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Reply #3: Read this--he INVENTED corruption at the present levels [View All]

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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-05-06 04:10 PM
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3. Read this--he INVENTED corruption at the present levels

...Before the 1994 election, several reports noted that Gingrich had been warning the heads of corporate political action committees to give generously to Republican candidates or face political retribution. It was a threat that soon became conventional wisdom, as Republican leaders built increasingly close ties to the lobbying community and more and more corporate funds found their way into Republican coffers. By 1996, Gingrich found himself saddled with a number of ethical problems similar in type, though not in scale, to the Abramoff scandal. He was accused of misusing nonprofit organizations for political purposes, personally benefiting from political contributions and giving false statements to ethics investigators. The House eventually voted to reprimand Gingrich and require him to pay a $300,000 penalty.

Back then, many of Gingrich's Republican colleagues turned against him, in much the same way that Gingrich has now taken to criticizing Republicans tied to Abramoff. "Newt has done some things that have embarrassed House Republicans and embarrassed the House," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., at the time.

At the Rotary, Gingrich joined a growing chorus of Republicans who are trying to get out in front of the ever-broadening ethics scandals. For instance, Grover Norquist, a former advisor to Gingrich, has called on Congress to consider making it more difficult for individual politicians to give favors, like pork barrel spending, to favored lobbyists. "If you put the birthday cake under the sink the cockroaches will find it," Norquist said, in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. "Get rid of the cake and you will get rid of the cockroaches."

Norquist has personal ties both to Abramoff and the scandal, having worked closely with the former lobbyist, who was a personal friend, for decades. According to documents and testimony produced in the Senate, Norquist played a role in Abramoff's work, at one point arranging meetings between Abramoff's clients and White House officials for which Abramoff later took credit. Norquist's organization, Americans for Tax Reform, also received money from Abramoff's clients that was later used to pay Ralph Reed, another Republican strategist, who was secretly working with Abramoff. ...

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