T Nation

What Does Scanlon Know?


#1

Scanlon Faces Conspiracy Charge in Scandal
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051119/ap_on_go_ot/lobbyists_tribes
[i]
WASHINGTON - A partner of lobbyist Jack Abramoff is charged with conspiring to defraud American Indian tribes of millions of dollars in a scheme that lavished trips, sports tickets and campaign donations on a member of Congress.

Michael Scanlon, a one-time aide to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, will appear in federal court Monday on a single count contained in a criminal information. That typically is a prelude to a guilty plea and cooperation with government investigators.
[/i]
So, I think the question is, if he is willing to plead guilty and cooperate, just what does he know?


#2

Nobody cares? I think this could get interesting... given that if he does know anything, it is related to the party that promised us ethics for a change.

Corruption Inquiry Threatens to Ensnare Lawmakers
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/politics/20lobby.html
[i]
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 - The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff, the former Republican superlobbyist who diverted some of his tens of millions of dollars in fees to provide lavish travel, meals and campaign contributions to the lawmakers whose help he needed most.

The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.

The charges against Mr. Scanlon identified no lawmakers by name, but a summary of the case released by the Justice Department accused him of being part of a broad conspiracy to provide "things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment to federal public officials in return for agreements to perform official acts" - an attempt at bribery, in other words, or something close to it.

Mr. Abramoff, who is under indictment in a separate bank-fraud case in Florida, has not been charged by the federal grand jury here. But Mr. Scanlon's lawyer says he has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate in the investigation, suggesting that Mr. Abramoff's day in court in Washington is only a matter of time.
[/i]


#3

The Abramoff thing has been going on for quite awhile -- he looks like a real slimeball.

But it also looks as if he vastly overstated his own influence in the government (imagine that).

We'll see what happens, but nothing remarkable as of yet.


#4

This story is just getting started. I have no idea if this reaches into congress, but check out the story on the murder of Gus Boulis. Abramoff and Kidan bought Sun Cruz from Boulis in 2001, and he was shot to death 6 months later. They have been indicted for fraud relating to that purchase. And the 3 men arrested for shooting Boulis? Mob-connected goons and long-time Kidan associates:

Boulis, who'd kept a stake in SunCruz, soon became enraged with Kidan's free-spending management. Among those hired for catering and security services were Kidan's old mob friend Moscatiello and another upstanding citizen named Anthony ''Little Tony'' Ferrari. When Boulis started to raise hell about the money, things grew so tense that Kidan got a restraining order and even hired three bodyguards.

Boulis filed suit, and the next month he was dead, shot to death in his BMW after leaving his office in Fort Lauderdale. Like Abramoff, Kidan says he knows nothing about Boulis' murder.

In September, Moscatiello, Ferrari and a third man, James ''Pudgy'' Fiorillo, were charged with the crime.

So Kidan, Abramoff's partner, pays these guys, and then they assasinate his nemesis...sounds like this story will get a lot juicier.


#5

dermo,

I'm sure it will -- Abramoff is a sleaze. And for what it's worth, I'm sure it will be interesting.

But as a political story, highlighting some tenuous associations to Congressmen isn't going to go anywhere unless there's some link much more clear regarding corruption than taking a lobbyist-paid trip.


#6

Several congressmen will lose their jobs and a few will lose their freedom.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.


#7

You are too transparent.

GO GOP GO!

ROTHFLMFAO


#8

Adding the same value as always I see...


#9

I agree, but Abramoff's political connections make the story itself more interesting...I am very curious where it will go, who will be implicated along with him.


#10

Right back at ya' RWN.


#11

marma's full of piss and vineager but not much else I'm afraid. Too bad he doesn't have too much too add in the way of intelligent debate.


#12

I agree. I'm hoping that no one allowed himself to be bought off by them, but we are talking about politicians after all. We'll see where this goes. I have huge doubts that this will touch Delay as far as corruption, but apparently there's some speculation about an Ohio representative (can't remember the name).


#13

I wonder if this is a bit of foreshadowing of things to come. Perhaps there is some overlap and perhaps there isn't, I certainly am not in the loop.

DeLay in court for key hearing
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051122/pl_nm/delay_dc

[i]The charges are part of a widening political scandal around DeLay, who has been accused of various ethical violations in recent years and whose former top aide and press secretary Michael Scanlon pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiracy to bribe public officials in a separate case in Washington.

