January 4, 2006
Back down the money trail
The sound of dollars returning to roost:
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his successor Roy Blunt on Wednesday joined the list of officials shedding political donations from Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist who has agreed to testify in a political corruption investigation.
Bush’s re-election campaign is giving up $6,000 in campaign contributions connected to Abramoff, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud, corruption and tax evasion in Washington. On Wednesday in Florida, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges stemming from his 2000 purchase of a gambling boat fleet called SunCruz.
… Bush, DeLay, Blunt and Rep. Bob Ney joined House Speaker Dennis Hastert in announcing plans to either return campaign contributions from Abramoff or give them to charity. Several others announced in December that they were giving back Abramoff's donations to their campaigns.
Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney ’04 re-election campaign, earning the honorary title “pioneer” from the campaign. But the campaign is giving up only $6,000 that came directly from Abramoff, his wife and one of the Indian tribes that he worked to win influence for in Washington. The money is being donated to the American Heart Association.
Ah yes, those wacky Bush pioneers—honest to a fault, every last one of ’em.
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