The Democrats are still playing partisan politics over the Abramoff scandal. Here is how The Washington Note described Harry Reid’s position yesterday as the Democrats joined the Republicans in lobbying reform proposals:
Senator Reid shared with us that just that day an unnamed Democratic Senator had come to him with a proposal on "ethics reform" ala Abramoff that could be bi-partisan. Reid told this person that this was the wrong time to be engaged in construtive "reform" proposals with the other side. He said that this was the time to draw a line and to show how "our side" differed dramatically from "their side."
Obviously the Democrats would rather play politics instead of working for reform. And as I have said repeatedly, the Democrats have two sets of rules, one for Republicans and none for themselves. As Harry Reid joins in the Democrat’s whining about the GOP’s culture of corruption, he is no better:
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), like House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), signed a letter in 2002 to Interior Secretary Gail A. Norton on behalf of an Abramoff client around the time he received a large campaign contribution from Abramoff's tribal clients. Edward P. Ayoob, a former Reid aide, was a member of Abramoff's lobbying team.
Here is more on the Reid and Ayoob connection:
Reid also has been linked to Abramoff through Edward Ayoob, who is from Las Vegas and worked for Reid from June 1997 to March 2002 variously as legislative counsel, tax counsel, appropriations manager, foreign affairs adviser and chief aide on judicial nominations, according to a biography on his employer's Web site.
Ayoob in 2002 was hired as a lobbyist by Greenberg Traurig LLP, where his work included teaming with Abramoff and other lobbyists on client matters.
Abramoff left Greenberg Traurig in March 2004 after the Senate and the FBI began investigating his activities.
Ayoob, 36, left Greenberg Traurig in spring 2005. He now is a senior lobbyist at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.
Contacted at his office last week, Ayoob declined to comment.
And Free Republic has even more on Ayoob as they explain the Democrat’s role in the Abramoff Group Scandal (AGS) and the Jack Abramoff Group (JAG) lobbyists:
JAG Democrat Edward Ayoob: $ 500
1. Was a key staff member to AGS Dem Harry Reid before joining JAG from '01 - '04
2. While a key lobbyist with JAG, Ayoob donated $4,000 to Reid, for lobbying client favors, held a fundraiser for Reid at JAG's law offices/employer being Greenberg Traurig (GT), and GT also donated $19,941 to Sen. Reid - his 18th single largest donor.
3. From '97 - '98, Edward Ayoob was the Assistant Finance Director for Harry's Reid's PAC, "Friends for Harry Reid", and on the PAC's payroll. During that time Reid's PAC was FEC fined for improper payroll accounting involving $316,737 in payroll expenditures.
4. At 01.10.06, per a highly knowledgeable source, Ayoob is under DOJ criminal investigation for his AGS role, along with Sen. Harry Reid and the law firm of Greenberg Traurig. Sen. Reid has significant AGS involvement, receiving $68,941, yet to-date denies that he received any AGS, or related, donations.
Later in the thread you will find a listing of Ayoob clients that include the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Here is what was reported in April 2002 by Indian Country Today:
After more than 40 years of awaiting compensation for land taken by federal hydroelectric dam projects, the last two Missouri River tribes in the case are nearer to hopes of compensation.
Legislation providing that funds be awarded to the Yankton Sioux and Santee Sioux Tribes has passed through the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. A companion bill was introduced in the House, but details need work, said Robert Cournoyer, vice chairman of the Yankton Sioux Tribe.
These two tribes are among the poorest in the nation with high unemployment rates and few jobs. They are located in low population areas so casinos provide little more than employment for a few tribal members. Cournoyer said the Yankton tribe has between 70 and 80 percent unemployment and this award will help to create economic development.
"It was exciting when the legislation came out of committee ﾖ to have legislation work for us," Cournoyer said.
Both tribes have had their troubles with litigation pushed by the states of South Dakota and Nebraska that help to drain funds from the tribal coffers.
The equitable compensation will place funds in the Federal Treasury so that the two tribes can draw down interest or use the interest as leverage for loans to improve the infrastructure and economic development on each reservation.
"As a result of the construction of these dams, more than 3,259 acres of land owned by the Yankton Sioux Tribe were flooded or subsequently lost to erosion. Also, approximately 600 acres of land located near the Santee village and 400 acres on the Niobrara Island of the Santee Reservation were flooded," said Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D. Co-authors of the Senate bill are Senators Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Chuck Hagel, R- Neb.
The total amount of the compensation will be $23,023,743 for the Yankton Sioux Tribe and $4,789,010 for the Santee Sioux Tribe.
This bill failed to get out of committee two years ago, but with the persistence of Daschle and Johnson it finally prevailed, Cournoyer said.
"It's good to have someone like Daschle on your side," he said.
And remember that Daschle was the Majority leader back in 2002 and Harry Reid was not only the Majority Whip, he was also a member of the Senate’s Indian Affairs committee that approved the $23 million for the Yankton Sioux Tribe. And lets not forget what the Washington Post reported in June 2005:
But Abramoff didn't work just with Republicans. He oversaw a team of two dozen lobbyists at the law firm Greenberg Traurig that included many Democrats. Moreover, the campaign contributions that Abramoff directed from the tribes went to Democratic as well as Republican legislators.
Among the biggest beneficiaries were Capitol Hill's most powerful Democrats, including Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Harry M. Reid (Nev.), the top two Senate Democrats at the time, Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), then-leader of the House Democrats, and the two lawmakers in charge of raising funds for their Democratic colleagues in both chambers, according to a Washington Post study. Reid succeeded Daschle as Democratic leader after Daschle lost his Senate seat last November.
This all leads one to believe that the Democrat’s culture of corruption continued on after the Clinton years.
UPDATE: Here is more from the Free Republic link regarding JAG Michael Smith:
6. JAG insiders stated Smith was the Democrat alter-ego to Republican Jack Abramoff.
7. Smith served as the Midwest Political Director for the Gore-Lieberman 2000 campaign. In this position, Mike coordinated the campaign's efforts in 8 states, including Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Previously, Mike served as a liaison between the White House, campaign staff and local, state and federal officials during the Clinton-Gore 1996 campaign. He co-founded The Winning Margins, a political action committee dedicated to raising funds for Democratic candidates through low dollar fundraising events. Mike remains active in Democratic politics and continues to advise numerous members of Congress and other elected officials on both political and substantive matters. According to Steve Hildebrand, who was Tom Daschle's 2004 campaign manager, Michael Smith "helped with a lot of Democratic campaigns." Tom Daschle received over $81,000 of AGS donations.
8. At 01.10.06, per a highly knowledgeable source, Smith is under DOJ criminal investigation for his AGS role. Like Stephanie Leger Short, Smith was forced to resign by GT [Greenberg Traurig]. Like Abramoff and Scanlon, Leger Short and Smith are being investigated by the DOJ, not only for Congressional members bribes and kickbacks, but also JAG client over-billing and submitting fraudulent billing invoices.