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Democratic Leader Harry Reid Aided Abramoff Clients

Gee I seem to remember saying when the Abramoff story first broke that while it may affect mostly Republicans, there was going to be plenty of collateral damage for Democrats, or rather incumbents (regardless of party)...

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.

The activities - detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press - are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.

Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters - such as blocking some tribal casinos - in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his 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.

Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.

Boo-yah! This might get interesting...


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» Weapons of Mass Destruction linked with When Harry Met Jack

Comments (27)

Boo-yah is right! Hopefully... (Below threshold)

Boo-yah is right! Hopefully you can take some heat off the massive corruption in the Republican party. Still, no Democrat took money from Abramoff. Keep digging though.

It says Reid "collected nea... (Below threshold)

It says Reid "collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and ..."

How can you spin that to say Reid, a Democrat, took now money from Abramoff?

Oh, I see. Reid didn't touch the money; it went into his account electronically.

...took "no" money...... (Below threshold)

...took "no" money...

In case you hadn't noticed,... (Below threshold)

In case you hadn't noticed, jp2, the contributions Abramoff personally gave to politicians were not illegal nor relatively substantial. Of course taking contributions from a criminal looks bad, which is why many politicians returned them, but it wasn't illegal. It is the bribes that Abramoff gave to politicians for political favors that will get them in trouble. This doesn't look too good for Reid, but then again Reid's stance and activities may not have changed at all after Abramoff began representing the tribes.

Apparently Searchlight Lead... (Below threshold)

Apparently Searchlight Leadership doesn't count as Harry Reid.

Yeah, sorry Kevin (and Geor... (Below threshold)

Yeah, sorry Kevin (and George) but taking money from lobbyists isn't illegal, if it was i think a few more pols might be in some hot water. However, taking bribes - pay for play if you like - is. In summary then, Dems got (small and legal) campaign contributions and the Republicans took (huge and illegal) bribes. End of Story - oh I can't resist - Boo-yah!

Ah, so I see another libera... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Ah, so I see another liberal Alice-in-Wonderland redefinition of the English language at work here. When a Democrat takes money, it's a "campaign contribution". When a Republican does the exact same thing, it's a "bribe".

Actually, I think Kevin hit on the key word here, which is not "Democrat" or "Republican", but "incumbent". If any good comes out of this, maybe it will be to get a new push for Congressional term limits off the ground.

Remember when Harry Reid sa... (Below threshold)

Remember when Harry Reid said that this was a Republican scandal and that he had no need to return any of the money he got from Abramaoff clients?

Well, apparently "Pookie" u... (Below threshold)

Well, apparently "Pookie" up above is suffering with an accute case of "Cranio-Rectal-Insertion".

I love the way the Dems are trying to parse this issue by stating "...no democrat has taken any money DIRECTLY from Abramhoff...". That's right. Because money "directly" from Abramhoff was to republicans as campaign contributions. No shock there. Abramhoff is a republican.

The problem (for both parties) is whether or not any money was exchanged for the purpose of directing public policy. Hard to prove but, if there is a correlation between contributions from Abramhoff's clients into the coffers of a Pol who then voted in favor of that client, then....that won't look quite kosher.

It stands to reason that, if you were to seek political favor, you would do so with the party in charge more than with the minority. Right now the party in charge is the Republicans. If they bit on it, they're screwed. As it should be.

But, this didn't start with the republican take over in 1994. The democrats controlled our Government for almost 50 frikin' years. Hell, they wrote the book on political corruption but..the media must have been pre-occupied with other more pressing issues at the time to be concerned with it so...we didn't hear about it so much. Heh, heh!

Harry Reid has, in fact, elevated this Lobbyist scam into a sizable family industry. To their credit, The LA Times has been on his ass for years but the DNC Times and the democrat lickspittles over at the Washington Post have treated the story like it was radioactive (too busy with Tom Delay, I guess).

