry Weller - (R-IL) Got money from Wilkes.
Conrad Burns - (R-MT) Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. According to a Bloomberg analysis, Burns received more donations from Abramoff and his clients than any other member of Congress. Received about $150,000 in donations from Abramoff, his firm, and his clients between 2001 and 2004. He pushed to get $3 million, so that a wealthy Michigan tribe (Saginaw Chippewa) could build a school. His former state director, Will Brooke, was a lobbyist at Abramoff’s firm. Money came directly from Abramoff and garment company client, Tan Holdings. Burns collected $12,000 in donations after the lawmaker took legislative action favorable to Abramoff’s clients in the Northern Mariana Islands. Burns acknowledged that a provision put into an appropriations bill by a committee he chaired benefited several Abramoff clients, but he said without his knowledge. Democrats have already run two television commercials tying Burns, who is up for reelection in 2006, to Abramoff. His spokesman told the AP in a story on 12/13, “There’s nothing to return, the money has been spent.”
Larry Craig - (R-WY) Received money from Wilkes and Wade.
Mike DeWine - (R-OH) Received contributions from Diebold executives. Diebold CEO = Walden O’Dell.
Elizabeth Dole - (R-NC) Received money from Wilkes.
Byron Dorgan - (D-ND) Senior Democrat on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that is now probing Abramoff. Got a $20,000 political donation arranged by Abramoff in 2002 shortly after he urged fellow senators to fund a tribal school program that Abramoff’s clients wanted to use. Used Abramoff’s skybox, but reimbursed that money. Pushed Congress for federal recognition of Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts, and collected at least $11,500 in political donations from the Abramoff partner representing them. Got $5000 from Coushatta tribe of Louisiana. Said he is returning $67,000.
John Ensign - (R-NV) signed a letter on behalf of Abramoff’s tribal clients and accepted $16,293.
Bill Frist - (R-TN) Frist is currently under investigation by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department for his sale of stock in a health care company founded by his father and brother. Frist authorized the sale of millions of dollars worth of stock in HCA Inc. shortly before the stock’s value dropped, prompting questions of insider trading. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Lindsay Graham - (R-SC) Got money from Wilkes.
Chuck Grassley - (R-IA) Hawkeye = PAC. Got money from Iowa Meskwaki Indian tribe (Bear faction) and Saginaw Chippewa, Abramoff clients.
Tom Harkin - (D-IA) Got money from Iowa Meskwaki Indian tribe (Bear faction), Abramoff client.
Harry Reid - (D-NV) Indian tribes paid $5000 through Reid’s charity Searchlight Leadership Fund. $66,000 total from Abramoff funds.
Jim Talent - (R-MO) Received money from Abramoff.
Rod Blagojevich - (D-IL) Blagojevich has struggled through his first term thanks to a series of allegations regarding wrongdoing in a variety of matters — from his hiring practices to his alleged involvement in a fundraising scheme where businesses rewarded with contracts to handle teacher pensions would make donations that would eventually be funneled back to political campaigns. Blagojevich will be on the ballot next year.
Matt Blunt - (R-MO) Roy Blunt’s son. His campaign and PAC records have been subpoenaed by Ronnie Earle for his prosecution of Tom DeLay.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. - (R-MD): Top aide Edward Miller cooperating in investigation of his own creation of Grassroots Interactive group, which received $2 million from Abramoff client Tyco.
Ernie Fletcher - (R-KY) After winning the governor’s office in 2003, a handful of aides to Fletcher allegedly broke state hiring laws that mandate personnel be hired based on their merits not on political connections of any sort. Fletcher pardoned the nine men in late August and then immediately fired them. One of those who was pardoned has suggested Fletcher should resign his office in order to fully rid the state of questions surrounding hiring practices in the administration. A grand jury is still looking into the matter.
Arnold Schwarzenegger - (R-CA) Brent Wilkes (ADCS Inc.) gave $73,000 to Schwarzenegger’s campaign committees, and associate gave another $15,000, and Schwarzenegger appointed Wilkes to the Del Mar board in April 2004 and to the State Race Track Leasing Commission in April 2005. Schwarzenegger has not given the money back, but he did ask Wilkes to resign from the racing board and commission. Wilkes also allowed Schwarzenegger to use ADCS’ headquarters as a local office for his 2004 workers’ compensation initiative campaign.
Bob Taft - (R-OH): Taft plead guilty this year to four misdemeanor charges centered on his acceptance of gifts from lobbyists. Taft is also entangled with the ongoing “Coingate” scandal surrounding the mismanagement of the state’s pension fund by rare coin dealer Tom Noe, a personal friend and campaign contributor to Taft. The governor is not running for reelection next year.