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GOP asks for probe of Baucus donation
By JENNIFER McKEE
Gazette State Bureau

HELENA - The Montana Republican Party asked federal elections officials Wednesday to investigate a $1,900 in-kind donation that Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus received from an associate of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Democrats fired back, charging that the GOP complaint was an attempt to deflect attention from Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, who is under scrutiny for actions benefiting Abramoff clients while receiving $150,000 in contributions.

Chuck Denowh, executive director of the Montana Republican Party, sent a letter Wednesday to the Federal Election Commission asking the group to investigate a Baucus fundraiser in March 2001 at a skybox in the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. The fundraiser, disclosed this week, was hosted by Abramoff associate Ronald Platt, then a lobbyist at Greenberg Traurig, where Abramoff also worked.


Platt spent $1,892 hosting the fundraiser, which should have been reported as an in-kind donation, the Republican letter said. In addition, Platt spent almost $900 more than the $1,000 donation limit in place at the time.

"We'd like to know why Baucus didn't report this in the first place," Denowh said. "There's probably a reason he didn't report it."

Baucus already has donated the $1,892, along with about $17,000 he received from Abramoff's associates, to Montana tribal colleges. Baucus will make a note of the donation in his December campaign finance report, said Baucus spokesman Barrett Kaiser.

Kaiser said the mistake was a clerical error and released a note from Platt dated Dec. 15 in which the lobbyist said he thought his co-workers were taking care of the required documentation with the fundraiser.

"I am sorry for any confusion this has caused," Platt's letter says.

Kaiser said the donation did exceed the $1,000 cap in place at the time. Baucus will return $892.62 to Platt, he said. Baucus' office did not know about the excessive donation until receiving Platt's note, he said.

Burns is one of four lawmakers who The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have reported are involved in a Justice Department probe into whether Abramoff directed and gave donations to lawmakers in exchange for political favors.

Burns received more money than any other lawmaker from Abramoff, his associates and clients - an estimated $150,000 between 1999 and 2004, a Washington Post tally shows.

Burns said last week he was returning the money, challenging other lawmakers and political parties to do the same. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., later returned $19,900 in Abramoff-related donations, Baucus donated just shy of $18,900 to Montana's tribal colleges, and the Montana Democratic Party donated $5,000 that it received to American Indian charities in Montana.

The Montana Republican Party received no Abramoff-related donations.

Along with other lawmakers, Burns has come under scrutiny for supporting positions favored by Abramoff clients around the time he received donations from the lobbyist, his co-workers and clients.

"This (GOP complaint) is about the most outlandish thing we've ever heard," said Kaiser, adding that Baucus has not been linked to the Abramoff investigation.

Denowh said the GOP complaint was valid: Baucus didn't disclose a donation that violated federal limits.

Matt McKenna, a spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party, called the letter "hypocritical" and a "bogus" attempt to distract from Burns and his connections to Abramoff.
 

Liberty Belle

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OT - looks like most of the politicians in DC are dirty, including our senior senator from SD, Tim Johnson. Read this:

Democrats Don't Know Jack???

“It’s very odd that Democrats at the national and state levels have sought to exploit the Abramoff matter for political gain, while in the process throwing countless congressional Democrats under the bus,’ said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

An NRSC Report Shows That Nearly 90 Percent Of Senate “Democrats Have Taken Abramoff-Related Money.” “The NRSC has begun circulating among fellow Republicans new reports showing that all but five of the chamber’s 44 Democrats have taken Abramoff-related money. In addition, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have taken more than $1.2 million, according to records provided to The Washington Times.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“The NRSC Report Is Part Of A New Counteroffensive By Republicans To Neutralize An Issue That Democrats See As Central To Electoral Gains In 2006.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“If The Democrats Are Alleging That Republicans Are Guilty Of Any Wrongdoing, They’re Sitting In The Same Boat.” “Democrats have run two television advertisements in Montana, castigating Burns for his activities on behalf of Abramoff, but as the lobbyist’s taint spreads, its political impact may dissipate, said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. ‘If the Democrats are alleging that Republicans are guilty of any wrongdoing, they’re sitting in the same boat,’ he said. ‘It just becomes a nonstarter.’” (Jonathan Weisman and Derek Willis “Democrat On Panel Probing Abramoff To Return Tribal Donations,” The Washington Post, December 14, 2005)

Tribal Clients And Associates Of Jack Abramoff Have Contributed Over $3.1 Million To Democrat Party Interests Between 1997 And 2004. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 2005)

National Democrat Party Affiliated Committees Received Over $1.2 Million From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Received Over – $430,000

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Received Over – $629,000

The Democrat National Committee (DNC) Received Over – $177,000

Incumbent Senate Democrat-Affiliated Campaign And Leadership Committees Received Over $729,000 From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff*. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

