Saturday, April 23, 2005

Just how indisputably dirty and corrupt is Tom Delay?

Have a read and judge for yourself, these are reputable (at least the Washington Post is) sources with plain language.


Powerbroker With DeLay Ties in Hot Water

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Abramoff, the uberlobbyist who not too long ago was one of Washington's power players, now has this city exhausting its stockpile of adjectives as it hurls descriptions of unrestrained greed and cynicism in his direction — scuzzy, outrageous, pathetic, disgusting, vainglorious, to list just a few flung by members of Congress.

Abramoff's dealings are the subject of tangled criminal and congressional investigations that are attracting outsized interest, in part because of his close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (search), R-Texas.

DeLay, who took a number of overseas trips allegedly arranged or financed by Abramoff, once famously described the lobbyist as "one of my closest and dearest friends."

A shorthand summary of Abramoff's alleged dealings tends not to sound too shocking: collecting big checks from American Indian tribes for whom he performed limited work; steering clients' contributions to outside groups in which he had a personal interest; sending politicians on junkets to curry favor.

"What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit," Sen. John McCain (search), R-Ariz., said at a congressional hearing last fall at which Abramoff repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment.



To date, Abramoff and an associate are known to have collected an eye-popping $66 million or more from six tribes.

"It's so stark a case of outrageous behavior that it set everyone back on their heels," says Thomas Mann, a Brookings Institution political scientist. "Even the most jaded of observers of the Washington lobbying scene, I think, have been taken aback."

But if much of Washington wants to cast Abramoff as the villain, Abramoff offers himself as the victim. Suddenly it is he who is held at a distance by longtime friends and ideological allies whose causes he has advanced since his days as chairman of the college Republicans, where his compatriots were future household names of the conservative movement such as Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed.

Abramoff, 46, was forced out of his lobbying firm last year after details of his secret dealings came out. He is not talking in public anymore, but his lawyer has described him as hurt and disappointed by what some of his former friends are saying.

There has been no rush of supporters coming to Abramoff's defense. In fact, some spokespeople go off the record even to confirm their bosses once were friends.

Abramoff's spokesman, Andrew Blum, says that because of the unfolding investigations, Abramoff "is put into the impossible position of not being able to defend himself in the public arena until the proper authorities have had a chance to review all accusations.

Blum says Abramoff "hopes that those who are quick to judge him now will remember that there are two sides to every event and that the media can condemn someone before he ever has a chance to right the record."

Much of the ammunition being slung at Abramoff comes from a trove of his own e-mail released by congressional investigators. They show, for example:

—In 2002, Abramoff and an associate secretly funnel millions to consultant Reed, a former Christian Coalition leader, to help shut down a lucrative Texas casino operated by the Tigua Indians. "We should continue to pile on until the place is shuttered," Abramoff writes to Reed. Then Abramoff persuades the Tiguas to hire him and his associate, public relations consultant Michael Scanlon, to help reopen the casino. "Is life great or what!!!" he exults.

—Describing the distribution of one tribal payment, Abramoff discloses how little the Indian tribes were getting for their money: "He (Scanlon) divided the $5 million into three piles: $1 million for actual expenses and $2 million for each of us."

—Referring to their tribal clients, Abramoff writes to Scanlon that "the annoying losers are the only ones which have this kind of money and part with it so quickly." In other messages Abramoff refers to his Indian clients as the "stupidest idiots in the land," monkeys, troglodytes, morons and worse.

—In 2004, Abramoff recommends that the Tiguas retain him at no cost and at the same time proposes that the Eshkol Academy, a Jewish boys school that Abramoff founded just outside Washington, buy term life insurance policies on tribal elders and receive the benefits upon their death, with the money then channeled back to Abramoff. "In effect, Mr. Abramoff asked to be paid by putting prices on the lives of tribal elders," said retiring Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, then chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

While this was unfolding behind the scenes, Abramoff was being publicly held out as a Washington rainmaker of the first order who also managed to run an upscale restaurant, help his wife raise five children and stay true to his Orthodox Jewish beliefs.

