OLYMPIA -- Sen. Patty Murray said Friday that returning contributions from Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff would "taint" the tribes.
The state's senior senator, a Seattle Democrat, said there was nothing wrong with accepting more than $40,000 in campaign donations from out-of-state tribes represented by the disgraced lobbyist.
Right. Like the tribes aren't already "tainted" for trying to buy political influence through Jack Abramoff.
Aside from the Democrats insisting that this is a "Republican only" scandal, another thing that bothers me about the Abramoff matter is the constant "don't blame the Indians" stance that has been taken by many involved with and covering this scandal is sickening. I mean, these people tried to purchase political influence through a corrupt schmuck like Jack Abramoff. Why shouldn't they be held responsible for that?
And it wasn't really the Indian tribes who were involved in all of this. Ordinary Indian tribes don't have the funds to throw tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions at a politician. The people who hired Jack Abramoff were Indian casino people. That's a very important distinction to make. As anyone who is familiar with Indian reservations in this country can tell you, not much of the gambling money finds its way down to rank-and-file tribe members. I've been to several reservations and seen housing developments that would rival even the worst inner-city ghettos for outright poverty and sickening living conditions. Yet these developments often exist within sight of multi-million dollar gambling casinos and hotels, where millions upon millions of dollars are raked in every year.
Obviously, not every politician who got money from these Indian casinos took it on a quid pro quo basis...but I'm not so sure these politicians shouldn't be ashamed for accepting so much money from such an exploitive enterprise to begin with, political favors or no.
You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com