The Moose wonders whether we are being a bit too tough on the Bug Man.
It is a common-place activity for lobbyists to golf with Members of Congress. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. It is a long standing Washington tradition. While the Moose is not enamored with golf, he appreciates that others are, including the House Majority Leader, Tiger Tom DeLay.
What is interesting is when the golfing junkets for an Upright Religious Man are paid for by the wages of sin. It appears that "Casino Jack" Abramoff may have been running a Global PGA Tournament for Members of Congress to promote his schemes. Abramoff, of course, is the key player in what the Moose has officially designated as "Goniff-Gate." And Tiger Tom was the chief beneficiary of the world-wide junket to the links.
In Salon, the intrepid reporter Lou Dubose offers a quick summary of the junkets,
"A $106,921 educational and golfing trip that DeLay, his wife and staff took to Korea on the tab of a registered foreign agent -- a violation of House rules. (The money was funneled through a Washington tax-exempt group and the trip arranged by longtime DeLay associate Jack Abramoff.)
"A $70,000 golfing trip DeLay took to England and Scotland, paid for by lobbyists and $50,000 solicited from two Indian tribes. (The Indian money was solicited by Abramoff and moved through a Washington think tank he worked with.)
"A $57,238 golfing trip to Moscow, underwritten by a Russian lobbying firm hired by a Russian oil and gas company trying to cultivate support in the U.S. Congress. (The money was funneled through the same Washington think tank connected to Abramoff, who traveled to Moscow with DeLay. The trip was arranged by the Rev. Ed Buckham, a lobbyist and former DeLay staffer and spiritual advisor, who also traveled with DeLay to Russia and Korea.)"
Come on, fellow members of the vast left wing conspiracy - everyone has to relax on occasion. When you are busy implementing the K Street Project, ramming through a redistricting plan in Texas with corporate funds, using government assets for political business, gutting ethics rules and threatening judges, you really need time to unwind. And what better way to do it than with fine upstanding citizens like Casino Jack!
And besides, when he leaves Congress, Tiger Tom may give Tiger Woods a run for his money in the PGA. On May 12th when they celebrate his leadership, the denizens of the right should give Tiger Tom a Green Jacket - for he is truly the Master of Sleaze. --