"I'm the only lobbyist who took a 90 percent pay cut to join the lobbying field," he told The Hill newspaper in a gushy 2003 profile.

Blum, his spokesman, said Friday the e-mails that have since surfaced had "regrettable language not against all Native Americans as some are misleadingly saying, but against the opponents to Mr. Abramoff's clients. People often use colorful language in talking about their adversaries."

Abramoff's financial dealings related to DeLay are more convoluted, and Democrats in Congress are clamoring for an investigation into the financing of several of the majority leader's trips, which often involved rounds of golf. DeLay, for his part, has adamantly denied wrongdoing, and says no one should be trading on his name to get clients or make money.

Abramoff's career as a GOP activist has had multiple incarnations that over the years have placed him at the center of causes dear to conservatives and raised questions about financial dealings.

As head of the college Republicans, he helped coordinate a "national student liberation day" to celebrate the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Although it was portrayed as a nonpartisan event, Abramoff wrote to campus Republicans: "I don't need to tell you how important this project is to our efforts as CR's (College Republicans)."

Later he worked for the conservative advocacy group Citizens for America until he was fired amid questions about mismanaged funds.

Then he became chairman of the conservative International Freedom Foundation, later revealed to be financed by the white South African government, according to the South African truth commission.

In 1986, Abramoff headed to Hollywood, where he produced "Red Scorpion," an anti-communist movie that allegedly got money from the South African military. It was the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 that brought Abramoff back to Washington, where lobbying firms were looking to strengthen their GOP connections.

Abramoff's Republican credentials and long ties to Reed and Norquist, head of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, made him a natural; now, all three are under the microscope of congressional investigators.

Marshall Wittman, a one-time conservative activist who now works for the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, sees Abramoff's rise and fall as emblematic of what he believes has happened to the conservative movement overall.

"Many other Reagan conservatives came to Washington with the stars of the revolution in their eyes and they ended up with very fat wallets in their back pockets," he said. "They came to do good and they ended up doing very, very well."

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a congressional watchdog organization, said of Abramoff: "He's a case study for what needs to be done to change the rules."


DeLay Airfare Was Charged To Lobbyist's Credit Card
By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page A01



"The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.

DeLay's expenses during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland were billed to a different credit card also used on the trip by a second registered Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.

House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists. DeLay, who is now House majority leader, has said that his expenses on this trip were paid by a nonprofit organization and that the financial arrangements for it were proper. He has also said he had no way of knowing that any lobbyist might have financially supported the trip, either directly or through reimbursements to the nonprofit organization."

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 about the trip itinerary before DeLay's departure, to work out details of his travel. These contacts raise questions about DeLay's statement that he had no way of knowing about the financial and logistical support provided by Abramoff and his firm.

Yesterday, DeLay's lawyer, Bobby R. Burchfield, said that DeLay's staff was aware that Preston Gates was trying to arrange meetings and hotels for the trip but that DeLay was unaware of the "logistics" of bill payments, and that DeLay "continues to understand his expenses" were properly paid by the nonprofit organization, the National Center for Public Policy Research.

In 2000, Abramoff was a board member of the group. In a telephone interview yesterday, Hirschmann said the contacts between DeLay's office and persons at Preston Gates occurred because Abramoff "was a board member of the sponsoring organization." Hirschmann added: "We were assured that the National Center paid for the trip."

House rules do not exempt such nonprofit organization board members from the prohibition on lobbyist payments for travel. They also state that this prohibition "applies even where the lobbyist . . . will later be reimbursed for those expenses by a non-lobbyist client."

Burchfield did not dispute that Abramoff used his credit card to pay for DeLay's plane fare, but said in a statement that "the majority leader has always believed and continues to believe that all appropriate expenses for the U.K. trip were paid by the National Center for Public Policy Research." He said that "to the extent that Mr. Abramoff put the charges on his personal credit card, Mr. DeLay has no knowledge of this. But that would be consistent with Mr. Abramoff obtaining full reimbursement from the National Center."

He said further that, in his view, Abramoff's participation on this trip as a board member meant he was permitted to pay for some of the expenses, subject to reimbursement, and that numerous court decisions recognize that different rules may be applicable to the same person acting in different capacities.

