January 10, 2006
You knew DeLay would have a hand in this one, right?

Remember the Texas casino that then-AG John Cornyn shut down with a lawsuit? The one where Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed were playing both sides of the fence and getting a handsome payoff for it? What was the one name missing from all this up till now? You guessed it.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay tried to pressure the Bush administration into shutting down an Indian-owned casino that lobbyist Jack Abramoff wanted closed — shortly after a tribal client of Abramoff's donated to a DeLay political action committee, The Associated Press has learned.

The Texas Republican demanded closure of the casino, owned by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas, in a Dec. 11, 2001 letter to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. The Associated Press obtained the letter from a source who did not want to be identified because of an ongoing federal investigation of Abramoff and members of Congress.

"We feel that the Department of Justice needs to step in and investigate the inappropriate and illegal actions by the tribe, its financial backers, if any, and the casino equipment vendors," said the letter, which was also signed by Texas Republican Reps. Pete Sessions, John Culberson and Kevin Brady.

Sessions' political action committee received $6,500 from Abramoff's tribal clients within three months after signing the letter. A spokeswoman for Sessions said he considers gaming a state issue. She said the tribe was circumventing state law and Sessions signed the letter in defense of Texas laws.

Ashcroft never took action on the request. The Texas casino was closed the following year by a federal court ruling in a 1999 lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general, John Cornyn, now a U.S. senator.

Such a busy schedule you had, Tom, yet always available to help a friend in need. What a guy.

If that article isn't long enough for you, read this analysis of this whole thing, including the harsh words that Sen. Cornyn has for his former colleague Ralph Reed. Whoever runs against Cornyn in 2008 will not lack for campaign material, that's for sure. Link via The Agonist.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 10, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

This cannot be good for John Culberson, Pete Sessions, or Kevin Brady either. Of course, Brady is the guy who had the DUI back in October in South Dakota.

Hopefully the Democrats can pick up on this.

Posted by: Michael Hurta on January 10, 2006 11:05 PM

This is some incredibly sleazy stuff, even by Republican standards. DeLay's letter is clear evidence of a bribe. Reed (good Christian choir boy that he is) takes money, via Abramoff, from one Indian tribe to harm another, Cornyn denies being involved in any of it, although the AG's decision that Reed had sought (and proudly said he orchestrated) did actually occur. Either Reed or Cornyn is lying...and it won't be long before Abramoff helps us figure out which one (or more likely, both). 2008 is going to be sweet!

Posted by: Dennis on January 11, 2006 4:57 AM