Matt Margolis & Mark Noonan

Nevertheless, if a receiving-line photo of President Bush and Jack Abramoff proves that there was a relationship, then we have much more solid indications that many Democrats had “relationships” with Jack Abramoff as well.

Several Democrats have participated in trips paid for and/or accompanied by Abramoff, including Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY), and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). Do they all have relationships with Jack Abramoff?

Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Max Baucus (D-MO) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) each held fundraisers in Jack Abramoff’s skybox at Washington’s MCI Center, and have also received thousands of dollars from Abramoff’s tribal clients. Do they all have relationships with Jack Abramoff?

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) also must know Jack Abramoff. He received more Abramoff-connected cash than former Rep. Tom DeLay (D-TX) or George W. Bush.

But, our new Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), must know Jack Abramoff better than all of them. A former top aide to Senator Reid, Edward “Eddie” Ayoob, also worked for Abramoff and was allegedly a part of Abramoff’s influence-buying scheme with the American Indian tribes he lobbied for. In fact, Reid only started receiving thousands of dollars in donations from various American Indian tribes after Jack Abramoff started representing them. Reid also wrote a total of four letters helpful to Abramoff’s tribal clients over a period of three years, and received $68,000 in donations from Abramoff’s firm, partners, and clients in return. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Harry’s Reid’s connections to Abramoff are apparently worth $68,000.

Despite these examples of “relationships” between Jack Abramoff and a few select Democrats, the MSM continues to play the Abramoff story as entirely one of Republican corruption. Americans should want the book thrown at anyone who attempts to corrupt our political process; the plain fact of the matter is that only one side – the Republican side – ever faces any serious scrutiny over the matter of political corruption. For the general health of our political system, the burning light of truth must be turned on everyone who is betraying the public trust.

Matt Margolis & Mark Noonan

Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan are authors of the new book, Caucus of Corruption

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