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Got Stoli? Nonprofit aided Abramoff clients

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Ronbrynaert Donating Member (222 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:59 PM
Original message
Got Stoli? Nonprofit aided Abramoff clients
Amy Ridenour, president of National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) - a conservative (though "non-partisan") think tank that has attacked environmentalists and other groups liberals support - wrote favorably of at least seven clients of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff while he served on her board of directors.

From "Series of editorials supporting Abramoff clients suggests collusions between lobbyist and nonprofit" by John Byrne, Ron Brynaert and Muriel Kane at Raw Story:

But in addition to editorials favoring the Marianas and the Malaysian prime minister, RAW STORY has uncovered four other Abramoff clients that the conservative thinktank supported in articles and newsletters: Magazine Publishers of America, Channel One, Pitney Bowes and Stoli Vodka.

The obscure nature of the clients and the unlikelihood that Ridenour would write editorials supporting six of Abramoffs clients while claiming to know nothing of the nature of his lobbying work raises questions of how much Ridenour actually knew and whether the group received donations in exchange for supporting Abramoff.
...

Perhaps the most glaring of Ridenours efforts to aid Abramoffs clients was her crusade for Stoli Spirits Limited, the makers of Stoli vodka. In 2002, SPI Spirits paid $200,000 to Abramoffs second firm, Greenberg Traurig, to lobby Congress on trade with Russia and intellectual property rights.

In May 2002, Ridenour admonished Russian bureaucrats who have demonstrated a troubling tendency to use Soviet-style tactics when dealing with private companies, including against SPI Spirits.

Abramoffs client apparently appreciated Ridenours article, since a copy of it is published in the Press Center at the Stoli Website.
....

Ridenours article also bears a strong resemblance to language used by Greenberg Traurigs Richard A. Edlin during his testimony before the Subcommittee on Trade of the House Committee on Ways and Means in April 2002. Edlin was also U.S. Counsel for SPI Spirits.

More at Raw Story.

(Raw Story was recently served with a "cease and desist" order by Ridenour's lawyer, citing copyright violation, for printing a copy of a social security "scam" letter the group sent to senior citizens in 2004 last year : link.)
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. That letter that was sent out to scare seniors
is the worst piece of disgusting crap that I have seen in weeks. If my mother or father got a letter like that, and I saw it... I'm not sure I could be held responsible for my response. It invites the WORST kind of karma to terrify old, poor citizens who have done nothing but live their lives as best they could, serving our country when they were called on and wishing nothing but the best for their fellows.

There has to be a special, dedicated circle of hell for the kind of thug responsible for this scam.
:grr:
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Were there any consequences for having written that letter?
...The letters so distressed the nursing home resident that she lay awake at night worrying about what crisis most deserved her help.

"I didn't know that I could just turn them down," Shelby told the Examiner. "I was thinking it was something I had to do. . . . I thought if I didn't correspond about Social Security, I wouldn't get my checks."
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MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. She also testified at the Senate hearings,
claiming Jack's was her friend but she didn't know he was using Her.

I watched her testify and knew in an instant she was a big fat liar. John McCain was very kind to her as well. Made me wonder if he wasn't somehow connected to her in some secret way.
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