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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:06 PM
Original message
CA - 50: Bilbray and the Abramoff Gang TIMELINE on Marianas Corruption


"Any important Republican who comes out and says they didn't know me is almost certainly lying. This is not an age when you can run away from facts. I had to deal with my records, and others will have to deal with theirs." -Jack Abramoff

Background -
The super-rich Tan Family from China acquired sweatshops, hotels, bars and golf courses in the Marianas, a US Territory in the South Pacific. Local officials looked the other way at labor violations and far worse. Workers are lured from foreign lands and then forced to work at menial labor for low wages with expenses taken outand they are not allowed to leave. There are 42,000 foreign workers in the Marianas out of a population of 53,000.


Workers inside the RIFU garment factory, in Saipan.

Young women are forced into prostitution, really sex slavery, for the local sex tour industry for Asian businessmen. These women are called Party Girls and can be had for $70. When they inevitably become pregnant, they are forced to have abortions by their employers, often the Tan Family.



If Party Girls or Garment Workers Become Pregnant, They Are Forced To Have Abortions. Because abortion on Saipan is illegal, most of the Chinese women have abortions at one of the Saipan clinics, which are disguised as acupuncture clinics, and clinics that offer massage and Chinese medicine. Two have been positively identified as abortion clinics (Wendy L. Doromal before the Senate's Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on March 31, 1998, Laura Myers, "Sen. Panel Hears of Marianas Abuses," Associated Press Online, 31 March 1998)

Bilbray Abramoff Marianas Timeline

1994 to 2000 - Republican Congressman from California Brian Bilbray receives over $13,000 from Tom Delays PACs.

1995 - Abramoff and his team were hired as lobbyists for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. At the time, the islands sweet deal was in trouble, as a decades worth of rumblings about labor conditions and immigration abuses there had finally led members of Congress and the Clinton administration to press for legislation to eliminate the islands exemptions from U.S. minimum wage and immigration laws. But Abramoff, using his close ties to Republicans in the House, worked mightily to block such reforms.

Many of his efforts focused on the House Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. territories, including the Marianas. Although members of both houses of Congress and both political parties repeatedly pushed to bring the Marianas under federal immigration and minimum wage laws, not a single legislative attempt has succeededmost killed in the House Resources Committee.

http://www.msmagazine.com/spring2006/paradise_full.asp

Dec. 13, 1996 Bilbray prepares to take a trip to the Marianas that will be illegally funded by Jack Abramoff, who at the time is NOT under contract to the Marianas government. Bilbray is warned by the House Committee on Conduct that a planned trip to the Marianas may only take place only if it is a government expense and not paid for by lobbyists. He received the invitation from the governor of the islands, because the islands were struggling to come to grips with foreign guest workers who were giving birth to children while staying there and then claiming birthright citizenship for their children, Bilbray said. Before he went on the trip, he also requested that the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct give its approval for the trip, he said.

In a Dec. 13, 1996, letter to Bilbray, the committee approved his request ---- with qualifications.

"Assuming the Committee's understanding regarding payment of the costs of the trip is correct, you may participate in the trip under this provision," the letter stated.

Despite the warning, Bilbray goes on the trip either knowing Abramoff paid for it--or not checking exactly who was paying the enormous bill.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/02/05/news/top_sto...

1996 For New Years Eve, Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray flies to the Marianas and back in the same plane as Jack Abramoff, along with gang member Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), John Duncan (R-TN) and their wives. Abramoff invoices show that he paid for the trip, over $10,000 per Congressional couple. Once there, after a perfunctory sweatshop tour, it was golf, fun in the sun, and more golf (and who knows what else). All three Congressmen agreed that the Marianas were a little experiment in capitalism, from which Washington could learn a lot. Bilbray tells his Marianas audience Youre the cutting edge, socially and economically He said the Marianas has a very progressive approach to immigration issues. The Northern Marianas has a lot of answers for the rest of the American family.

