What Jack Abramoff Forgot To Tell '60 Minutes': The Grover Norquist And Rick Santorum Connection!

Casino Jack Abramoff And His Friends, Grover Norquist and Rick Santorum!

Casino Jack Abramoff's interview on '60 Minutes' delved into the seedy side of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., but he failed to talk about two of his very best friends who are currently still major players on the national political scene. Grover Norquist, self-appointed disciplinarian and head of the Republican party and director of Americans For Tax Prosperity, not only still plays the lobbying game, he has managed to use his power to garner over 1100 signatures to what he calls, "The Taxpayer Pledge".

Almost every elected Republican member of Congress, as well as the current GOP candidates for President have signed Grover's Pledge to never, ever, ever, ever raise taxes. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, just recently referred to Norquist as "some random person". Random person? When was the last time you saw some "random person" coerce an oath of allegiance from almost all GOP members of Congress? I am a random person and I am unable to get a phone call from my Congressman, much less his signature on an oath. Funny thing about Boehner's remark...Boehner has signed Norquist's Random Person Oath...

While Norquist's history with Jack Abramoff is complicated, the two have been best of friends since the early days. BFF's for years! Norquist managed Abramoff's early campaign to become chairman of the College Republican National Committee and Norquist was directly implicated in the funneling of money for Abramoff during the Native American Indian gambling scandal that sent Abramoff and dozens of others to prison. While Norquist did not go to prison, he was accused of laundering money for Abramoff through Americans For Tax Prosperity .

During Abramoff's interview, he stated that things have not changed in Washington. Lobbyists are thriving and Congress is still participating in 'pay to play'. Abramoff went further to say that he feels guilty about the things he did. Maybe if he feels so guilty, he will tell the whole truth and expose those who helped him and those he knows who are still buying influence with elected officials. One of those he exposes would have to be Grover Norquist!

During the '60 Minutes' interview, Abramoff touched on "K Street" and the scandal that occurred, What he did not touch on was ALL of the people who were actively involved in the scandal. While the K Street Project Lobbying scandal had Norquist's name all over it, it also had the name of current GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum listed. Abramoff conveniently failed to mention that Santorum was a very willing and active participant.

After the elections of 1994 in which the GOP overwhelmingly took control of Congress, Abramoff and his buddies, Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, along with Tom Delay, pressured lobbying firms to hire key Republican party members and Congressional staffers. They also designed spread sheets and dossiers, showing political contributions; then using those dossiers, bartered access to elected members of Congress. The more money donated, the more access. The less money, the less access. The 'pay to play' game was illegal. Tom Delay went to prison, Abramoff went to prison, Reed barely escaped prison and Norquist came away again unscathed. Reed, once disgraced, has since come back as the head and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which is eerily similar in its goals to every other conservative organization. Ever notice that these slicksters always incorporate Faith (Christian values) and Freedom (an American value) to further their profits and their influence?

As a part of the K Street scheme, Rick Santorum was, by almost all accounts, the Senate liason who met with the lobbyists every week and 'scheduled' access to his Senate colleagues in the 'pay to play' scandal. Today, Presidential candidate Santorum has not been pressed to answer questions about his involvement in this scandal, but he does continue to say he is a fighter for Christian values. Someone should do a little bit of research and inquire if participation in what amounts to bribery, fraud and 'pay to play' politics is a Christian value.

Will Abramoff Keep Sacred The 11th Commandment?

Ronald Reagan issued the 11th Commandment to his fellow Republicans during his run for Governor of the state of California in the 1966 campaign. It is simply: Thou shalt not speak ill of any other Republican.

Abramoff, during his '60 Minutes' interview did not seem sincerely apologetic for his crimes. He seemed to be more apologetic that he got caught. He has spent time in prison, but his buddies, Grover Norquist and Rick Santorum are still in the spotlight, still profiting. Maybe Abramoff would like to share some of that spotlight. By detailing the involvement of his BFF's, he could certainly regain some credibility and help to shine a light on the past and current evils and corruption of Washington politics, but then again, Abramoff is 'old school' Republican. He believes in that 11th Commandment. He may not believe in God's commandment about stealing; he has certainly demonstrated that, but his interview demonstrated that he is not willing to break Reagan's commandment. Too bad!

