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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:37 PM
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The GOP's spreading plague
Voters are notoriously slow in voting out politicians accused of corruption, but they may reach the tipping point with the latest revelations.

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By Joe Conason

Sept. 30, 2005 | To be an honest Republican these days must be to wonder what awful revelation is coming next -- and how the Grand Old Party, which once claimed to represent political reform, became a front for sleaze, corruption and cynical criminality. Across the country, from the Capitol to statehouses, Republican officials are under indictment, under investigation or under suspicion.

This week's headlines featured the indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay and the probe of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, but the infection of venality among their fellow partisans is now reaching epidemic proportions. So widespread is the plague that keeping track of all the individual cases, and their increasingly baroque variations, has become a distinct challenge.

Consider Jack Abramoff, once the prince of K Street lobbyists and a dedicated right-wing ideologue who boasted of his powerful connections to DeLay, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and the entire Republican apparatus in Washington. Already under investigation by the Justice Department for his influence peddling among House members, including DeLay, and his swindling of Indian tribes, Abramoff was indicted last month for bank fraud in a separate South Florida case involving a casino boat company that he partly owned.

The fraud allegedly committed by Abramoff and his business partner Adam Kidan involved a phony wire transfer they used to purchase a controlling interest in SunCruz from the company's founder, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, in 2001.

Abramoff and Kidan later fell out with Boulis in a bitter business dispute that turned violent. In February 2001, gunmen ambushed Boulis on a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., highway and shot him repeatedly. On Tuesday, Florida authorities arrested three New York men with mob connections for the Boulis killing. Two of the men -- Anthony Moscatiello and Tony Ferrari -- had received payments totaling more than $240,000 from Kidan and Abramoff. Moscatiello, a longtime associate of the Gambino Mafia family, and Ferrari were supposedly providing food and consulting services to SunCruz -- or so Kidan claimed when questioned by prosecutors. There is no evidence, however, that Moscatiello and Ferrari provided any services to the company.

Connecting the dots isn't difficult here: Kidan and Abramoff want to get rid of Boulis, who won't go away. Kidan and Abramoff hire Moscatiello and Ferrari with SunCruz money. Moscatiello and Ferrari allegedly whack Boulis, without any motive of their own. If the Broward County state's attorney has sufficient evidence to win convictions for a capital crime, some people will probably be talking soon in hope of avoiding the hot shot.

The stunning fall of Abramoff, who has yet to hit bottom, is certainly the most colorful tale of Republican depravity. The corporate money laundering to Texas politicians that led to DeLay's conspiracy indictment, and the suspicious insider stock transaction that spurred investigations of Frist by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, seem mundane by comparison. Outrage will be warranted if their misconduct is proved, but everyone sadly knows that these felonies are now common practice in our political and corporate culture.
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tompayne1 Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:43 PM
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1. it is hard to deny
that the dems were at bit corrupt in 1994.

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Actually, I don't recall anywhere near this level of corruptness.
Were they taking care of cronies? sure. But not to the systematic level that this Syndicate is doing it. At least I don't recall an $800BB transfer of wealth when the Dems were in control.
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:52 PM
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2. Great article...I finally see the tie-in between Abramoff and Boulis....
Thanks for posting this!
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smomfr Donating Member (227 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
men are from Mars, women are from Venus and republicans are from Uranus.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Hi smomfr!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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