Tuesday, November 29, 2005


GOP Trying To Muddy The Abramoff Waters

A GOP lobbyist, Jimmy Faircloth, is attempting to use the AP to smear Byron Dorgan and Harry Reid. As Kagro X says, read the AP story carefully. Note that Dorgan and Reid aren't among the folk that the JD's investigating. But the AP story tries to make it sound like they are. To contact the AP:

The Associated Press Headquarters 450 W. 33rd St. New York, NY 10001 Main Number +1-212-621-1500 When sending e-mail messages to The Associated Press, do not send attachments. As a result of the huge volume of e-mail received daily, we may be unable to provide a response. However, all comments are read and taken into consideration. For general questions and comments;or to contact a specific employee: info@ap.org For career opportunities: apjobs@ap.org
And yes, I've already notified Eschaton and Media Matters. :-) ------------------------------------------------------------------- UPDATE: Byron Dorgan's stepped forward to debunk the AP story:
An Associated Press story last week that tied Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., to tribal campaign contributions arranged by a scandal-plagued lobbyist is “disgusting and wrong,” and “a fabrication,” Dorgan said Monday. [...] Dorgan said the story’s suggestion that he signed a letter in February 2002 in support of the cost-share Indian school construction program as a favor to Abramoff and in exchange for political donations is “demonstrably false.” “In fact, I had always supported that program,” Dorgan said Monday, including pledging his support in August 2001. That proves his support is not connected to Abramoff, he said.
I'd tend to agree. But wait, there's more:
Dorgan said the story’s allegation that he sent one of his staff people to the Interior Department to support the program is not true. The staffer worked for the committee’s past ranking member, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., until 2003, when Byrd left the committee and Dorgan became ranking member. Dorgan said he then “inherited” the staff person. And, he said, the staff person did not go to Interior on behalf of the cost-share program, but to express reservations about it. Dorgan said he will not recuse himself from the investigation into Abramoff’s dealings with tribes.
There you go.

AP has been used?

And here I thought they always volunteered.

I think Dorgan should definitely not return the donation. If what Faircloth is saying is true, the Coushatta were knowingly attempting to bribe a Senator. A fitting end to the money would be to donate it to investigative journalism.

To help replace the AP, which has become so entirely worthless.
Ed Schultz was discussing this story today -- or rather, waxing indignant about it. He said Byron Dorgan's support for the program is completely consistent with Dorgan's voting record, so there's no way he supported it in return for the donation.

I'm inclined to think that Abramoff had the tribe send money to Dorgan to scam the tribe into believing that he'd influenced Dorgan's position, to justify the big bucks they were paying him.
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