Andrew Blum, a publicist for Abramoff's lawyer and spokesman for Abramoff, did not respond to questions relating to the use of Abramoff's credit card for DeLay's plane fare. But he said in a statement yesterday that it was the National Center that "sponsored" the trip, "not Jack Abramoff."

Blum said that DeLay was "one of the center's honored guests on this trip" and that Abramoff "is being singled out for doing what is commonly done by lobbyists -- taking trips with members of Congress and their staff so that they can learn about issues that impact the Congress and government policy." The center's ability to sponsor "this type of educational trip, using contributor funds, is both legal and proper," Blum said.

DeLay was admonished three times last year by the House ethics committee for infringing rules governing lawmakers' activities and their contacts with registered lobbyists. House ethics rules bar the payment by lobbyists for any lawmaker's travel-connected entertainment and recreational activities costing more than $50; they also require that lawmakers accurately report the sponsor of their trips and the full cost.

In an article last month about the same trip by DeLay, The Post reported that an Indian tribe and a gambling services company made donations to the National Center for Public Policy Research that covered most of the expenses declared by participants at that time. The article also said these payments were made two months before DeLay voted against legislation opposed by the tribe and the company. DeLay has said the vote was unrelated to the payments.

The article also reported that Abramoff submitted an expense voucher to Preston Gates seeking a reimbursement of $12,789.73 to cover expenses for meals, hotels and transportation during the London and Scotland trip incurred by DeLay; his wife, Christine; and his two aides.

The new receipts add more detail about these expenses, make clear that the total expenses for all of the participants were at least $50,000 more than was previously known, and connect Abramoff directly to the payment of some charges.

For DeLay, the 10-day trip began on May 25 with a flight to London from Dulles airport and ended on June 3 with a return trip from Europe via Newark and ending in Houston. In between, his itinerary called for stops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St. Andrews, in Scotland. DeLay said the purpose of the trip was to hold meetings with "Conservative leaders" in Britain and Scotland, including Margaret Thatcher. The former prime minister's office has confirmed that such a meeting occurred.

DeLay's two aides, Tony Rudy and Susan Hirschmann, had an overlapping itinerary; Rudy participated from May 29 to June 3, and Hirschmann participated from May 22 to June 2. The spouses of Rudy and Buckham also were present.

The travel receipts do not make clear how the expenses for the entire trip -- which involved at least 10 people and which two sources said exceeded $120,000 -- were paid. One source familiar with the billings said yesterday that the National Center reimbursed Abramoff for the charges incurred by DeLay and his staff that were billed to Abramoff's credit card; but the receipts themselves do not indicate whether some of the charges incurred by Abramoff were ultimately reimbursed and, if so, by whom.

The receipts make clear that flights for DeLay and his wife were initially billed to Abramoff. The plane ticket for the husband of one of DeLay's aides -- David Hirschmann -- was billed to the same American Express card used for the DeLay tickets, according to a copy of the invoice.

Although Amy Ridenour, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, has said she organized the trip, two other sources said that DeLay's round-trip business-class tickets on Continental Airlines and British Airways were booked by Preston Gates employees.

The itinerary and invoice for DeLay's trip, prepared by a travel service in Seattle, was sent by the service to Preston Gates on May 23, 2000, according to a copy of the invoice. That was two days before DeLay's departure. The invoice states that DeLay's business-class tickets on Continental Airlines and British Airways cost $6,938.70.

The records also indicate that the expenses associated with DeLay exceeded those that he declared in a signed statement to the House clerk on June 30, 2000. That form listed the purpose of the trip as "educational" and gave a tally of $28,106 in expenses for DeLay and his wife, or an average of $2,800 a day; it stated that all of these charges were paid by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which provided the data to DeLay.

Receipts from the golfing portion of the trip show that DeLay accumulated additional charges, which, according to fees set by the tour arranger, amounted to nearly $5,000 for each golfer and totaled in the tens of thousands of dollars for the entire group. Fees associated with playing golf are not listed on DeLay's travel disclosure form. Burchfield, DeLay's lawyer, said DeLay "personally paid for two rounds of golf and understands that the other two rounds of golf he played were included in his hotel package" and reimbursed by the National Center.

