Friday, January 05, 2007
During negotiations in the SunCruz deal, Abramoff asked his lobbying partner, Michael Scanlon, who had once worked for ex-GOP leader Tom DeLay, to do him a favor. That's when Ney entered the picture.
Scanlon contacted Ney's chief of staff, Neil Volz, to arrange to have Ney disparage Boulis and his company in the Congressional Record. Scanlon drafted a statement that Ney put into the Record in March 2000, saying: ``There are a few bad apples out there who don't play by the rules and that is just plain wrong. One such example is the case of SunCruz Casinos, based out of Florida.''
The motive: ''To soften the negotiating position'' of Boulis and ''secure a better deal'' for Abramoff and his business partner Kidan, according to the court documents filed Wednesday.
Now we've known for a long time (before the primary elections of 2006) that:
1. Ney inserted the language in the Congressional Record.
2. There was a $10,000 quid pro quo contribution to the NRCC credited to Ney. [Fun fact: Ney's lawyer, Mark Tuohey, claimed this was "totally false" in 2006.]
3. Former DeLay aide Michael Scanlon actually drafted the text inserted by Ney.
None of this is new. Why do I bring it up? Just to remind you that Tom DeLay has a very similar episode in his history. A former aide to DeLay (this time Tony Rudy, not Michael Scanlon) drafted language for DeLay to insert in the Congressional Record in order to harm a business critic of Jack Abramoff. DeLay dutifully inserted the statement in the CR:
In mid-January 2002, Abramoff started sending e-mails to Tony Rudy and other colleagues that attacked Potter's position on the think tank [AIC] and referred to him as "pothead". Abramoff decided to retaliate against Potter and, with Rudy's help, succeeded in getting DeLay to put a brief statement in the Congressional Record that disparaged Potter, a leading advocate of campaign finance reform, for some of his views on limiting campaign contributions. On January 25, 2002, Rudy e-mailed DeLay's office suggesting language for a statement on Potter that was "very similar to what DeLay put in the Congressional Record on February 13, 2002, according to a source familiar with the Rudy e-mail.
It is not worth my time to pinpoint which inurement DeLay received to consummate the transaction.
With embarassment, I look back at how naive I was when convinced myself that campaign contributions like Kidan's NRCC contribution might be legitimate. Fortunately, that naivety has long passed. I just wish other Republicans would come to that conclusion so that our party can begin to heal and this blog can end.
Your observations about the comments is certainly true, but I seem to have an interesting and loyal East Coast following.