Sunday, October 16, 2005



I'm going to make an attempt to explain it in 4 quick paragraphs. Abramoff was the #1 GOP-connected lobbyist with connections so tight to ruthless, powerful, unethical House Majority Leader Tom DeLay that he functioned as a virtual extension of his office and as an integral part of his vast money-making machine. Abramoff is being investigated for dozens of serious crimes (including the gangland-style murder by Abramoff "consultants"-- recently arrested and in prison-- of a former business partner of his and DeLay's). But this simple piece is about just one case for which Abramoff has already been arrested and indicted and is rapidly approaching trial.

The long and short of it is that Abramoff's lobbying client, eLottery-- which paid out millions of dollars to ostensibly anti-gambling Republican pols and their religionist-right allies-- was hysterical because an anti-gambling bill was about to pass by a landslide in the Republican-controlled House. DeLay's office intervened and, suddenly-- and astonishingly-- the anti-gambling bill was defeated. Among the anti-gambling fake religionists who were on the pro-gambling gravy train were former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed (whose Lt. Governor campaign in Georgia is now floundering) and so-called "Reverend" Louis "Lucky Louie" Sheldon, head of the Traditional Values Coalition. Abramoff also enlisted GOP operative and ideologue Grover Norquist in his efforts to save gambling. Bribe money was carefully routed through 3rd and 4th parties to obscure who was getting paid and for what. Reed and "Lucky Louie" now claim they can't remember nuttin'. Norquist, who claims he's a libertarian and doesn't oppose gambling, got to dip his beak in every transaction and served as the money launderer for the bribes and pay-offs. (No wonder he wants to shrink government and drown it in a bath tub! Small, ineffective government would be a real boon for the crooked-at-heart.)

DeLay, normally an always outraged moralist screaming his head off about "sins" like gambling, was the key man who prevented the bill from passing. Considerable bribes were involved, to DeLay personally (the now infamous $25,000 golfing trip to Scotland was part of this scheme), to DeLay staffers and to family members. One of the intermediaries employed by this crew to help shuffle the money around was GOP operative Robin Vanderwall, current serving a 7 year prison term in Virginia for soliciting sex with children.

One of the most bizarre aspects-- straight out of George Orwell-- had "Lucky Louie" Sheldon threatening to smear anti-gambling conservatives by claiming the bill he was being paid by Abramoff and eLottery to kill wasn't "anti" enough! The fake preacher was able to target and terrorize almost a dozen conservatives-- Robert Aderholt (R-AL), J.C. Watts (R-OK), James Rogan (R-CA), Robin Hayes (R-NC), etc-- to save the day for the gambling forces-- and for the DeLay/Abramoff money machine.


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