The Jake Files

February 10, 2006

Are You Kidding Me?

Filed under: Democratic Party,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 6:56 am

Senator Harry Reid has insisted that the Jack Abramoff affair is a Republican scandal, and has angrily disputed suggestions that he was in any way involved.

Then comes this story in the Washington Post:

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and Reid’s staff had frequent contact with the disgraced lobbyist’s team about legislation.

The activities — detailed in previously unreported billing records and correspondence — occurred over three years as Reid (D-Nev.) collected nearly $68,000 in political donations from Abramoff’s firm, lobbying partners and clients.

Reid’s office yesterday acknowledged having “routine contacts” with Abramoff’s lobbying partners. Reid intervened on government matters in ways that Abramoff’s tribal clients might have deemed helpful, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Abramoff’s firm also hired one of Reid’s top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff’s firm that raised money from several of Abramoff’s lobbying partners.

A Reid spokesman said none of the senator’s actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff. “All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long-held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents,” spokesman Jim Manley said.

Who does Reid think he’s kidding?  His office has made statements saying that the actions he took reflected his long-standing positions on issues.  That may be true, or it may not – I’m not an expert on Senator Reid’s views.  But in any case, the prevailing view of the Democratic left is that any hint of controversy, any possibility of an iota of a possibility of scandal, is enought to hang the whole mess on a Republican.  So, where is Senator Reid’s outrage about the unfair treatment of Republicans who may have had contact with Abramoff’s clients.  I expect we’ll hear nothing but crickets chirping from the Senator’s office.

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