40 Of The 45 Members Of The Senate Democrat Caucus:
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Received At Least – $22,500
Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Received At Least – $6,500
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) Received At Least – $1,250
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Received At Least – $20,250
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Received At Least – $21,765
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Received At Least – $12,950
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Received At Least – $8,000
Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Received At Least – $14,792
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Received At Least – $79,300
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Received At Least – $14,000
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Received At Least – $1,250
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Received At Least – $45,750
Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Received At Least – $9,000
Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Received At Least – $14,250
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) Received At Least – $3,300
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least – $98,550
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Received At Least – $28,000
Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Received At Least – $4,000
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,000
Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Received At Least – $29,830
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Received At Least – $14,891
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Received At Least – $78,991
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Received At Least – $20,168
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) Received At Least – $5,200
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Received At Least – $2,300
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) Received At Least – $3,500
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Received At Least – $68,941
Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) Received At Least – $4,000
Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) Received At Least – $4,500
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Received At Least – $29,550
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,250
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Received At Least – $6,250
 

Liberty Belle

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And how about Dirty Harry Reid and some of his cronies?

Haven't Heard About Abramoff In A While?

If the name Jack Abramoff hasn't come up in quite a while, it shouldn't surprise anyone. After having had a turn as the favorite Democratic bogeyman on Republican corruption, the issue inexplicably slid off the radar as the Democrats instead talked more generically about the "culture of corruption." Now we know why -- it turns out that Abramoff took much more of an equal-opportunity approach to spreading the wealth on Capitol Hill than Democrats initially let on:
Nearly three dozen members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, pressed the government to block a Louisiana Indian tribe from opening a casino while the lawmakers collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Many intervened with letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton within days of receiving money from tribes represented by Abramoff or using the lobbyist's restaurant for fundraising, an Associated Press review of campaign records, IRS records and congressional correspondence found.
Want to hear some familiar names? These lawmakers may have some 'splainin' to do:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, held a fundraiser at Abramoff's Signatures restaurant in Washington on June 3, 2003, that collected at least $21,500 for his Keep Our Majority political action committee from the lobbyist's firm and tribal clients.
Seven days later, Hastert wrote Norton urging her to reject the Jena tribe of Choctaw Indians' request for a new casino. ...

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002 ... The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second Abramoff tribe sent another $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. ...

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., the former Senate GOP leader, wrote Norton on March 1, 2002, to "seriously urge" she reject the Jena casino. Lott received $10,000 in donations from Abramoff tribes just before the letter and $55,000 soon after. Lott's office said he sent the letter because his state's Choctaw tribe and a casino company were concerned about losing business.

Then-Sen. John Breaux (news, bio, voting record), D-La., wrote Norton on March 1, 2002. Five days later the Coushattas sent $1,000 to his campaign and $10,000 to his library fund, tribal records show.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., wrote Norton on June 14, 2001, one of the first such letters. Cochran's political committee got $6,000 from Abramoff tribes in the weeks before the letter, and another $71,000 in the three years after.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who was engaged in a tight re-election race in 2002, sent her letter March 6, 2002. That same day, the Coushattas sent $2,000 to her campaign and she received $5,000 more by the end of that month. By year's end, the total had grown to at least $24,000.

The money involved totals to over $800,000, far more than the cash output involved in the Keating 5 savings-and-loan scandal in the 80s. Unlike the Keating scandal, where John McCain was the only Republican involved in the cash-for-influence scandal, Abramoff made sure that he worked both parties in depth to maximize his ability to influence the bureaucracy at Interior.

The next time a Democrat talks about the culture of corruption, ask him or her when Harry Reid will step down from his leadership role in the Senate. The culture unfortunately pervades DC politics without regard to the R or D after the name; it relies on human nature and greed, one of our least partisan and most unfortunate impulses. Talking about it as a partisan issue may well be the rankest and most foolish demagoguery found in our political debate.


I heard this interview Reid did with Chris Wallace on Fox News. What a weasel!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179088,00.html
 

theHiredMansWife

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Liberty Belle said:
OT - looks like most of the politicians in DC are dirty, including our senior senator from SD, Tim Johnson.

Not to mention John Thune. Shoot, the Republican party made sure to send *us* campaign stuff. We'd been in Nebraska for a year, but it had our NE address on the label. lol
People already knew Daschle was a used car salesman gone Senator, so I can't figure out why Thune's crowd needed to warp facts to try to make Daschle look bad. He did a fine job on his own.

It just made me disgusted at Thunes camp.

Yuck. Good thing I wasn't voting in SD that year. What a decision. lol
 

Liberty Belle

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HMW, I've never seen anything about Thune taking money from Abromoff, have you?

And "Thune's crowd" didn't need to "warp the facts" to make Daschle look bad, all they had to do was let folks in South Dakota know what he was saying and doing in Washington. They didn't have to even stretch the truth.

Daschle was a used car salesman gone Senator
Good analogy!!
 
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Anonymous

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Liberty Belle said:
OT - looks like most of the politicians in DC are dirty, including our senior senator from SD, Tim Johnson. Read this:

Democrats Don't Know Jack???