Scanlon, after leaving DeLay's staff in 2000, was a partner with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is being investigated for bilking American Indian tribes of millions of dollars for legislative help with their gambling casinos and of treating politicians including DeLay to lavish trips and perks that may have violated U.S. House of Representatives ethics rules.

DeLay has denied wrongdoing in the Texas case and said he is the victim of a Democratic plot to oust him from power because of his effectiveness in advancing his conservative political agenda. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.[/i]

While they may be unrelated, being a top aid would probably have resulted in a lot of connections and dealings, inside knowledge, whatever.

I'm also guessing that if he has decided to cooperate in one investigation that he'd probably do so in another... again, if he actually has any pertinent information related at all -- as these things generally do widen in scope, not shrink.


#14

Does it seem that the media wants to tie this to DeLay, or is it actually related to DeLay at this point?

Anyhow, back to Scanlon...

Ex-DeLay Aide Cooperating in Bribery Probe
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051122/ap_on_go_co/lobbyist_tribes
[i]
WASHINGTON - A former aide to Rep.
Tom DeLay who pleaded guilty in a federal bribery probe involving members of Congress has been cooperating with prosecutors since July.

"There have been a lot of conversations" between Scanlon and federal prosecutors over the past five months, Scanlon attorney Plato Cacheris said Monday night. "He had a lot to say."

The statement of facts that Scanlon signed said that he and Abramoff - identified in the document as Lobbyist A - provided items to public officials in exchange for "agreements to support and pass legislation, agreements to place statements in the Congressional Record, agreements to contact personnel in the United States Executive Branch agencies and offices to influence decisions of those agencies and offices." A representative of the Inspector General's office in the Interior Department was seated at the table of prosecutors.
[/i]
I don't know about you, but I find that last paragraph rather chilling, if true. That is entirely too much corporate influence over government -- as I assume that is where this type of money is coming from.

Call me an idealist, but I think government should be unfettered from corporate interests when it makes it decisions and policies. The government is supposed to represent the people, not just the interests of those that have a lot of money.


#15

vroom,

Interesting speculation, but the only thing connecting the two is the mention of DeLay's name. Scanlon is being investigated for stuff he did after he was on DeLay's staff. While I'm sure he used connections made while there, Scanlon is on trial for stuff he did, and evidence he will provide will be related to bribery/corruption charges.

W/r/t DeLay's Texas case w/ Ronnie Earle, the prosecution is alleging conspiracy to violate TX campaign finance laws in local TX elections.

Unless there's something huge missing from the picture that connects the two, it doesn't look like they're connected.


#16

Unfortunately, you are an idealist. Indeed it should be separate, but capture theory holds that in general, regulated industries tend to "capture" the regulators, so that the regulators reflect their desires. The fights you have are between different groups of regulated industries fighting over the same issue, e.g. TV makers v. broadcasters over the implementation of high-def TV standards.

The problem is that the "interest of the people" is widely dispersed, whereas the interest of the regulated industries is highly concentrated. Thus the people don't have the incentive to care, but the industries have lots of incentive to fight for their interests.

Take, for example, sugar subsidies. Sugar producers roll in the trough from those, but the average consumer probably doesn't see more than $100 a year in extra costs, disbursed over a year's grocery bills.


#17

Heh, I know it is not separate, and I do understand "why".

However, things that aren't as they should be are interesting to ponder. Are there ways to correct the situation in an appropriate manner?

Additional transparency on personal and private donations? Reduced ability to own financial interests, even through supposed blind trusts or otherwise? Total elimination of corporate ability to donate to parties - so that all monies arrive directly from donating parties?

Anything to offer in terms of how to fix it, as opposed to an introductory lecture on why those with the money have an interest in the outcome of government decisions?

Hmm, perhaps a bit off topic...


#18

Anyone hear anything about this? Looks like it might be dangerous to investigate this case:
http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/110805/news1.html


#19

BB, I think that it is Bob Ney who is in trouble in Ohio.


#20

That seems to be a common theme in most of the subjects you post about. Must we always be informed of what you find interesting to ponder? Honestly - I don't understand you fascination with ruminating in public.

Campaign finance reform worked so well the first time around - do you think we should really mess with it again? I think that unless it is to return it to the way it was before McCain-Feingold screwed it all up, folks should just stop trying to fix it.

You will never eliminate corporate money. Oh you might stop it from going directly to the politicians, but there will be a way for corporate interests to be heard. It will make the explosion of 529's look like a bingo party compared to what a lot of pissed off corps will be able to do.

Money is a shortcut to power. You figure out how to separate money from power, or power from politics, and then you might have something.