Monday, December 19, 2005

The Ransom of Red Chief

Embarrassment has been ruled out as a cause of J.D. Hayworth's unnaturally red face.

From today's New York Times:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group in Washington that monitors the influence of money in politics, Mr. Hayworth was the largest single Congressional recipient of donations from Mr. Abramoff and his family, his associates, his Indian tribe clients and a gambling cruise ship line that he owned, with more than $101,000 going to Mr. Hayworth and his political action committee since 1999. Mr. Hayworth was also a frequent guest in sports skyboxes controlled by Mr. Abramoff and his clients, and at Signatures, a Washington restaurant owned by the lobbyist.

Mr. Mitchell said Mr. Hayworth needed to return donations linked to Mr. Abramoff if he wanted to prove that he was not involved in "all the corruption that's been going on in Washington." In the meantime, Mr. Mitchell said, the party was looking for a strong candidate to challenge Mr. Hayworth in a race that, he said, would now focus in large part on the incumbent's ties to Mr. Abramoff.

Mr. Hayworth's chief of staff, Joe Eule, said in a statement that he did not take Mr. Mitchell's threats seriously and that the congressman had no intention of returning the money.

But we now know why Signatures was operating at a loss.

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