29 December 2005

The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff

You gotta love this stuff:
The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff
How a Well-Connected Lobbyist Became the Center of a Far-Reaching Corruption Scandal
By Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, December 29, 2005; A01

"Abramoff wallowed in his access, real and imagined. When his crack administrative assistant Susan Ralston bolted for a position with White House political adviser Karl Rove, Abramoff told colleagues he had gotten her the job even though it was Ralston's old boss, Reed, who made it happen, her former colleagues said.

Even glowing profiles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal noting Abramoff's extensive influence and impressive income were not enough. Abramoff quietly paid op-ed columnists thousands of dollars to write favorably about his clients, including one writer for Copley News Service who disclosed this month that he had been paid for as many as two dozen columns since the mid-1990s

...There was even more buzz on Capitol Hill about Scanlon, the gregarious former DeLay press aide who had become a multimillionaire almost overnight. His old friends were astonished that Scanlon, then in his early thirties, was traveling to the beach by helicopter and living in a waterfront Rehoboth mansion that he bought for nearly $5 million in cash. A Louisiana paper, the Town Talk of Alexandria, reported in September 2003 that the Coushatta tribe paid Scanlon's public relations firm $13.7 million, a figure that amazed tribal lobbyists as well as some of Abramoff's colleagues. It was around that time that one colleague, Kevin Ring, learned from one of Abramoff's assistants that his boss was secretly getting money from Scanlon, according to a source privy to the conversation....

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