The Moose marvels how the Grand Old Party doesn't let principles get in the way of having a Grand Old Time.
The Abramoff/Scanlon/DeLay/Reed/Ney Indian gambling scandal is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Yesterday's Washington Post reported on the latest episode which involves the Indian gambling money enabling Abramoff to wine and dine his trusty Republican allies in luxury boxes at various major sports venues in the nation's capital. It will come as no surprise to veteran Moooseketeers that even the upright, God-fearing, gambling hating GOPers are among those enjoying Abramoff's gaming largesse,
"For most politicians, fundraising is a dreaded chore. But until recently, Rep. John T. Doolittle of California and other members of the House Republican leadership had adopted a painless solution: fundraising events in luxury sports boxes leased largely with the money of Indian gaming tribes, where supporters snacked on catered fare in plush surroundings as they watched the Wizards, Caps, Redskins or Orioles.
"Doolittle, a Mormon, is an ardent opponent of casino gambling, so it is somewhat ironic that he would invite supporters to watch the Wizards play the Sacramento Kings from an MCI Center suite paid for by casino-rich Indian tribes. But the plaque at the door to Suite 204 did not say Chitimacha or Choctaw. It said "Jack Abramoff," a name synonymous with largesse and influence in the GOP-controlled Congress."
And there might be more than the Lord's law that was being violated here because evidently unreported in-kind campaign contributions were being made in these wages of sin skyboxes. That pesky devil is always at work attempting to undermine the righteous ones!
The Post further tells us that G-Men are busy working on this aspect of the scandal,
"Federal investigators are examining tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and public relations fees Abramoff obtained from the tribes. They are also looking into his dealings with members of Congress and their staffs, lawyers involved in the inquiry said. Senior prosecutors in the Justice Department's fraud and public integrity sections are poring over hundreds of thousands of e-mails, computer files and bank records subpoenaed from Abramoff and former associates, including records of campaign contributions and trips, meals and gifts such as the use of skyboxes that Abramoff lavished on members of Congress."
Of particular note to the Feds may be House Republican bigwig Congressman Ney,
"One member of the House leadership already under scrutiny for his ties to Abramoff, House Administration Committee Chairman Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), used the MCI Center box, and his chief of staff was later hired by Abramoff. A Senate panel investigating Abramoff released e-mails last month showing that Abramoff directed a Texas tribe to contribute $32,000 to Ney in 2002, days after Ney took steps to sponsor legislation sought by the tribe."
In this week of 2005 predictions, the Moose urges one and all to keep an eagle eye trained on this scandal because it may the beginning of the end of House Republican rule. The GOP has achieved in ten years what it took four decades for the Democrats to accomplish. One can only marvel at the extent to which the decadence of power has enveloped the House Republicans in such a brief period of time.
It could be their ethical Waterloo.