Abramoff billed numerous trips to his personal credit card or the firm, the records state, and then pressed the islands to reimburse him to avoid violating the new ban on lobbyists giving gifts to House members. - April 28, 2005 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

1997 Bilbray does not disclose the Marianas trip on his financial disclosure forms as required, saying later he thought the Marianas government paid for the journey, making it a US government expense. After the Republican trip, the Marianas government re-hires Preston Gates and reimburses Abramoff for the plane and hotel bills.

1997 Around 200 babies become US citizens per year in the Marianas, complicating matters for the crooked sweatshop owners and their partners in crime at Marianas immigration, who always threaten non-citizen workers in numerous ways. Bilbray writes a bill attempting to limit the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, so that babies born on US soil in the Marianas can become US citizens only if at least one of their parents is a US citizenand only for the Marianas!

October 1997 Bilbray, Rohrbacher, Royce and Duncan hold luncheon for Marianas Governor Tenorio to fight against Clintons attempt to repeal the islands Made in USA label status and take away local immigration authority unless reforms were made on the sweatshop, forced prostitution and forced abortion issues.

1997 Led by Tom Delay, Bilbray and The Abramoff Gang in Congress votes against bill requiring Marianas sweatshop owners to raise the minimum wage past $3.05.

1998 A girl who was a 14-year old sex slave in the Marianas testifies before the US Senate, telling how she was forced to dance naked and have sex with bar patrons even though I was too young to have hair between my legs.

http://starbulletin.com/97/06/06/news/story3.html

1998 to 2000 Bilbray receives $7,000 from Brent Wilkes or his entities. Wilkes is the corrupt phony defense contractor in the Duke Cunningham bribery case, the same one who allegedly organized the GOP Prostitute Poker Parties at the Watergate Hotel (according to fellow phony defense contractor and briber Mitchell Wade). Wilkes is now cooperating with prosecutors.

1999 - Tom Delay, a leader of The Abramoff Gang, raises $100,000 for the 49th District 2000 run in an attempt to get Bilbray re-elected. - WP 3/25/99, Roll Call 6/14/99

2000 - Bilbray loses to Democrat Susan Davis in the November election.

2001 Three months after losing his House seat, Bilbray turns lobbyist, getting a job immediately from one of Jack Abramoffs clients, the Viejas Indian Tribe. They pay him $20,000. Bilbray goes through a loophole in the 1-year hiatus on lobbying by focusing on immigration.



2006 Running to replace convicted Republican Congresscrook Duke Cunningham, Bilbray denies he was friends with Jack Abramoff, despite all their ties and 20 hours on a plane together to the Marianas and back (convicted Republican David Safavian was also on that plane). "I assume I've run into him during the process," Bilbray said. "He was all over the Hill. But when I see him on TV, it's not someone I recognize."

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060112/news_1...

2006 - Bilbray says his ties to Abramoff were very tenuous.
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20060306-99...

2006 - Bilbray said he doesn't remember ever having met Abramoff. However, "I assume I have run into him, but I never received any contributions from him," Bilbray said, adding that none of his staff members at the time remembered having met Abramoff.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/02/05/news/top_sto...

2006 KPBS report on Bilbray and the illegal Marianas trip, paid for by Abramoff:

BILBRAY: "Well it was paid for by the northern Marianas contrary to what people say, the united states government subdivision--the American government--paid for that and it was cleared ahead of time." Invoices show the trip was illegally paid for by Abramoff, who was later reimbursed by the Mariana Islands Government - which gets most of its funding from U.S. taxpayers. The lobby effort was considered successful, by the way, as the sweatshop reforms went nowhere.


Sources:

http://www.nationaldemocraticmessage.net/Corrupt/NDM%20...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/1/14017/31603

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeoa6nx /

http://bilbraytheliberallobbyist.com/page2.htm

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN CUNNINGHAM'S SEAT BACK FOR FRANCINE BUSBY, RECOMMEND!

and send some love to Busby:
http://www.busbyforcongress.com/contribute.php
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nice work.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. GOP = Greedy Old Perverts
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. Outstanding work.
:hi:
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. How do you like the way I used Jack's BLACK HAT?
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. That is awesome--his crime boss fedora
and those shifty eyes just beneath it!!

:applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock: :applause: :yourock:
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Gee thanks!
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Excellent compilation of facts.
Edited on Sat Sep-23-06 06:29 PM by fooj
I've always subscribed to the notion that the primary issues in CA50 were CREATED as a diversion from a REAL truth. Now I know what that REAL TRUTH is. Thanks.
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bear425 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. 5! n/t
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. Excellent post! K&R...
It's so refreshing to see a politician who reflects in his professional life his deeply-held Christian values. :sarcasm:

Maybe he should write some legislation to keep a cross on public land or something.
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. K & R! Thanks for this.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
9. Another incredible post by Dems Will Win.
Thank you for the great work!

K&R.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I WAS A TEENAGE SEX SLAVE, AND THE REPUBLICANS GOLFED!
Statement of Female Minor
Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Hearing on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
March 31, 1998

When I came to Saipan in 1995, 1 was 14. My passport said I was 21 and I was a tourist. My boss told me in the Philippines that I would be a dancer but not naked. The first day he forced us to dance naked. He said don't tell your age or that you are a tourist. I was shocked. He said if you don't follow me, the door is open. Buy your own ticket and pay back the $1,000 promotion fee. I had no choice. I had no money. I was so scared. I'm so young, I don't know what's going on.

I thought laws in America protect workers and treat people with respect. I thought I would make good money to send home to my family. But I was treated like an animal. Life was really hell in Saipan. I couldn't believe America would let bosses take away my childhood. I should have been in school, not working there naked. I was ashamed. I still have friends there who are suffering like I suffered. I'm not the only one. Many workers are in bad condition. I don't want this to happen to anybody else like happened to me.

When I started my job, I didn't want to take my clothes off. My boss was swearing at me. I was just crying. I took my clothes off and he made me do splits. It really hurt me. He said he would teach me to dance. He wanted me to be a star because I'm younger than everybody. What could I do? I learned how to use cough medicine so I don't know what I'm doing. When I learned how to drink, I'm always drunk and they took advantage of me. They put their fingers inside me but I can't do anything about it. My boss said the customer is always right. One customer bit my nipple so hard that I just slapped him. One time a customer punched me on my bare stomach. They try to push sex on me in front of everybody on stage. The customers at the bar were everybody, like local people. Some customers are crazy. My boss told me to light a cigarette from my mouth and put it in my vagina. He was so mad at me because I would not spread my legs. So many times I burned my legs. The customers would come up and light their cigarettes between my legs. I had to put my mouth on their private parts and sometimes they came inside me. Sometimes my boss told us girls to have sex together so the customers wouldn't get bored. They took videos of me many times on the stage doing "shower shows" and "cigarette shows" for commercials and to put in magazines.

My body hurt. My heart hurt. I cried a lot and I was scared. But I had no choice. I had no money to buy a ticket to go home. What could I do? When my boss said he was sending me to Hong Kong, I was really scared. My friend went there and they made her a prostitute.

Three years later I am still trying to get justice for what happened to me and the other girls. But nothing has changed. What happened to me was against the law. New laws can help other girls. It's too late for me.

I was born in Manila on June 9, 1981. My parents were squatters and they fought a lot. I quit school and ran away when I was 12.1 looked for a job. I met Kate Zamora and she got me a job in the Pambuli Club as a G.R.O. That means a guest reception officer. When I danced in Manila I gave my mother money. She knew where I worked and sometimes visited. Then the money became less and less.

The first time I met Kate's father, Eugene Zamora, he took videos and pictures of me in the club. It was my first time to dance naked. I didn't have any hair between my legs because I was young. I was ashamed and I didn't want to take off my clothes. His daughter started swearing at me and I was afraid so I did it. The first English words I learned were swear words.