Before its done, the dems will be forced to throw old 'dingy Harry' under the bus. A few repubs are going along with him , I'll guess.

Good grief! You've got to love politics! Its a hoot per minute!

Sorry, but I have NO choice... (Below threshold)

Sorry, but I have NO choice but to quote Pelosi on this:





OK, you stupid, bitch, this just is NOT GOING TO STICK TO THE WALL.



Shhhhhh.Never let fa... (Below threshold)

Never let facts get in the way of jp2 or pookie...
BDS is a terrible condition, and leaves the afflicted very susceptible to harm.

BDS is a terrible condit... (Below threshold)

BDS is a terrible condition, and leaves the afflicted very susceptible to harm.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

OK, so here's a simple ques... (Below threshold)

OK, so here's a simple question.

If Reid had never been offered (or given) the money, would his office (he) have sent the letters? Does a U.S. Senator send a letter of support in such a case (i.e., that has nothing to do with his own state/district) without come due diligence? Or "encouragement?"

Harry can't have it both ways.

And the comment about no money directly from Abe is just idiotic and naive.

Abramoff hired a former Rei... (Below threshold)

Abramoff hired a former Reid staffer as one of its lobbyists who promptly held fundraisers for Reid from the lobbyist's offices.

Move along now; there is nothing to see here.

Gee... with Harry Reid gone... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

Gee... with Harry Reid gone, who's going to leak the contents of those confidential FBI background files?

Kennedy's too much the buffoon. Durbin's to close to illiterate, and Biden's so attached to plagiarism even the hair on his head is suspect.

It is looking like Reid mig... (Below threshold)
Charles Bannerman:

It is looking like Reid might be a dead duck. It couldn't happen to a rottener guy. I am sick of his holier than thou attitude and hope he spends the rest of his miserable life in a cell with a big, hairy, horney guy. Come to think of, he would probably like that arrangement.

Solo I'm afraid you are the... (Below threshold)

Solo I'm afraid you are the one with the arse-hat. I said quite clearly that the problem here is that some money given to pols is legal - campaign contributions - and that's what Reid took. (Everyone does this because, well it takes money to run a campaign, you know?) Now someone above suggested that Dems didn't take money from Abramoff directly, oh contraire. That's the just the point, the direct money from a lobbyist, below a certain amount and as a campaign contrib is just fine and dandy (granted now it might look a little shadysince Abramoff is in trouble but it's perfectly LEGAL). What the repubs have been accused of doing is taking money from Abramoff's CLIENTS in exchange for votes on certain bills of interest to them (essentially bribes) which is ILLEGAL. So lets recap here, some money transfered LEGALLY (Dems) and some ILLEGALLY (Repubs). Now you can scream at me and call me names, but thems the facts. So far we have Abramoff and Cunningham (implicated in this as well as his own special scandal), Ney, Dolittle and Delay all either closely associated or actually alluded-to-but-not-named in the indictments handed down so far. And I expect there to be many more. I'll make a prediction, 10 or 12 congressmen will go down eventually, and not one, NOT ONE will be a dem. Well have to wait for the investigations to run their course, but you'll see...

And the important word here... (Below threshold)

And the important word here, Pookie, is accused.
But if the accused are republicans, I guess that is enough to make them guilty. It's the seriousness of the charge and all that.
As for close associations, what about that former Reid staffer working for Abramoff?

You're damn right SCSIwuzzy... (Below threshold)

You're damn right SCSIwuzzy and once one Dem is accused , named in an indictment or indicted I'll STFU. Until that time though I'll stick by the old 'no smoke without fire' theory if that's alright.

BUt until then, you'll be c... (Below threshold)

BUt until then, you'll be content to charge republicans as guilty until proven innocent, by association?
Who needs to make the accusation against a dem for it to count, in your view?
So far, only one Rep is named, Ney. Dolittle and Delay, at this point, are speculation. Just like the fingers pointing at Reid. Speculation, based on ties, actions, and association.
Why the double standard, Pooker?