“It’s very odd that Democrats at the national and state levels have sought to exploit the Abramoff matter for political gain, while in the process throwing countless congressional Democrats under the bus,’ said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

An NRSC Report Shows That Nearly 90 Percent Of Senate “Democrats Have Taken Abramoff-Related Money.” “The NRSC has begun circulating among fellow Republicans new reports showing that all but five of the chamber’s 44 Democrats have taken Abramoff-related money. In addition, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have taken more than $1.2 million, according to records provided to The Washington Times.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“The NRSC Report Is Part Of A New Counteroffensive By Republicans To Neutralize An Issue That Democrats See As Central To Electoral Gains In 2006.” (Charles Hurt, “Dorgan Returns Abramoff Money,” The Washington Times, December 14, 2005)

“If The Democrats Are Alleging That Republicans Are Guilty Of Any Wrongdoing, They’re Sitting In The Same Boat.” “Democrats have run two television advertisements in Montana, castigating Burns for his activities on behalf of Abramoff, but as the lobbyist’s taint spreads, its political impact may dissipate, said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. ‘If the Democrats are alleging that Republicans are guilty of any wrongdoing, they’re sitting in the same boat,’ he said. ‘It just becomes a nonstarter.’” (Jonathan Weisman and Derek Willis “Democrat On Panel Probing Abramoff To Return Tribal Donations,” The Washington Post, December 14, 2005)

Tribal Clients And Associates Of Jack Abramoff Have Contributed Over $3.1 Million To Democrat Party Interests Between 1997 And 2004. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 2005)

National Democrat Party Affiliated Committees Received Over $1.2 Million From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Received Over – $430,000

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Received Over – $629,000

The Democrat National Committee (DNC) Received Over – $177,000

Incumbent Senate Democrat-Affiliated Campaign And Leadership Committees Received Over $729,000 From Indian Tribe Clients And Lobbying Associates Of Jack Abramoff*. (Campaign Finance Analysis Project Website, www.campaignfinanceanalysisproject.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Political Money Line Website, www.tray.com, Accessed December 7, 2005; Internal Revenue Service Website, www.irs.gov, Accessed April 21, 2005)

40 Of The 45 Members Of The Senate Democrat Caucus:
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) Received At Least – $22,500
Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) Received At Least – $6,500
Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) Received At Least – $1,250
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Received At Least – $20,250
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Received At Least – $21,765
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Received At Least – $12,950
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) Received At Least – $8,000
Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Received At Least – $14,792
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Received At Least – $79,300
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Received At Least – $14,000
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) Received At Least – $1,250
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Received At Least – $45,750
Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Received At Least – $9,000
Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) Received At Least – $2,000
Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) Received At Least – $14,250
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) Received At Least – $3,300
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least – $98,550
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Received At Least – $28,000
Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) Received At Least – $4,000
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,000
Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Received At Least – $29,830
Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Received At Least – $14,891
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Received At Least – $10,550
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Received At Least – $78,991
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) Received At Least – $20,168
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) Received At Least – $5,200
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Received At Least – $7,500
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) Received At Least – $2,300
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) Received At Least – $3,500
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) Received At Least – $68,941
Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) Received At Least – $4,000
Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) Received At Least – $4,500
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Received At Least – $4,300
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Received At Least – $29,550
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Received At Least – $6,250
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) Received At Least – $6,250

Really looks like we need a good house cleaning....But in the corrupt world of D.C. the new guys would be doing the same....With all the corporate and lobby money flying around seems like it only takes a short time for them all to learn to become a crook :cry: :mad:
 

Steve

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Really looks like we need a good house cleaning....But in the corrupt world of D.C. the new guys would be doing the same....With all the corporate and lobby money flying around seems like it only takes a short time for them all to learn to become a crook

Term limits would help....

but the courts defeated this idea......maybe the courts should have term limits also?

Living by the laws one creates is great incentive to create Just and fair Laws....

Merry Christmas............
 

Disagreeable

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I guess you folks haven't heard that Jack Abramoff is cutting a deal? He's going to roll over on a lot of politicians. Some of them have already said they won't run for reelection. There's nothing wrong with taking his money; it's what you do in exchange for that money that's the problem. We'll see how it works out.
 
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Disagreeable said:
I guess you folks haven't heard that Jack Abramoff is cutting a deal? He's going to roll over on a lot of politicians. Some of them have already said they won't run for reelection. There's nothing wrong with taking his money; it's what you do in exchange for that money that's the problem. We'll see how it works out.

I hope they indict and convict everyone of them on the list...Wouldn't that be a joyous day :D - Barbara Boxer, Hilary Clinton, Ted Kennedy...I'd gladly give up a couple dozen crooked Republicans to get those 3 thrown in...
 

Steve

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Disagreeable wrote:
I guess you folks haven't heard that Jack Abramoff is cutting a deal? He's going to roll over on a lot of politicians. Some of them have already said they won't run for reelection. There's nothing wrong with taking his money; it's what you do in exchange for that money that's the problem. We'll see how it works out.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Received At Least – $98,550

I wonder what Kerry Promised to do for the $98.000?
 

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