Democrats even, according to this report linked over at the reader blogs.
“Sources” close to the investigation are saying that Abramoff has information on “six to eight seriously corrupt” Democrats.
I’m wondering if North Dakota’s own Byron Dorgan is one of those Democrats. Here’s what we know about Dorgan and Abramoff:
- The Louisiana Coushattas has stated that Jack Abramoff directed them to make a $5,000 donation to Dorgan after the Senator wrote a letter in favor of some education legislation the tribe wanted.
- In March of 2001 Dorgan had a fundraiser organized by one of Abramoff’s lobbyists (Michael Smith) at Abramoff’s suite at the MCI center.
- Dorgan wrote a letter (along with Senator Conrad Burns) supporting exempting the Saginaw Michigan Choctaw law from federal regulations that would have prevented them from getting an education grant. Nine days after writing the letter Dorgan got $2,000 from that Choctaw tribe.
- Dorgan collected $11,500 from Abramoff employee Michael Smith, who was representing the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts right around the time Dorgan was pressuring to have that tribe given official federal recognition so that they could build a casino.
- Dorgan has flat-out lied about taking money from Abramoff’s firm. In addition to attending the MCI Center fundraiser organized by Abramoff employee Michael Smith and accepting $11,500 in contributions from the same (as detailed above) it has also been reported that Dorgan accepted at least part of $20,000 in contributions directly from Abramoff’s firm (the rest coming from Indian tribes). This is in direct contradiction to an official statement from Dorgan claiming that he “never met Abramoff and have never received a campaign contribution from him. If he was directing any of his clients to make a political contribution to me, it was done without my knowledge.”
Strangely, none of this stuff was deemed worthy of attention by the Indian Affairs Committee which investigated the Abramoff matter. Perhaps because Senator Dorgan was (along with Senator McCain) the co-chair of that committee (after the elections Dorgan is now the full chairman of that committee) and didn’t see fit to recuse himself from during the investigation The Fargo Forum even went so far as to say:
…there has been no credible suggestion of a quid pro quo regarding tribal donations to Dorgan – now or in his long career in the House and Senate.
Right. Just big donations made to Dorgan by Abramoff clients right around the same time he took favorable action for those same clients.
No cause for suspicion or greater scrutiny there.
If it comes out that Dorgan was more involved with Abramoff then he’s been letting on there are going to be some very embarrassed journalists in North Dakota’s media industry.