Jack Abramoff 4.Con Job

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How the politicians looted the Native American Indian Tribes.

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Jack Abramoff 4.Con Job

  1. 1. Jack Abramoff Papers: Part 4 “ Confidence Men” and Shell Games
  2. 2. Can You Find the Bean ?
  3. 3. How About Now ?
  4. 4. From: Bill Moyers <ul><li>“ Jack Abramoff's fortunes soared. But some at his lobbying firm were getting nervous. After a partner warned that if he didn't clean up his act, the lobbyist would wind up &quot;dead, disgraced or in jail,&quot; Abramoff moved on to a company called Greenberg Traurig . The Miami-based law firm was hot; one of its senior partners had helped the Bush campaign in its legal battles in Florida in 2000. The team that Abramoff pulled together included seven former top aides to lawmakers - two from DeLay's office. Working for Abramoff, they could more than double their salaries.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Enter “Michael Scanlon” <ul><li>He teamed up with Abramoff to “shake down” their Indian Lobbying Clients </li></ul>
  6. 6. Suckers on a stick …….. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “Abramoff would refer to their tribal clients as &quot;morons,&quot; &quot;troglodytes,&quot; &quot;mofos (who) are the stupidest idiots in the land.&quot; U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs - Sept. 29, 2004 </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “Once upon a time, the Coushatta tribe of Louisiana had subsisted, in part, on pine needle weaving. Then they struck gold with a casino built on farmland between New Orleans and Houston, and each of their 800 members began receiving stipends of $40,000 a year. But in 2001, their casino compact with Louisiana needed a renewed blessing by the Interior Department in Washington. Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon came calling.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “First off, Abramoff suggested the tribe contribute to one of Tom DeLay's golf fundraisers. He said they needed some &quot;real stroke&quot; in Washington, because threats to the tribe's gaming interests were everywhere. That was especially true next door in Texas. Folks from Houston could follow the billboards along Interstate-10 to the Coushatta gambling palace less than an hour across the Louisiana Border. But, Abramoff told the Coushatta, Texas was just &quot;one vote away&quot; from allowing a new casino to open close to Houston.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. BERTNEY LANGLEY (Secretary-Treasurer, Coushatta Tribal Council,1999-2003): “Abramoff was able to convince some people in the council that if we didn't do this, our whole casino would be shut down and we would hurt our people.”
  10. 10. Enter The “Christian Coalition” <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: On the Coushatta's tab, Casino Jack once again turned to Ralph Reed. The &quot;Right Hand of God&quot; was just the one Abramoff needed to stir up Texas Christians against gambling in the Lone Star State. Mike Scanlon told the Coushatta that paying Reed was crucial: </li></ul><ul><li>Memo from MIKE SCANLON: Simply put we want to bring out the wackos ...The wackos get their information from the Christian right, Christian radio, the internet, and telephone trees. </li></ul><ul><li>BILL MOYERS: &quot;I do guerrilla warfare,&quot; Reed once said of his political tactics. &quot;I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag.&quot; In Texas, his weapons included bogus Christian front groups. </li></ul>
  11. 11. &quot;My home over there, Now I remember it, And when I see it, the mountain far away Oh, then I weep, Oh, what can I do?&quot; <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: At the far western end of the long highway that is Interstate-10 in Texas, the Tigua Indians of El Paso operated one of only two casinos in the state. Its profits had lifted the tribe out of poverty. But when the authorities did succeed in outlawing casino gambling in Texas, Jack Abramoff saw the unsuspecting Tigua as yet another opportunity. He e-mailed Mike Scanlon: </li></ul><ul><li>JACK ABRAMOFF: I'm on the phone with Tigua! Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!! </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “In El Paso, Abramoff assured the Tigua that using his connections in Washington, he could get their casino re-opened. He would work pro bono, but on the condition that the tribe hire Scanlon's PR firm for grassroots support. Abramoff did not tell them he and Scanlon were secret partners or that they had just been paid millions by the Louisiana Coushatta to close down casinos in Texas.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): Are tribal members familiar with the Rely On Your Beliefs Funds , or perhaps the Missouri Millennium Fund , or Restore America PAC or Friends of the Big Sky? </li></ul><ul><li>CARLOS HISA (Lieutenant Governor, Tigua Tribe): Those contributions were recommended by Jack Abramoff to generate the support to get our bill passed. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: Abramoff's strategy was to hide language that would re-open the Tigua casino in an unrelated bill already moving through Congress. He e-mailed his team: </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail from JACK ABRAMOFF: It will start in the Senate and we'll protect it in the house. </li></ul><ul><li>BILL MOYERS: In the House, Abramoff turned to one of the lawmakers his team called its &quot;champions&quot; - Congressman Bob Ney, the influential Republican chairman of a key committee. Abramoff sent Scanlon the news: </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: In other words, Ney had agreed to slip the Tigua provision into a bill called the &quot;Help America Vote&quot; Act - touted as a way to clean up elections. Just six days after the meeting with Ney, Abramoff directed checks totaling $32,000 to be written to the Congressman's campaign accounts. </li></ul>Help America Vote Act of 2002
  16. 16. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: But the Tiguas were being strung along. Abramoff had told them the Democrat managing the bill in the Senate, Chris Dodd, would work with Ney. But when Ney finally mentioned the Tigua language to Dodd, the Senator flatly refused to include it. </li></ul>
  17. 17. $6 million to Greenberg Traurig Alone. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “In Washington, Abramoff had transformed a midsized lobbying practice at Greenberg Traurig into one of K Street's top cash cows. His tribal clients paid an average of $6 million dollars a year in fees to the firm. They were also major donors to Tom DeLay's Republican Majority Project. And that wasn't all. Abramoff was also secretly funding DeLay's political machine through the U.S. Family Network - the non-profit that owned the house with the red door. The group's tax returns, which we obtained, make clear that almost all of its $3 million dollar-plus income came from Abramoff's clients. They included not only casino owners and sweatshop tycoons but some Russian oligarchs, as well.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>BILL MOYERS: “The plot had fallen apart. But no one told the Tiguas, even though the tribe was helping finance the golf junket as Abramoff had requested. A week later, Congressman Ney and two members of his staff were among the passengers posing in front of the private Gulfstream jet Abramoff had chartered to fly them to Scotland. Ralph Reed was there, too.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. What Else Can be Said ? SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): What was your reaction when you learned that you had paid the man who had worked to close your casino? CARLOS HISA (Lieutenant Governor, Tigua Tribe): Outrage. A rattlesnake will warn you before it strikes. We had no warning. They did everything behind our back.

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