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  • Monday, October 16, 2006

    Corruption so Blatant, Even the Republicans Can't Deny it: Abramoff's Ghost

    Republican corruption is becoming so blatant that even Congressional Republicans are deciding not to block an investigation of it. Jack Abramoff may be in jail, but the Republican scandals surrounding his empire of sleaze continue to grow.

    From Salon.com:

    Senate Questions Nonprofits' Tax Status

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    By JOHN HEILPRIN Associated Press Writer

    October 12,2006 | WASHINGTON -- Five nonprofit groups, including one of President Bush's biggest supporters, may have broken tax laws and put their tax-exempt status at risk by helping convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a Senate Finance Committee report concludes.

    The 600-page report issued Thursday was prepared by the committee's Democratic staff. Majority Republicans, however, had agreed to its release and joined with Democrats in issuing subpoenas for documents and e-mails cited in the report.


    It has become HIGHLY unusual for the Republicans to allow this kind of honest investigation of corruption. They have generally used their domination of both houses of Congress to block all Congressional investigation of Republicans. And, more often than not, they have covered up for their cronies like they did for six years after finding out about Foley's solicitation of sex from minors. So this is a real change for Republicans and shows that even they can't stop the public from knowning what is going on within their own ranks.

    Among the groups named as possibly taking money from Abramoff clients and funneling it into his lobbying efforts on their behalf were Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste and the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy.

    Tax-exempt groups are barred by law from being paid to lobby or do public relations.

    Americans for Tax Reform is headed by Grover Norquist, a key ally of Bush and a longtime associate of Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.

    The report said Norquist's group accepted $1.5 million from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff's clients. More than two-thirds of that money was then passed to Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed as part of Abramoff's lobbying efforts to block a rival tribe's proposed casino in Alabama...

    Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Senate Finance Committee's senior Democrat, said his staff turned up evidence showing the groups "may have improved a lobbyist's power and profits" by unlawfully exploiting their tax-exempt status, possibly even lobbying the White House...

    The report also questioned the tax-exempt status of other groups, based on their association with Abramoff. It found that:

    --The Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, co-founded by Italia Federici, Norquist and former interior secretary Gale Norton, received at least $250,000 from Abramoff clients to lobby the Interior Department.

    --The National Center for Public Policy Research used money from Abramoff's clients to sponsor golf trips in 2000 and 2003 to Scotland for members of Congress.

    --Toward Tradition, a religion-centered group once chaired by Abramoff, took money for help with generating news articles for Abramoff and his clients.


    Republicans and Right Wing Fanatics: Corrupt to the Core. Let's face it folks. Bill Clinton getting a blow job and lying about it is NOTHING compared with the current levels of Republican corruption. Hell, even Nixon would be impressed! Watergate was minor compared with the layers upon layers of corruption in the Republican Party today.

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