The Moose would like to know what did Rove know and when did he know it?
Old Karl Rove must be a little nostalgic this week with the Deep Throat revelation. After all, he cut his teeth on College Republican dirty tricks during the Watergate era. Maybe, he will get his own chance at a White House scandal.
The Moose asks if the White House had a role in the Abramoff/Scanlon/Delay/Reed/Norquist Indian gaming scandal? That is the question addressed in a must read piece by Lou Dubose in the Texas Observer appropriately titled, The Pimping of the President. Dubose writes,
"Four months after he took the oath of office in 2001, President George W. Bush was the attraction, and the White House the venue, for a fundraiser organized by the alleged perpetrator of the largest billing fraud in the history of corporate lobbying. In May 2001, Jack Abramoff's lobbying client book was worth $4.1 million in annual billing for the Greenberg Traurig law firm. He was a friend of Bush advisor Karl Rove. He was a Bush "Pioneer" delivering at least $100,000 in bundled contributions to the 2000 campaign. He had just concluded his work on the Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior. He had sent his personal assistant Susan Ralston to the White House to work as Rove's personal assistant. He was a close friend, advisor, and high-dollar fundraiser for the most powerful man in Congress, Tom DeLay. Abramoff was so closely tied to the Bush Administration that he could, and did, charge two of his clients $25,000 for a White House lunch date and a meeting with the President. "
The article also maintains that the the Commissar of the Right, Norquist, sold access to the Oval Office,
"Norquist has not responded to inquiries about using the White House as a fundraiser. It is, however, a regular ATR practice to invite state legislators and tribal leaders who have supported ATR anti-tax initiatives to the White House for a personal thank-you from the President. A source at ATR said no money is ever accepted from participants in these events. The $25,000 check from the Coushattas suggests that, at least in this instance, Norquist's organization made an exception. The $75,000 collected from the Mississippi Choctaws and two corporate sponsors mentioned in Abramoff's e-mail suggests there were other exceptions. Norquist recently wrote to the tribes who paid to attend White House meetings. His story regarding that event is also evolving. The contributions, he told tribal leaders in letters that went out in May, were in no way related to any White House event doesn't square with the paper trail Abramoff and Norquist left behind, which makes it evident that they were selling access to the President."
The Washington Post reports this morning that congressional Democrats were also the recipients of Abramoff-directed Indian Tribal funds. Although Republicans were the prime beneficiaries, expect the Delayicans to employ the "everyone does it" defense. However, the key point is not the passive receipt of funds, but rather collusion with the Abramoff/Norquist/Reed gang.
Casino Jack and Gaming Grover have long been close pals of Rove, the ultimate White House political gatekeeper. Is it credible that he was completely unaware of what they were up to?
Recently, DNC Chairman Dean called upon the Bushies to reveal all contacts with the Abramoff crowd, citing the precedent established during the Enron scandal.
Maybe we will get lucky and there's another Mark Felt around these days! --