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Comments 14 comments

HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great Hub Jillian. Abramoff is very apologetic. He's VERY sorry he got caught. Norquist and Reed were incredibly tangled up in his web and how they escaped prosecution, I'll never know. I did not know about Santorum being involved but I'm not surprised. This group has no scruples or values except for greed.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Yes, He is very sorry he got caught and he relishes the idea that the corruption is still going on. At least that is what I saw as the expression on his face.

Yes, Santorum, that wonderful family values candidate, was the point man...Greed seems to be one of the family values...


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Jillian, So this is why the GOP have put the skids to any serious attempt at campaign finance reform. They are all up to their necks in corruption and like you say, the news from Abramoff is what he did not tell us all. Great investigative piece that does 60 minutes one better.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Yes, Credence2, this is why. They are all up to their eyes in the business of greed. I have watched Abramoff several times on several different programs and he will never name names. When pressed, he says, they were not indicted. Not indicted does not necessarily mean not guilty...


chefsref profile image

chefsref 5 years ago from Citra Florida

Hey Jillian

I think Abramoff is engaged in that favorite pastime of the right wing, REDEMPTION! You can be totally corrupt until you are caught then confess your sins and be redeemed. It happens repeatedly. No doubt Abramoff will go on to collecting big speaking fees after his redemption is complete


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA Author

Dear Chefsref,

I agree. He keeps indicting the system, which we all know is rigged, but he stops short of naming and indicting ALL of those who were so eager to help with the buying of Congress...


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago

Nice job. I missed the 60-minutes interview which today's NYTimes characterized as part of Jack's effort to make a comeback after getting out of prison.

Grover Norquist, IMHO, is one of the most evil influences in America.


michabelle profile image

michabelle 4 years ago

Hi Jillian,

You might want to watch this (re)trial. It just started in Alabama, and they might be calling Casino Jack as a witness.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/201202...


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA Author

Wow! Just read the article- Unbelievable! Actually, not so much. I am never surprised anymore how corrupt people are. Always disappointed, but never surprised...sad, isn't it?


Dr Gene Nelson profile image

Dr Gene Nelson 4 years ago

Nice article. Readers of your page may be interested in a really huge component of the Abramoff Scandal - namely how big companies like Microsoft boosted their profits by permanently displacing millions of experienced American citizen technical professionals from their careers. They were replaced with young, less-expensive imported workers who labor under conditions similar to indentured servitude. Microsoft's profits have been boosted by billions of dollars since they first hired Jack Abramoff in December, 1994.

This part of the scandal involves corrupt lobbyist Jack A. Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and many other members of "Team Abramoff." (Some team members, such as Michael Smith are STILL working for Microsoft at Cornerstone Government Affairs!) Team Abramoff worked closely with disgraced House leader Tom DeLay and his staff. Microsoft and its proxies expended about $100 million in politically-connected expenditures between 1995-2000. In return, Microsoft and other high-tech firms were able to procure 3 employer-friendly changes to the controversial H-1B Visa program during that same period. Those changes were worth billions of dollars to the economic elites.

I believe that since Senator John McCain (who headed the Abramoff investigation) was also a beneficiary of those corporate funds, many of the details of this corruption were sealed by McCain in the National Archives for 50 years.

Here are more resources for your readers that wish to investigate this scandal: My 10 page investigative article, written in 2007, covers the salient points. http://tinyurl.com/37l8ry My 110 page legal filing became Exhibit 40 in the case USA v Abramoff - http://tinyurl.com/koyqg2 I'm interested in what you think.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA Author

Dear Dr. Nelson,

I just finished reading the first link you provided. Just saying thank you is not enough! Incredible! I had no idea, and realize how little most of us know. I have always known that Abramoff and his merry band of thieves were involved in much more than pay for play, but did not realize the involvement or even the impact of the H-1B visa. I had long wondered about the impact of the visas on American workers and the chart you provide is an education in itself.

I will be reading the link again and am anxious to read the second one that you have so generously provided. I recommend that everyone take some time and examine the significant and important information you offer...Excellent!

Dr. Nelson, I am a fan! Thank you!


Dr Gene Nelson profile image

Dr Gene Nelson 4 years ago

I appreciate your complement, Jillian. Here is my companion article, "Career Destruction Factories - what American Colleges Have Become," http://tinyurl.com/nn28sp which was published in 2005. Just as in the 2007 article, the common theme is political corruption. Former Representative Joshua Eilberg was definitely a crook. Please note the summary of my conversation with him in the article. Joshua's actions converted the natural science Ph.D. that I was working on at the time into a mostly worthless piece of toilet paper. Please search for the 13 April 1993 Wall Street Journal article, "Black Hole Opens in Scientist Job Rolls" to learn more about the Eilberg Amendment's harmful personal impact.

