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The Tally Ho

Thursday, April 06, 2006

How Much Fun is This?

Beynd Delay is a great website that everyone should check out. This elected representative/high powered lobbyist gig sounds like a really fun career! I had no ideal. This is from the site's profile of Rep. Bob Ney:
In late 2001 through early 2002, now infamous Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked with his friend and business partner Michael Scanlon, as well as with Christian activist Ralph Reed, to close the Speaking Rock Casino run by the Tigua Tribe of El Paso, Texas. Once the casino was shuttered, Mr. Abramoff convinced the Tigua to hire him and Mr. Scanlon to lobby Congress to re-open the casino, without ever telling the tribe of the mens' role in closing the casino.

On March 20, 2002, Mr. Abramoff sent Mr. Scanlon, a former staffer for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, an e-mail stating that Rep. Ney had agreed to assist the pair by pushing legislation that would re-open the casino. A mere six days after Rep. Ney agreed to push the issue, Mr. Abramoff sent the Tigua's political consultant, Marc Schwartz, an e-mail asking that Mr. Schwartz Fed-Ex $32,000 worth of checks to Rep. Ney.

In early June 2002, Rep. Ney asked Mr. Abramoff to arrange a golf trip for him and some of his staff. Mr. Abramoff complied, sending an e-mail to Mr. Schwartz explaining that Rep. Ney had asked the Tigua to help pay for a luxury golf trip to Scotland on a private plane to play at the legendary St. Andrews course. The e-mail states "our friend" "asked if we could help (as in cover) a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff . . . I anticipate that the total cost . . . to be around $100K or more."

On July 25, 2002, Rep. Ney met with Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and was surprised to learn that Sen. Dodd was unwilling to attach the Tigua's legislation to pending election reform legislation, the vehicle Rep. Ney was hoping to use to re-open the casino. Although he shared the news with Mr. Abramoff, no one, including Rep. Ney, delivered this piece of bad news to the Tigua.

That August, concerned about the inaction on the legislation, Mr. Schwartz requested a meeting between tribal representatives and Rep. Ney. Mr. Abramoff cautioned Mr. Schwartz not to discuss Rep. Ney's golf trip to Scotland stating, "BN had a great time and is very grateful, but is not going to mention the trip to Scotland for obvious reasons. He said he'll show his thanks in other ways which is what we want . . . "

Later that month, when Rep. Ney met with Tigua tribal leaders, not only did Rep. Ney fail to mention his conversation with Sen. Dodd, he assured the tribe that he would fix the Tigua's problem through a conference committee report.

It was not until October that the Tigua learned that Rep. Ney would not solve their problem. Rather than telling the Tigua the real story -- that Sen. Dodd had never agreed to legislation -- Rep. Ney lied and told the tribe that Sen. Dodd had gone back on his word. In a written statement submitted to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which eventually held a hearing on this situation, Sen. Dodd stated that he never told Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Scanlon, or Rep. Ney "that [he] would in any manner work legislatively to recognize the Tigua Tribe."

Wow, I'm in the wrong field! Why should we pay to go to Scotland while other people just use extortion to get Indian tribes to do it for them! How do I cash in on this exciting field? Kids, don't just assume that the only way to make your fortune in today's competitive economy is securities fraud, suing a major corporation, manipulating real estate prices, or, um, hard work or something. Too many talentless young people today do not consider a career in public service, mostly because they don't realize how profitable it can be. This fantastic website shares the personal stories of 12 other members of Congress who have leveraged their political office for fun and profit!

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