A copy of the $184 bill for the DeLays' expenses during the trip at a separate hotel in St. Andrews -- the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa -- states that those charges were paid by the same American Express credit card used on the trip by Buckham, the lobbyist, to pay for his own hotel room at the Glasgow Hilton. Buckham could not be reached by phone at home or his office and did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment. Burchfield said he cannot explain how this happened and did not know who owned this credit card; he also said DeLay was unaware of this fact.

Buckham, a former chief of staff to DeLay, was at the time a registered lobbyist for AT&T, Enron Corp., and the Nuclear Energy Institute. DeLay's wife was employed, at the time of the trip, by Buckham's lobbying firm, the Alexander Strategy Group, and was receiving a salary from it, according to DeLay's personal financial disclosure statement for that year, on file with the House clerk.

Abramoff, at the time of the trip, represented eLottery Inc. , a gambling services company that opposed the Internet gambling bill pending before the House. Preston Gates registered as a lobbyist for eLottery on June 2, 2000, one day before the trip ended; later in the year, Abramoff registered as a lobbyist for other clients who opposed the bill, including several Indian tribes. The federal probe is looking into his handling of his tribal clients and the large fees he was paid.

Hirschmann and her husband ultimately accumulated charges of 2,073 British pounds, or about $3,109 at the prevailing exchange rate for four nights in their "superior" room at the London Four Seasons Hotel. Those charges included $129 at the hotel lounge, $75 from the room bar, $34 from the gift shop, and $422 for chauffeured cars, according to a copy of their hotel bill. Hirschmann said one car was used to reach the meeting with Thatcher.

At least one of the Hirschmanns also played golf at St. Andrews. Susan Hirschmann is now a lobbyist at the Washington firm of Williams & Jensen; the firm's Web site contains a published claim that DeLay and other House Republican leaders are in frequent contact with her. As a staff member at the time of the trip, she would have been covered by the same ethics rules that apply to DeLay and other House members. Rudy, her staff colleague at the time, now works for Buckham's lobbying firm.

DeLay and his wife, for their part, stayed for four nights in a "conservatory" room at the same hotel in London as Hirschmann, accumulating charges of roughly $790 a night for rooms that included a glass-enclosed porch overlooking London's Park Lane, according to a copy of the bill for their stay and the Web site of the hotel.

They also ran up hotel charges of $145 for room service, $13 for a valet pressing and $302 for a private car from Heathrow airport, the bill states. Their room bill also lists a charge of $434 for six theater tickets, but Burchfield said the DeLays do not recall attending any plays in London. He said if the hotel charges were being "picked up" by a representative of the National Center, "they would not necessarily have seen the hotel bill."

DeLay, Burchfield said, "does not know how the logistics . . . [of the bill payments for the trip] were being effectuated."

House ethics rules contain detailed provisions barring the acceptance of any travel funds from private sources if doing so would "create the appearance of using public office for private gain." They also obligate lawmakers to "make inquiry on the source of the funds that will be used to pay" for any travel ostensibly financed by a nonprofit organization -- to rule out the acceptance of reimbursements that come from one organization when a trip is "in fact organized and conducted by someone else."

Trips outside the United States are also not supposed to exceed a week in length out of concern, the rules state, for "the public perception that such trips often may amount to paid vacations for the Member and his family at the expense of special interest groups." Research editor Lucy Shackelford and researchers Alice Crites and Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.

5 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

hopefully all involved will be going in front of activist judges to learn how to make license plates...

7:31 AM  
Blogger Kenny said...

We can only hope. It's certainly easy to see why these corrupt bastards want to attack the courts.

10:26 AM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

We have to keep the spot light shined on these cockroaches

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are missing much of this story. Ralph Reed allegedly helped existing casinos by pretending to oppose gambling in general through a fake religious front group, while taking $4 million in casino money to oppose new casinos by a third tribe, the Jenas.