The Zamoras asked me if I wanted to work in Saipan, America. They said I would make a lot of money because I was still young. They said I wouldn't have to pay anything, even board and lodging or promotion fees. They said I wouldn't have to dance without clothes. They were all lies.

My passport had lies too. It said I was born in 1974 and that I was going to Saipan to be a tourist. I told the Zamoras but they said not to worry because they faked the passport. There were five girls who went together. We got to Saipan on Nov. 14, 1995. When we first came we lived in the Club Kalesa, where we worked. We stayed there one month or more and we slept on the stage and sometimes on the chairs. Then we moved to the barracks. We couldn't leave the barracks unless we had to buy clothes or something like that. The guards from the bar had to go with us. After the bar closed they would check our beds and make sure the rooms were locked. There were rules on the wall ~ no noise, no gossiping, no visitors. It was like a prison.

I was supposed to get $4 an hour for dancing naked and doing special shows. But I never got that much. My bosses took out $50 for promotion fees, $50 for talent manager, $50 for board and lodging and more from every pay. They never really explained how much I was really earning per hour and how many hours I was working. After a few months they always paid us late. We had to work six days a week and sometimes they made me work on my day off too. That wasn't right. They didn't pay me for that day, only tips from "ladies drinks" that customers bought us. They kept our pay two times for a deposit for emergency funds. But when I asked for the fund because my dad was sick, they only gave me $50. What can I buy with $50? Not even medicine.

On Jan. 8, 1996, the Zamoras took us to Palau for one day so we could get entry permits to Saipan. My permit was for waitress, but they pushed me to dance.

In Saipan they taught girls to be prostitutes in Hong Kong. My friend worked at Club Kalesa. They sent her to Hong Kong in 1996 when she was 18. She told me she was in Saipan about three years already. She was 15 when she got to Saipan. In March 1996 my boss told me he was getting papers for me to go to Hong Kong. He told me when my visa arrived and ticket, I would just have to go. There would be no question, I would have to fly out.

In late October I went to the Philippine Consul General and later the Saipan Labor Department to complain. I told them I was only a minor and I came on a tourist visa. I told them I had to dance naked even if my permit was for a waitress. The U.S. Department of Labor filed a civil case for me and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a criminal case. What happened to me was a crime. It is illegal. The Philippine Consul General and Filipino groups helped take me to the United States because my life was in danger. My life was threatened and my family too. People said if I didn't drop the case someone was going to set up my mom like she was a drug dealer, and my dad too.

Today I live in the United States in the foster care program and I am 16.1 have a good job and a home tutor. Many Americans have helped me and I thank them and the U.S. government for giving me a second chance in my life. But the other workers in Saipan won't get this chance. That is why it is important for me to speak for them.

Please change the laws to help the other girls and workers. Please change the laws to make bad bosses go to jail and have a lesson. That is the only way to change the CNMI. Otherwise human beings will still be treated like animals. Young girls like me will still dance naked in bars instead of go to school. They will still learn to be prostitutes. They will have no childhood.

Please give me and the others justice. Everybody is expecting justice from you because we have been waiting too long.

Thank you.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/9/20/92442/9536
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. Fantastic piece!
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. Great research!
Thanks for the post!
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. want to make a flyer soon to hang up on this
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. Wow n/t
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-23-06 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. kick
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babsbunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
16. OH! If only Keith Olbermann would report on this!
He isn't afraid!
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Let's all email KO!
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. If only Wolf Blitzer or Brian Williams would report this.
Then we'd be starting to gain ground.

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. We need to make our own citizen news on YouTube and Current TV
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. And just how many people does that reach? A few thousand?
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Think we would start off at around 25,000 views
and build from there. MSNBC is from 150,000 to 350,000 for their shows, altho KO has now exceeded that...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. And CBS Evening News (last of the big 3) reaches 5-6 *million*
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. You got me, I am convinced
the roots from the Abramhoff tree reach deep and wide....
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-24-06 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. I hope Busby isn't too shy to stand up to the Mob n/t
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