More Signs of Weak Aggregate Demand
More Signs of Weak Aggregate Demand

A Good Story on Abramoff from Bloomberg

There are three money flows here. First, there is Abramoff's $130,000 of direct campaign contributions. Second, there is the money given as campaign contributions by Abramoff's clients--some of which were expenditures directed by Abramoff, and some of which were expenditures that the clients would have made in any case. For example, the Saginaw Chippewa gave $279,000 to Democrats over 1997-2000, and $277,000 over 2001-2004, after they had gotten into bed with Abramoff. It is a safe bet that *none* of those contributions to Democrats were "directed" by Abramoff. The Saginaw Chippewa gave $158,000 to Republicans in 1997-2000, and $500,000 to Republicans in 2001-2004, after they had gotten into bed with Abramoff. It is a safe bet that $340,000 of those contributions to Republicans were "directed" by Abramoff.

The third money flow is the $80 million or so that was paid to Abramoff and company for access to Republicans leaders--$25,000 for setting up a meeting with George W. Bush, et cetera. Some portion of that money flow (the guesses I am hearing is about a quarter) flowed through to politicians (and overwhelmingly Republican politicians) as "lifestyle enhancements"--luxury vacation trips paid for by Abramoff's credit card, and so forth.

All this is by way leading up to this story from Bloomberg News. This is how a story on Abramoff-connected money should be written. Organizations like the Washington Post now have negative credibility as objective news reporters. But--as there ability to report stories honestly indicates--for organizations like Bloomberg, there is still a presumption that their word is good: Abramoff's `Equal Money' Went Mostly to Republicans (Update1) Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President George W. Bush calls indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff ``an equal money dispenser'' who helped politicians of both parties. Campaign donation records show Republicans were a lot more equal than Democrats. Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats.... [H]is Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats.... Larry Noble... who directs the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics [says]. ``It is somewhat unusual in that most lobbyists try to work with both Republicans and Democrats, but we're already seeing that Jack Abramoff doesn't seem to be a usual lobbyist,'' Noble said. Abramoff, 46, is under investigation....

Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff joined with his former partner, Michael Scanlon, and tribal clients to give money to a third of the members of Congress, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, according to records of the Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service. At least 171 lawmakers got $1.4 million in campaign donations from the group. Republicans took in most of the money, with 110 lawmakers getting $942,275, or 66 percent of the total. Of the top 10 political donors among Indian tribes... three are former clients of Abramoff and Scanlon.... All three gave most of their donations to Republicans -- by margins of 30 percentage points or more -- while the rest favored Democrats....