Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sounds like the pigeon is starting to sing already.

In a story excerpted from today's Wall Street Journal, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who yesterday made a plea deal with Federal proscecutors investigating corruption in Congress, has now raised the number of people he might implicate to up to sixty.

Making the bribery case especially striking -- and worrisome for members of Congress -- is that some of its elements include transactions that occur in Washington every day. It is commonplace for lawmakers to solicit campaign donations from lobbyists, who routinely offer them in hopes of gaining advantage. Yet Mr. Abramoff also went far beyond routine practice by furnishing lawmakers with lavish trips, free meals and entertainment as well.

It remains unclear which lawmakers prosecutors are looking at, and also how persuasive Mr. Abramoff could be in helping to make potential cases against any of them stick. A onetime chairman of College Republicans -- a close ally of such party luminaries as Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist -- Mr. Abramoff says he has information that could implicate 60 lawmakers.

Yesterday, it was twenty. And there will probably be a handful of Democrats-- and I would hope they get thrown out as well, because I have no tolerance for this kind of stuff-- corruption is one of the few reasons I've ever crossed party lines and voted Republican-- but the huge majority of these will be Republicans.

If this keeps up, there could be one silver lining for the GOP in the House; they may duck letters of reprimand from the House ethics committee, because it may not be possible to find five Republicans in the House with enough separation from Abramoff/DeLay to even sit on the ethics committee.

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