The constant coverage of recently indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff is less based on interest regarding his activities and more in the interest of slimy-ing House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other Republicans.
The AP release about the indictement gives some detail about Abramoff, but also less-than-subtly throws in a few other names. (Questions that linger: Was Abramoff connected to Democrats?)
After dropping a DeLay mention in the very first sentence, the article later continues:
"DeLay has asked the House Ethics Committee to review allegations that Abramoff or his clients paid some of DeLay's overseas travel expenses. DeLay has denied knowing that the expenses were paid by Abramoff, whom he once described as 'one of my closest and dearest friends.'
Abramoff collected more than $100,000 for President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and raised thousands of dollars for DeLay and other Republican members of Congress. He also was friends with former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, now a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia."
Any Democrats involved? Hmmm. To be fair, the AP non-chalantly notes that DeLay: "was not mentioned in any lawsuits involved in the SunCruz deal." Well, thanks for the heads up....
Of course this slight is nothing new. Last year the Washington Post covered the connections stating:
"... Abramoff, who is well-connected to conservative Republicans in the White House and Congress, and Scanlon, a former spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), received more than $45 million in lobbying and public affairs work from four newly wealthy tribes in the past three years. Those fees rival what some of the biggest corporate interests in the country pay to influence public policy.
The fees and $2.9 million in federal political contributions Abramoff advised the tribes to make, two-thirds of it to Republicans..."
Who were the rest? Berry-Picking grandmothers or Democrats? We don't know, and they aren't saying.
And over at the Washington Post, it has become increasingly clear that Tom Delay is actually the meat of the story mentioning DeLay on 3 occassions while no one else was mentioned.
Take #1: "Abramoff, a key figure in ethics investigations into House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), was arrested..."
Take #2: "Even as he closed a deal to purchase SunCruz, he [Abramoff] flew his specialty lender to Washington to meet then House Majority Whip Tom DeLay in his FedEx Field sky box..."
Take 3: "Along on the trip was Tim Berry, now DeLay's chief-of-staff. Berry did not report the gift on his House disclosure forms at the time and people close to him said he thought it was paid for out of political donations." (People close to him? Gotta love those unknown sources)
For a supposed "powerhouse lobbyist" the media sure is short on Abramoff's other political ties and interests...
Some light on the Abramoff-Democrats connection can be noted here. The one case where the Post seems to note that Democrats "may" also be involved.