An Orchard Full of Bad Apples
November 23, 2005
By Mollie Bradley-Martin
Corruption has always been part of our political system - the
money, access and power attainable through shady deals and pay-to-play
schemes is often too enticing to resist. But the culture of corruption
that swept into Washington with the appointment of George W. Bush
is a sight to behold. The tentacles of corruption have spread throughout
the GOP and now that the bagman is under investigation, Republicans
are running for cover.
Jack Abramoff is like a bad penny for the GOP and he keeps showing
up in one investigation after another. He has already been indicted
for crimes surrounding his purchase of SunCruz casino boats in which
he claimed to have made a wire transfer of $23 million dollars as
part of the purchase, but the transaction was fake and no money
Mr. Abramoff, it seems, was used to getting something for nothing
(or something for an off-the-books something else). The owner of
SunCruz, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, died shortly thereafter when
someone pumped three hollowpoint bullets into his chest while he
was driving home.
Possibly, but Boulis's murder is still under investigation.
Then there is the grand jury investigation into Abramoff's dealings
with Indian gaming casinos. Money taken from Indian tribes as payment
for lobbying efforts was apparently funneled
to a myriad of right-wing organizations including Grover Norquist's
foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, and Ralph Reed's political
consulting firm in Georgia.
It is unclear at this point who will be implicated in this investigation
but Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Bob Ney and David
Safavian are just a few of the Republican heavy-hitters whose
names have come up due to their close ties to Abramoff.
DeLay and Safavian have both been indicted and Ney remains under
investigation, as does Karl Rove, albeit for an unrelated potential
crime. Another indicted GOP player is Tom Noe who
bilked the Ohio State Workers Compensation fund out of millions
and then allegedly funneled some of that money into the Bush/Cheney
coffers. Noe's wife got in on the action as well, serving as Bush/Cheney
campaign chairman while sitting on the election board of Lucas County
during the fraud laden 2004 election.
Bob Ney is under investigation for his part in this scheme and
although it may not have direct ties to Abramoff, it does show that
these dirty players can't seem to stay out of bed with one another.
So many political scandals, so little decency left.
With recent news
Scanlon, a former aide to Tom DeLay and former partner of Jack
Abramoff, has pleaded guilty and will cooperate with the prosecution
in the DeLay case, the truth may come out sooner than expected.
Once the prosecutors in Austin are finished with him, they may send
him to their colleagues in Florida who I'm sure have some questions
for him regarding his dealings with Abramoff.
Karl Rove, who is preoccupied with his own legal battle with prosecutor
Patrick Fitzgerald, is desperately trying to hold on to power long
enough to deliver the 2006 mid-term elections to the Republicans
once again, but this news must have an already beleaguered Rove
wondering if he can hold it together. Even the Machiavellian mastermind
of the GOP's rise to power may have too much on his plate this time.
The American public is not completely unaware of these seemingly
disparate investigations, but most are not fully cognizant of the
incestuous nature of the corruption. Once the full extent of Abramoff's
crimes is revealed, hopefully the connections will be made, although
hearing about it on the evening news is unlikely. The mainstream
media apparently think their job is to report as little as possible
on GOP wrongdoings. And when they do, they make sure to frame it
in such a way that gives the public the impression that this is
just a few bad apples, ignoring the fact that Congressional Republicans
have been gorging themselves on this fruit for years.
It is our job to remind our fellow Americans that when you spend
with someone, you are spending with everyone that person has ever
spent with. They are all infected, and it's time to quarantine the
whole lot of them and force-feed them their medicine before they
infect the rest of our government.
Visit Mollie Bradley-Martin's website at www.liberalgirlnextdoor.blogspot.com.