Will Money Bail Out the Republicans
- Jack A. Abramoff, lobbyist with deep Republican ties pled guilty on January 3, 2006, to three criminal felony counts in a Washington, D.C., federal court related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. The following day, on January 4th, he pled guilty to two criminal felony counts in a Miami federal court related to fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos
- Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX) left the House because of partisan politics, probably false accusations but he could have been much more careful. Delay's ties to Jack Abramoff didn't help.
- Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) admitted guilt in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation on charges of conspiracy and making false statements.
- Rep. Randy Duke Cunningham (R-Ca) was sentenced to prison for accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004. He pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion.
- Rep. Doolittle accepted campaign money from Abramoff, interceded on behalf of his clients and used the lobbyist's luxury sports box for a fundraiser without initially reporting it. In addition, Doolittle's wife and one of his former aides worked for the lobbyist.
- Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition executive director, lost the Republican primary for Georgia's lieutenant governor after being tarred by his ties with Abramoff.
- Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) accepted and returned $150,000 and pressured the Interior Department to award a $3 million grant to a wealthy Indian tribe that was an Abramoff client.
- Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform with deep Republican ties, allegedly served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns. A second group Norquist was involved with, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, received about $500,000 in Abramoff client funds.
- Michael Scanlon is a former communications director for Rep. Tom DeLay, lobbyist, and public relations executive plead guilty to corruption charges.
The list will probably grow and the embarrassment continue. Golf trips, paid vacations, private jets, dirty deals, promises of donations. The Democrats have avoided the downfall although many of them, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have ties to Abramoff and have committed other indiscretions if not criminal acts.
Mark Foley's indiscretions have taken over the front page while the media and Democrats sniff the chum in the political waters and go on a feeding frenzy. The Foley scandal simply produces more ammunition to the already mounting scandal list that Republicans created for themselves.
The only thing besides a healthy war chest that can keep Nancy Pelosi out of the House Speakers chair is the reality setting into the Republican base. This fear alone may provide the impetus to get out the vote, despite an inept party who took political success and squandered it.