A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Updating The Perp Walk II

The Jack Abramoff scandal is a little hard to pin down in specific detail. The only blogger who seems to be following consistently is Tim F. at Balloon Juice. And the press has been too busy with Plame and WMD intellegence to pay much attention yet--though that is coming.

But enter Wikipedia, that invaluable resource, which is not only tracking the matter rountinely (the last update was Nov 8 as of now) but has a good clear list of the people who would be the targets if things really get sticky:

House majority leader Tom DeLay--of course, he is the Poster Child of the Perp Walk

Ohio congressman Bob Ney--how can you not cheer for the Home Team? The latest to be summoned for questioning! Ohio wins by a nose. (Or maybe a Noe.)

Senator Conrad Burns (R, Montana) --"As the chair of the Interior Subcommittee on Appropriations, Burns received over $136,000 in campaign contributions through Abramoff and then directed $3 million to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, an Abramoff client and one of the wealthiest tribes in the country."

David Safavian, of the Presidential Office of Management & Budget--arrested and charged with lying to investigators--Wikipedia describes OMB as a "stop and think" agency. I guess Dave should have stopped and thought about what he was going to say.

Timothy Flanigan, former White House Deputy Counsel--immediately hired Abramoff to lobby for his employer, Tyco Corporation, which now alleges it was defrauded in the matter.

J. Steven Griles, Deputy United States Secretary of the Interior--"Abramoff claims in emails sent in 2002 that Griles had pledged to block an Indian casino that would compete with one of his clients."

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) --also mentioned as a confidant in Abramoff's e-mails.

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) -- accused by the Chocktaws of working with Abramoff to stop them from building a casino.

Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) --was on Abramoff's famous illegal Scottish golf trip.

Congressman Richard Pombo (R-CA) --nice fat contributions from our favorite lobbyist, which he, so far, has not returned.

Congressman Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) --who explictly refuses to give his contibution from Abramoff back. Didn't you ever catch The Sopranos? They're used to these things in New Jersey.

New Jersey State Sen. William Gormley (R-Atlantic) --"got $1,000 from Abramoff when Gormley was running for the U.S. Senate in 2000." Not yet returned to anyone's knowledge.

New Jersey Republicans Globally --A total of $220,000 since 1995. Think globally, Act locally!

Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) --A New Jersey politician with more savvy than usual, who is supposed to be returning his contribution from Abramoff since the good lobbyist starting being so radioactive in the Washington Post this August.

Congressman Jim Saxton, (R-N.J.) --another savvy New Jersey politician who's already given back his share of the lobbyist lucre.

Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) --the last of only three Washington figures to return Abramoff's campaign contributions.

Edward Miller, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich's (R-MD) deputy chief of staff --Subpoenaed to testify before a Federal Grand Jury. We've recently seen where that can lead.

Oh, yes and there are a couple of Democrats tangled up in the net:

Congressmen James Clyburn (D-SC) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) --Of course Democratic Congressmen don't have much clout these days.

Quite a lineup, don't you think? And you thought I was exaggerating when I spoke of an avalanche in the offing!


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