Still, no Democrat took ... (Below threshold)

Still, no Democrat took money from Abramoff.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, I heard "Screamin'" Howard Dean recite this talking point on a Sunday talking head show last week. I laughed derisively then, too.

Now now, the point is that ... (Below threshold)

Now now, the point is that some people broke the law and some didn't. The best info I have seen on this is that all the ones who to pay-for play money are Republicans. No guilt by association, guilt by doing something wrong. But let's look at this bi-partisan scandal in a little depth shall we?

The score so far:
Abramoff (R) - Done deal.
Safavian (R) - See above.
Cunningham (R) - Ditto. (The dukester let us all down. Who didn't love Top-Gun?)
Ney (R) - Clearly the unnamed co-conspiritor in Abramoff's indictment. I'd say his very own ndictment is on the way.
Delay (R)- Indicted on campaign finance shennagins. Pretty likely to get dragged into the abramoff scandal since the two were best buds. Oh, and there was that trip to Scotland too...
Ralph Reed (R) - So deep in the abramoff doo-doo it ain't funny. He took money from the indians to get casinos, he took money from the anti-gambling christian groups to close casinos down - now that's what I call a man with morals!
Dolittle (R) - Also likely to star in a court drama near you soon, closely tied with Ney and Abramoff, but swearing blind he did nothing wrong. Some people don't know when to stop digging...
Harry Reid (D) - Represents major gambling interests in NV, and was lobbied by abramoff. No sign that he was bribed whatsoever.

Ok, you're right, it's a bi-partisan scandal. But only if the next time we bet on baseball, and your side wins 8-0, we agree it was a tie.

The best info I have see... (Below threshold)

The best info I have seen on this is that all the ones who to pay-for play money are Republicans.

I have to laugh at how your definition of "best info," despite your protestations to the contrary, just happen to set the limit along party lines. It's very easy to say that "all the ones who to pay-for play money are Republicans" if any info contradicting that claim is pre-judged as "bad."

Pookie, my dear....try to t... (Below threshold)

Pookie, my dear....try to think REALLLL hard and I'll try to keep it simple for ya.

Abramhoff made no direct contributions (from his personal account) to Harry Reid (or any other dem)in the form of campaign contributions (as far as I know). He DID make campaign contributions (from his personal account) to several republicans. No problem for, as you stated: that's legal and appropriate. He is, after all, a republican. From this...the dems are trying to claim that "no democrat received money 'directly' from Abramhoff". While true...its a false arguement. Unless someone can demonstrate that Abramhoff showed up in some senator's office with a bag full of cash which then went into that senator's personal account in exchange for favors...then, there was no "bribe".

Now..Abramhoff's clients, some of whom are Indian tribes, made contributions to campaign funds of BOTH democrat and republican pols. The question is: is there an apparent 'quid pro quo' between those donations and how a particular senator or congressman voted on issues favorable to those lobbying interests. In other words: is there a connection between the donations and the votes?

On this count, the democrats are up to their eyeballs almost as deep as the republicans. Where Harry Reid is concerned, that connection goes pretty deep. Reid has been having these problems for years on issues unrelated to Abramhoff's clients, which, if brought to the light of day (so to speak,) is going to demonstrate a long term pattern of behavior with him.

You see...Reid has been receiving DIRECT personal benefit from lobbyists in exchange for favorable positions on legislation that he can affect. Namely...his 3 sons AND his son-in -law have all been given lucrative jobs with lobbyists and law firms all of which represent interests in his home state of Nevada. One of his sons suddenly gets a fat paying job with a lobby firm and...PRESTO! Harry suddenly gets behind (or sponsers) the legislation that benefits the client of that lobby firm. This is how he got the nickname: "Dingey Harry". He's dirty!

Now, mark my words. Within 6 months, you will see old dingey Harry stepping down from his post as minority leader. The dems are NEVER going to press this issue and walk away un-scathed!

