Monday, May 23, 2005
Speaking of Grover Norquist....
...he's one of the persons tangled up with Tom DeLay in the Abramoff Indian-Gaming Scandals:
While Mr. Abramoff has been under scrutiny for more than a year, Mr. Norquist has attracted unwelcome attention in recent weeks. A Congressional committee investigating whether Mr. Abramoff defrauded Indian tribes has subpoenaed records from Mr. Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, after he refused for six months to turn them over voluntarily. The Justice Department is reviewing records of an advocacy group Mr. Norquist started with Gale A. Norton, now secretary of the interior, after reports that Mr. Abramoff instructed Indian tribes to give it $250,000. And Mr. Norquist's name appears over and over in newly disclosed documents outlining Mr. Abramoff's work in the Northern Mariana Islands, an American protectorate in the Pacific, which Democrats are agitating to investigate.But of course, in keeping with the fine neo-Stalinist neo-Confederate tradition of blaming everyone but himself for his problems, Norquist says he's the poor widdle victim of evil beings like -- get this -- John McCain:
In interviews, Mr. Norquist dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing on his part and said that the only reason he is "getting dragged into this" is because Senator John McCain, the head of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which is investigating Mr. Abramoff, holds a grudge against Mr. Norquist for campaigning for President Bush in the 2000 Republican primaries.Grover's trying the old NeoCon Two-Step blaming his problems on his enemies while at the same time trying to put some daylight between himself and his most famous and helpful friends:
With Mr. DeLay's eager backing and Mr. Abramoff's help, Mr. Norquist engineered a shift in the city's lobbying corps by making it clear to K Street firms and trade associations that if they wanted access on Capitol Hill, they had to hire and donate to more Republicans. [PW butts in: Make that ONLY Republicans.] As Mr. Abramoff's problems touched Mr. DeLay - the majority leader may face an ethics inquiry over trips arranged by Mr. Abramoff - Mr. Norquist was their most vocal defender. But in recent weeks he has distanced himself from the two men whose success has been so intertwined with his own. At a gala dinner this month to support Mr. DeLay, Mr. Norquist declined a seat on the dais, despite being listed as a host. He slipped out after a predinner reception, he said later, for a dinner party at his home. Mr. Abramoff attended his wedding on April 2, yet Mr. Norquist described him as simply a "friend," someone he has lunch or dinner with a few times a year. "I knew him when we were in college," he said. "But there's no business or financial relationship." Mr. Norquist later elaborated: "I haven't seen that much of him recently, and I don't - and it's mostly because - I'm not shunning him or anything. It's just, I'm busy, he's busy, he's in a different world. He took the path I didn't take, which was to go make money as a consultant, and I decided to build A.T.R." But Mr. Abramoff's lobbying billing records for one client, recently released under a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Mr. Abramoff billed for consulting with Mr. Norquist.Pass the popcorn!
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