Then, after creating the crisis facing the Native American casinos, Jack Abrahmoff and others trading on their connections with Tom DeLay took $66 million from those same tribes in order to "save them." The allegations are of a high-stakes, high-brow protection racket in which Jack Abrahmoff and Michael Scanlon hired Ralph Reed and Reed's network of contacts to create a crisis threatening to shut down the tribes' only source of income and then fleeced them out of $66 million to "save" them from the crisis that Ralph Reed, the Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family created. So the allegations are of a "one, two" pincer movement where Ralph Reed was hired to create the threat, and Abrahmoff and Scanlon (using their connections to DeLay) then volunteered to "save" the Native American tribes for $66 million.

And Ralph Reed created the threat using $4 million of casino money, that the tribes thought would only shut down the Jena tribe from competing with thier own casinos.

These casino events were in Louisiana and Alabama. One of the leading religious right figures in Louisiana is the CHRISTAN COALITION'S founding Board member, the Rev. BILLY McCORMACK -- called "the Jimmy Swaggart of Louisiana."


Ralph Reed's campaign IN LOUISIANA against the Jena tribe's new casinos would naturally have to involve "the Jimmy Swaggart of Louisiana," the CHRISTIAN COALITION's founding Board member Rev. Billy McCormack. These events were almost entirely in Louisiana, after all. The Rev. Billy McCormack has been a Board member of the Christian Coalition since it was founded over 14 years ago, inlcuding the entire time that RALPH REED was the head of the Christian Coalition. McCormack is the longest-running official of the Christian Coalition since Pat Robertson resigned. So, Ralph Reed personally knows "the Jimmy Swaggart of Louisian" and if opposing gambling IN Louisiana, who else would he call but his old Board member at the Christian Coalition?

Naturally, the CHRISTIAN COALITION would have automatically been used to carry out Ralph Reed's fake religious lobbying campaign against gambling, just like Focus on the Family, which campaign, it is charged, was actually done on behalf of existing Native American casinos

Ralph Reed also turned to his existing network of contacts, including Focus on the Family and the CHRISTIAN COALITION to implement this strategy. The new head of the Christian Coalition loves money and nothing else and would do almost anything for money.

Also, the CHRISTIAN COALITION'S lobbyist, Jim Backlin, is a member of Ed Buckham's church in Frederick, Maryland, and has been in the same church with Ed Buckham for around 20 years (previously they were both in a church together in D.C., now in Frederick, Maryland.) I don't believe Ed Buckham is "the" pastor of the Frederick church, but has been a deacon / elder for years and is now an ordained minister. He is a "lay" minister, meaning that he does not work at it full-time.

Ed Buckham hired Jim Backln at the Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives, which was a sort of official conservative think tank within the Congress itself. Jim Backlin has worked directly for Ed Buckham for about half of the last 20 years, and worked closely with him the rest of the time.

So, it is hard to believe that the Christian Coalition did not know about the "good cop / bad cop" pincer movement against the tribes, when CC's Vice President for lobbying has been a close professional and personal friend of Abrahmoff's network, including Ed Buckham, for 20 years.

In an unrelated matter, Billy McCormack reportedly vowed to LIE under oath on the witness stand if a former employee took legal action to get paid his salary. McCormack vowed to lie in the courtroom about the employee's right to get paid his salary, when the employee tried to work things out privately before suing.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rev. McCormack responded to my post, and I think everyone should have the benefit of my response:

Dear Rev. McCormack:

Curiously, you responded that you have not been in “correspondence” with Ralph Reed for many years. This sidesteps the issue. But it is also a very curious and slippery non-denial denial in its own right.

“Correspondence” means written letters. Because of your years and distinguished age, and very busy schedule, no one would expect you to sit down and write Ralph Reed a letter – as opposed to receiving a phone call from him. And this is not the type of thing one would write down in “correspondence.” Curiously, you did not deny speaking directly to Ralph Reed on the telephone or through intermediaries or in some other form of communication. You denied only “correspondence” with Ralph Reed.

The leaders of the Christian Coalition are such a slippery bunch, imagining themselves to be clever, that we can never trust what they say. It might be an accidental turn of phrase. But no one talks that way, saying they have not been “in correspondence” unless they are trying to be exceedingly careful in giving a partial but misleading and deceptive denial.