Just get used to it! Oh, and...you should really try to read more and you wouldn't be so succeptable to partisan propaganda.

The dems are NEVER going... (Below threshold)

The dems are NEVER going to press this issue and walk away un-scathed!

Yup. The more they press, the more they'll find Dem involvement in this "Republican" scandal and the less they'll want to go on pressing. It's going to play just like Enron, i.e. fizzle out with a little 'phhht!' sound.

Solo, I don't know where to... (Below threshold)

Solo, I don't know where to start.

Personal account-schmount, the point I made above was that HE (his firm) and some of his clients DID make DIRECT contributions to Reid, and they were legal.

"They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients"

Wow- a lot of cash huh? Now, contrast that with some of the numbers that the Republicans involved in this issue. For example Alabama Governor Bob Riley is getting criticised for recieving money from Abramoff, via Michael Scanlon, who served as Riley's aid. Apparently Riley recieved some of $500,000 that Scalon's company funneled into the Republican Governors Association.

The central issue, as you rightly say, is the quid pro quo or 'pay for play' aspect. So did Reid change his voting as a result of the contributions? The short answer, in every case I've come across, is no. Take the labor laws in the Marianas islands. The Marianas had lower minimum wage that the rest of the US, but the goods (mostly textiles) made there were still stamped with "made in the USA". Not only unfair, but a pretty mean way to squeeze out a little extra profit, wouldn't you say? Now, Abramoffs clients (let's call them sweat shop owners) wanted to maintain this little boondoggle and donated a bunch of money to various reps to try and 'make them see it their way.' Reid was one of the reps that recieved campaign contributions from them. So, to the crucial question, did he take a postion on it, after taking their cash? Well Reid was co-sponsor of bill to raise the minimum wage across the US and INCLUDING the Marianas, thus closing the loop-hole that Abramoffs clients had exploited. So the answer there is, no, I guess. (The bill wasn't passed, the loop hole is still there, and in my opinion the minimum wage is still too low here in the US, but that's another topic)

Now you said:
Reid has been receiving DIRECT personal benefit from lobbyists in exchange for favorable positions on legislation that he can affect. Namely...his 3 sons AND his son-in -law have all been given lucrative jobs with lobbyists and law firms all of which represent interests in his home state of Nevada. One of his sons suddenly gets a fat paying job with a lobby firm and...PRESTO! Harry suddenly gets behind (or sponsers) the legislation that benefits the client of that lobby firm. This is how he got the nickname: "Dingey Harry"

Now if you can actually point to some concrete example of this - the client, the bill involved, the outcome, the amount of cash, any details at all - then I'd like to hear it. But otherwise, I'm afraid YOU are the one unfairly accusing people, engaging in guilt by association or trying to smear people with half truths and inuendo. Moeover I'd say YOU are the one who needs to read more and not rely on partisan reporting, my friend.

O.K. Pookie, I'm gon... (Below threshold)

O.K. Pookie,
I'm gonna try just one more time to bring you to something a bit more challenging than a 3rd grader's logic.

First, we'll start with this:

"At least 17 senators and 11 members of the House have children, spouses or other close relatives who lobby or work as consultants, most in Washington, according to lobbyist reports, financial-disclosure forms and other state and federal records. Many are paid by clients who count on the related lawmaker for support.

But Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator.

In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington."

Here's the link:


You'll really like the pdf file provided here by the LA Times describing the Reid crime family:


Finally, a more timely report regarding his connection to Abramhoff. Link:


Oh, and as an aside. You might make an effort to learn the difference between "inductive" and "deductive" reasoning so you don't sound like such an asshat through your attempt to employ circular reasoning and double standard.

It is completely preposterous on its face to attempt to claim that monies into campaigns of democrats are "donations" while claiming that money into campaigns of republicans are "bribes".

It simply astounds me that you fail to see this.







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