Advocates for high levels of immigration portray it as a net benefit for the nation. They neglect such examples as Ed Curry, Kevin Flanagan, Lori Bonitakis, and a recent California example, Andre Turner, former Southern California Edison (SCE) IT employee who attempted on 16 December 2011 to murder four SCE managers, including one likely H-1B Visa holder. All of these Americans are dead. I hold that they are victims of the controversial H-1B Visa program.

There is still another harmful aspect to these policies. These work visa programs facilitate weapons of mass destruction proliferation. My 2007 article highlights Abdul Qadeer Khan, Ph.D. - a Pakistani who stole nuclear bomb secrets from the European conglomerate URENCO from 1972-1976. Only 22 short years later, Pakistan test detonated their first six nuclear weapons in May, 1998. Since then, Abdul has aggressively disseminated this specialized knowledge to Muslim nations. Abdul was hired at URENCO on a work visa analogous to the H-1B Visa. Unfortunately, work visa recipients are disseminating knowledge of strategic and "dual use" technologies to nations whose interests are diametrically opposed to the United States.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA Author

Dear Dr. Nelson,

You have provided me with my weekend reading list, and I thank you.

The old saying, "Knowledge is power" has never been more timely than it is right now. I will comment again, once my reading is finished.

By the way, I love learning!


Dr Gene Nelson profile image

Dr Gene Nelson 4 years ago

Hello Jillian and your Hubpages readers. Here are some connections to the "bigger picture." This information should raise your concern levels if you or your children are college graduates.

One reason why U.S. college degrees have become an investment with a negative return is that a significant number of colleges and universities have changed their business model. Behind the scenes, they now market U.S. degrees to foreigners as a means to jump to the head of the immigration line. While the topic is arcane, there are no current annual caps on F-1 (student) visas or J-1 (exchange visitor) visas. The student, particularly in science and engineering fields, may obtain a OPT, giving them a 29 month period of employment where the employer sets the wages and working conditions. Again, no annual numerical caps. This leads to the H-1B Visa (and several other work visa programs) which have high annual numerical caps and no protections for U.S. workers. The U.S. citizen may be required to train their imported replacement, with no recourse, before the American's job is cut. These changes amount to a behind-the-scenes foreign hiring preference system. I suggest using the powerful no-cost citizen activism tools at NumbersUSA dot com to demand meaningful reductions in immigration to protect the career interests of American citizens.

Gene Nelson, Ph.D.

________________

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/...

Student loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion this year

By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

Updated 10/25/2011 1:23 PM

Comments 1078

Students and workers seeking retraining are borrowing extraordinary amounts of money through federal loan programs, potentially putting a huge burden on the backs of young people looking for jobs and trying to start careers.

PHOTO CAPTION: Full-time undergrads borrowed an average of 4,963 last year, according to the College Board. By Butch Dill, AP

The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Department of Education and private sources.

Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what's owed on home loans and credit cards.,,,,,

_________

Here's the Nicholas Pardini blog entry referenced in the USA Today story above. It was very challenging post to locate and is worthwhile to read in its entirety.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/277941-shorting-st...

Shorting Student Loans: The Next Major Credit Bubble

July 5, 2011

by: Nicholas Pardini

America's debt crisis did not end with the subprime mortgage crisis. Mortgages, may set off the trigger, but the student loan debt is an overlooked bond bubble waiting to crash.

Student loans have surpassed credit card debt for the leading type of private debt among Americans. The cost of higher education has been outpacing inflation since 1982, as the real cost of education has increased 339%. Societal pressure to go to college and some students' decisions to go to non-Ivy League private schools has students from middle income backgrounds racking up anywhere between $50,000 to $200,000 in student loan debt. That figure does not include graduate school, where many students will add more loans that easily surpass six figures to obtain a masters, law degree, MBA, or medical degree.

With the current state of the job market, many if not most of these unfortunate borrowers will not be able to pay off their debt with a lower than expected income. This trend is showing itself through increasing default rates of student loans. Three-year default rates have risen from 11.8% for loans issued in 2007 to 13.8% issued in 2008 (most recent data available). Meanwhile, the fundamental factors driving these defaults have not changed since.......

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