Abramoff: the prequel

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The left wing media are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's scandals bringing down GOP politicians, neglecting (of course) the various Dem pols who have enjoyed his political contributions, and possibly more.

But Abramaoff is not the first lobbyist to work to defeat opening a gambling establishment on behalf of other Indian gambling interests. My friend Gary Larson covered the story of the late Pat O'Connor, which was remarkably similar to Abramoff's supposed crimes. The differences are instructive, though:

1. Sums of money.  Abramoff did it, i.e., "represent" tribes, for millions.  O'Connor did it for hundreds of thousands, and then got nicked for only $85 grand in sanctions (for obstruction of justice).

2. Results.  O'Connor (the founding O in O'Connor & Hannan, St. Paul and Washington, D.C.)  got results.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Babbitt's watch killed a rival Indian casino planned for the now—closed Hudson dog track.  Payoff to O'Connor's clients, the Shakopee Sioux and St. Croix Ojibwe bands?  Hundreds of millions over years, maybe billions, in unshared profits. O'Connor got peanuts compared to Abramoff.

Let's see now, what other difference?  Oh yeah, O'Connor & his friends lobbing for the rich tribes were "Ds" while and presumably Abramoff and Scanlon are "Rs."  Some would argue that's all the difference in the world.

Thomas Lifson  11 30 05

The left wing media are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's scandals bringing down GOP politicians, neglecting (of course) the various Dem pols who have enjoyed his political contributions, and possibly more.

But Abramaoff is not the first lobbyist to work to defeat opening a gambling establishment on behalf of other Indian gambling interests. My friend Gary Larson covered the story of the late Pat O'Connor, which was remarkably similar to Abramoff's supposed crimes. The differences are instructive, though:

1. Sums of money.  Abramoff did it, i.e., "represent" tribes, for millions.  O'Connor did it for hundreds of thousands, and then got nicked for only $85 grand in sanctions (for obstruction of justice).

2. Results.  O'Connor (the founding O in O'Connor & Hannan, St. Paul and Washington, D.C.)  got results.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Babbitt's watch killed a rival Indian casino planned for the now—closed Hudson dog track.  Payoff to O'Connor's clients, the Shakopee Sioux and St. Croix Ojibwe bands?  Hundreds of millions over years, maybe billions, in unshared profits. O'Connor got peanuts compared to Abramoff.

Let's see now, what other difference?  Oh yeah, O'Connor & his friends lobbing for the rich tribes were "Ds" while and presumably Abramoff and Scanlon are "Rs."  Some would argue that's all the difference in the world.

Thomas Lifson  11 30 05