Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Tom, Jack and Friends:" A "Cheat Sheet"

It can be hard keeping your Congressional scandals and the whole cast of characters straight. Luckily, TPMCafe.com has provided us with a cheat sheet. A who's who in the world of political scandal. In "Tom, Jack, and Friends," Josh Eidelson offers his nominees for scandalized lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s "top six associates of questionable repute."

First up: Edwin Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff and pastor. Buckham, also a registered lobbyist for Enron and the Nuclear Energy Institute, charged a hotel stay and some meals on the infamous DeLay-Abramoff Scotland trip to his credit card. DeLay's wife, who accompanied him on that trip, was being paid by Buckham's lobbying firm at the time.

Then there's the Indian Gaming Scandal. Several close DeLay associates fall into this category. Do the names Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist sound familiar? While serving as Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, Reed ramped up its advocacy of restrictions on gambling "at the request of Scanlon and Abramoff in order to help them get more cash from the tribal chiefs who hired them to block the restrictions," Eidelson writes. "Choctaw cash was then laundered back to Reed through Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform."

The list goes on. Check it out for yourself here. You might want to make flashcards.

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