Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More Republican Sleaze

Tom DeLay's pal and favorite racist lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, is again the subject of Senate Indian Affairs Committee investigation into Republican corruption and criminality.

At the hearing, the panel is expected to release copies of emails between Mr. Abramoff and his clients and administration officials. According to people who have read them, the emails document that the lobbyist sought to have his American Indian clients make donations to Ms. Norton's former organization in an attempt to influence the Interior Department. The emails are said to show how the current head of the organization -- the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy -- relayed information about decision-making on the proposed casino between Mr. Abramoff and senior Interior Department officials. The council is a business-backed Republican group that works on conservative solutions to environmental issues. The council once launched a pricey campaign to defeat legislation offered by Mr. McCain to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses.


To help persuade the Interior Department, Mr. Abramoff asked the Coushatta tribe to make donations to the council, which Ms. Norton, a conservative activist and former attorney general of Colorado, helped organize in 1997. The Coushatta tribe gave the group a total of $150,000, according to Jimmy R. Faircloth Jr., a lawyer for the tribe.

After initially siding with Mr. Abramoff's client in 2002, the Interior Department reversed course in December 2003 to endorse the new casino. Last year, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco blocked the rival casino because she is opposed to expanding gambling in Louisiana.

Jack Abramoff's e-mails: The gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, the FBI has a new top four for its Most Wanted List.

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