The Christian Coalition and other conservatives – instead of living up to their ideals – have learned many lessons from Bill Clinton and adopted Clintonian double-speak. Therefore, in any given example it could be an accident, but we have to watch the Christian Coalition like a hawk to be sure. The trick is to deny only one small part of the issue, or even a straw man that no one ever claimed, and hope that the gullible will be fooled into thinking there was a denial. A favorite trick is like this one from Billy McCormack: Deny something tangential and barely relevant, and then only in a very narrow, qualified way.

However, despite this very curious non-denial denial, all of that is not relevant.

This is a discussion about some very serious allegations that have been made. Our discussion here is that ALL of this should be complelely investigated in every detail, leaving nothing out, without political interference and without the bribery that those who know multi-millionaire Roberta Combs often seem to spontaneously mention without being asked.

The allegations here, which we want investigated, are that Jack Abramoff, Ed Buckham, Michael Scanlon and Ralph Reed – trading on their connections with Conressional powerhouse Tom Delay – SCARED Native American tribes in YOUR HOME STATE of Louisiana and Alabama, in order to fleece those tribes out of as much as $82 million. To do this, Ralph Reed admits that he received at least $4 million in gambling casino money to run a fake religious organization opposed to casino gambling IN YOUR HOME STATE, LOUISIANA, and Alabama. That much Ralph Reed admits. Alabama is where the Christian Coalition has its strongest and most active State chapter.

Of course, Ed Buckham has been a close associate of Jim Backlin, the Christian Coalition’s Vice President for lobbying, for more than 20 years. They are in the same church in Frederick, Maryland. When Tom DeLay said once that Ed Buckham was his “pastor,” Ed Buckham has his title in the same church that Jim Backlin attends. So we have amazing connections between Ed Buckham and Tom DeLay through the Christian Coalition’s Vice President for lobbying Jim Backlin. And then an additional, separate connection between Ralph Reed and the Christian Coalition. And a third connection between Michael Scanlon’s activities in Louisiana, and the Christian Coalition’s longest-running Board member, Rev. Billy McCormack. Sorry, but with that many connections, we’d like to wait for the investigation before we listen to oddly-worded non-denial denials. Billy can tell us what he likes, but we’ll wait for the official report.

The scam was that Jack Abramoff both created the scare and then offered to solve the problem by taking as much as $82 million to “save” these Native American casinos from the problem that he (through Ralph Reed) was manufacturing against the casinos. He used Ralph Reed to scare the casinos with the loss of their gambling revenue (about all the Native Americans have going for them). Then Abramoff and Scanlon promised to use Tom DeLay’s influence to save those casinos from getting shut down.

Ralph Reed admits that he enlisted Focus on the Family and James Dobson to put the heat on these casinos and threaten them with closure and the loss of their revenue. Are we really supposed to believe that Ralph Reed enlisted Focus on the Family, but did not work with the Christian Coalition IN YOUR HOME STATE, LOUISIANA, and Alabama - - the strongest State Chapter of the Christian Coalition? That is a lot to swallow. And against this, all we have is your email saying you were not “in correspondence” with Ralph Reed. Sorry, but I would like to wait for a full and honest investigation before making up my mind on that one.

So, the questions that deserve full investigation are: (1) Did the Christian Coalition actually oppose gambling at casinos, either generally or at Native American tribes, whether nationwide or in Louisiana and/or Alabama? (2) Did Rev. McCormack oppose gambling in Louisiana? (3) Why did the Christian Coalition shut down its website for 5 days? Was it to delete content shwoing its involvement in campaigning against the casinos? (4) Did Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, Ed Buckham, Rep. Ney, Tom DeLay or any of their group ask (in any format by telephone, meeting, whatever) the Christian Coalition to speak out against Native American casinos, particularly in Louisiana or Alabama, by contacting Pat Robertson, Roberta Combs, Jim Backlin, or Billy McCormack? We don’t care if Ralph Reed sat down and wrote you a letter. The issue is whether any of the above group attempted to turn the Christian Coalition loose attacking these Native American gambling interests in any form, through any channel, through any contacts?

9:44 PM  

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