The Washingtonian has an interesting article written by Kim Eisler about his old friend Jack Abramoff, with a lot of interesting inside information and quotes from the convicted felon:
Of Iowa senator Charles Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance committee, who had been critical of Abramoff, Jack said: “You can say you have a good source that Grassley not only carried my water on the Bear Council issue [a fight over tribal recognition in Grassley’s state] and received a ton of contributions in return, but he also did one of the biggest asks from Abramoff ever, taking Tyco out of the tax bill… . They would have been hit with a $4-billion tax bill.”
Last year, the Sioux City Journal reported that Senator “Aw Shucks” and the rest of the Republican delegation were tied in well with Abramoff:
According to Federal Elections Commission documents, Grassley received a $1,000 campaign contribution from Abramoff in March 2003.
Abramoff also gave $5,000 to the Hawkeye PAC, which Grassley uses to raise money for other House and Senate candidates.
The Meskwaki, Choctaw and Saginaw Chippewa tribes gave $13,000. Another $3,500 came from co-workers at Abramoff’s lobbying firm.
Recipients of Hawkeye PAC funds included Reps. Nussle, Tom Latham and Steve King, who got $10,000 each in 2004.
Des Moines lawyer Stan Thompson, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, for a second time in 2004, received $15,000 from the PAC.
Latham gave the $1000 he received directly from Abramoff to charity (whatever that means), but Grassley stubbornly refused.
Do you think the Iowa press will follow up on this story? I don’t either. But it would be nice if some embarrassment in the press and the prospect of riding out the rest of his career in the minority would encourage Grassley to hang it up in 2010. I would love to see him hop on his lawn movers and head west, back home, into the sunset.