Tuesday, January 03, 2006
pleading guilty to providing "lavish trips, golf outings, meals and more to public officials "in exchange for a series of official acts".
So, to paraphrase the Passover question, what has this guy done that hasn't been done by a hundred other lobbyists?
I'm not asking that question to complain that Abramoff has been singled out. Nor am I suggesting that Abramoff get off relatively easy because he was only doing what many others have done before him.
I'm asking because I want to know WHY AREN'T MORE LOBBYISTS UNDER INDICTMENT?
Look at the two parts of what Abramoff is pleading guilty to: (1) providing lavish trips, golf outing, meals and more, and (2) "in exchange for a series of official acts".
Well, there's no way that Abramoff was the only lobbyist in town providing trips, golf outings and meals to Members of Congress and their staffs.
And I am sure that anyone with access to Congressional voting records and some skill at database analysis would be able to establish a direct and irrefutable correlation between a lobbyist providing freebies to those in Congress and how that Member voted on issues important to the lobbyist... for the simple reason that lobbyists aren't in the business of providing freebies to those who have a record of voting against the lobbyist's clients.
So why hasn't Gonzales formed a Justice Department task force and started subpoenaing records of, say, the top 100 or so lobbyists in Washington? I know it's not quite as important as torturing terrorist suspects, but there ought to be a few FBI agents and Justice Department attorneys who aren't engaged full-time in fighting the good war on terror, aren't there?