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The Navigator

This makes perfect sense to me. Political donations don't always stem from corrupt deals. Sometimes people give money to a politician because they know that politician will do the right thing regardless of lobbyists' blandishments, and they want to help ensure that someone who does the right thing will stay in office. What looks deeply suspicious is when politicians start advocating - esp. out of the limelight - for things they wouldn't normally support anyway. This tribal school program, however, sounds like precisely the sort of thing that a Democrat with Indian constituents would naturally think was good policy.

This does raise the question, though, whether there are any Republicans in a similar situation. I confess I haven't been following the Abramoff scandal closely, so I can't say, but I've long sensed a habit on the part of certain partisan progressives, much like the Kossacks, of assuming that every donation to or meal with or meeting with a GOP politician is proof of corruption, and I wonder if some of that is going on here. (Not on Mark's part, let me hasten to clarify, but on the more rabid attack-dog lefty sites.)

I don't doubt, for a second, that several GOP Congressmen are every bit as guilty in this as the Duke was in his own scandal. I'm just thinking out loud, really, wondering whether one or two of the names being gleefully batted around are people who, like Dorgan, behaved in a a fairly normal, noncorrupt way. I don't have anyone in mind - it's just a possibility that fair-minded progressives ought to consider.

Thomas Allen

Markos may have gotten it wrong on the front-page, but Kagro X picks him up at the top of the rec' list.


You say it's an ABC News story, but what you're linking to is actually an AP story picked up by ABCNews.com.


While it's only more of the same, $66,000 may be sufficiently distinctive from $5,000 to constitute an difference. Perhaps, an update in further explanation is called for.

From Joshua Frank:

"Sen. Reid sent a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton on March 5, 2002, which was also signed by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second Abramoff tribe sent another $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004," the AP reported.

It was a political tit-for-tat. Reid opposed the construction of the casino and was paid handsomely for his choice. Another Democrat caught up in the legal chaos is former Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, who, according to tribal records, wrote Norton on March 1, 2002 about the same matter. Coushattas wrote a $1,000 check to his Senate campaign five days later and handed over $10,000 to his library fund."


Not only are the Choctaws in Mississippi and Cochran's constituents, but the tribe is one of the biggest employers in Mississippi. Thousands of people come each day to work at tribal enterprises.


What is truly sad is that there are only a few of you who watch and discern what is going on in these news stories.

More effort should be made in "getting out this disparity of information" than talking amongst yourselves.

Love the Blog,


You will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind


Both Republicans and Democrats are dirty in this unfolding scandal. What is also at issue is how balanced and fairly the lamestream media is going to report this scandal to the American people.

My guess is the liberal media will trumpet how this is a GOP scandal. It's the standard media MO. I will be the first to say that any Republican congressperson who has knowingly engaged in quid pro quo influence peddling should be shamed, run out of office and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But what will probably be under-reported the next few months is the emerging reality influential Democrats may also be involved in Abramoff's dirty money. The Washington Post recently let slip that Democrats Byron Dorgan, Tom Harkin, Tom Daschle, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Richard Gephardt, Patrick Kennedy and Patty Murray may have had financial connections with Abramoff's dirty money.

What is at issue here is this: Will liberal Democrats merely play partisan politics by making up excuses and rationalizations for those on their side of the aisle so implicated or will liberals simply engage in more partisan politics? What say ye?

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