Monday, November 07, 2011

Abramoff Is Out of Jail - and Talking

[Jack] Abramoff, who readily admits to his former corrupt activities, told Stahl, “I was actually thinking of writing a book — The Idiot’s Guide to Buying a Congressman — as a way to put this all down. First, I think most congressmen don’t feel they’re being bought. Most congressmen, I think, can in their own mind justify the system — rationalize it — and, by the way, we wanted as lobbyists for them to feel that way.”

“I spent over a million dollars a year on tickets to sporting events and concerts and what not at all the venues,” Abramoff boasted. He insisted, however, that the very best way to buy the favors of a Congressional office is to offer the chief of staff a job.


”Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ‘em, that was it. We owned them.”

He told Stahl that he exercised that kind of influence in a hundred different Congressional offices and that many members of Congress could have been charged with crimes for the favors they did him.

  Raw Story

Oh, I’m pretty sure they felt secure against being charged for their crimes. Charges are for the undeserving underclass and a rare, token “bad apple” like Abramoff.

”The corruption — the bribery call it, because ultimately that’s what it is — that’s what the whole system is. … The truth is there were very few members who I could even name or could think of who didn’t at some level participate in that.”

Abramoff doesn’t put much faith in the reforms that have been enacted since his own downfall. He pointed out, “You can’t take a congressman to lunch for $25 and buy him a hamburger or a steak of something like that. But you can take him to a fundraising lunch and not only buy him that steak but give him $25,000 extra and call it a fundraiser. … The system hasn’t been cleaned up at all.”

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. --Mark Twain

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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