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Weekly Standard on Abramoff

Tom sent me an email with a link to Andrew Ferguson’s article on Jack Abramoff in the Weekly Standard. I’d seen the link before, but the getting around to reading and blogging about it part got lost in the holiday shuffle. I can’t beat Mark Schmitt’s take on the piece, but there are a couple of things to add.

First, as noted by The Stakeholder, there are some local angles to the Abramoff/Mike Scanlon/Ralph Reed story that could stand a bit of investigation. Despite the strong ties these three scoundrels have to Tom DeLay – Scanlon is DeLay’s former press secretary – the Houston Chronicle hasn’t touched this at all. Do an archive search on ‘Jack Abramoff’ + ‘TomDeLay’, and you’ll get four hits, all of which were articles picked up from the Washington Post. There may be nothing there, of course, but I rather doubt it.

Second, I got a good laugh out of this bit from the Ferguson piece:

After College Republicans, Abramoff brought the same theatricality to his other activist jobs. “His greatest strength was his audacity,” says the writer and political consultant Jeff Bell, who worked with Abramoff and Norquist at a Reaganite group called Citizens for America in the mid-1980s. “He and Grover [Norquist] were just wildmen. They always were willing to throw the long ball. Jack’s specialty was the spectacular–huge, larger-than-life, almost Hollywood-like events.” As the group’s chairman, Abramoff staged his greatest spectacular in 1985, a “summit meeting” of freedom-fighters from around the world, held in a remote corner of the African bush. Among the summiteers was Adolfo Calero, a leader of the Nicaraguan contras, and playing host was a favorite of the 1980s conservative movement, the Angolan rebel Jonas Savimbi, who fought bravely against the Cuban occupiers of his country but turned out, alas, to be a Maoist cannibal.

They must have had Alberto Gonzales do the background check on Savimbi. Coulda happened to anyone, you know.

Anyway, the Ferguson piece is a good read, so check it out. I’ve noted before that Lou Dubose and Jan Reid, the authors of The Hammer, think that the Abramoff/Scanlon Indian gaming scandal will be the thing that finally brings Tom DeLay down. I think it’s way too early to think that, or even to think that he will be brought down by anyone other than maybe the voters some day, but keep it in mind.

UPDATE: The Stakeholder adds on.

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One Comment

  1. Anarchist Abramoff

    Via Charles Kuffner, we get this piece on Abramoff by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard. Kuffner chooses another interesting excerpt, but this was the most bizarre to me. Discussing Abramoff, Norquist, and Reed during their College Republican days…