Dana Rohrabacher ♥ Jack Abramoff
A front page article in this morning's L.A. Times caught my attention...
Rohrabacher Defends Abramoff, a FriendWhile not excusing any illegalities, the Huntington Beach congressman decries a 'feeding frenzy' around the tainted lobbyist.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher offered a rare defense Monday of longtime friend and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty last week to influence peddling charges that have rocked Capitol Hill.
"The last thing I'm going to do is kick a friend when they're down," the nine-term congressman from Huntington Beach told The Times in an interview. He said the two met in the early 1980s, when Rohrabacher was a White House speechwriter and Abramoff was chairman of the College Republicans.
"I'm not excusing anything he did that was wrong or illegal," the congressman said. "It's just a sad commentary on democracy that when someone falls, there's this feeding frenzy and people are abandoned by those they thought were their friends."_______The congressman said he and Abramoff socialized over the years with their families and dined together frequently. Rohrabacher would eat at Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, or play host to the lobbyist in the congressional dining room. A House exemption allowed him to have the meals without reporting them, he said, because the two were friends before Rohrabacher was elected to Congress.Abramoff also asked Rohrabacher and his wife, Rhonda, to a baby shower for about 15 former staffers and congressional spouses to celebrate the birth of the Rohrabachers' triplets in 2004. The event was casual — between lunch and dinner — and featured only hors d'oeuvres, he said."My friend let us use his place for a baby shower," Rohrabacher said in the interview. "Right now there are people looking with a microscope trying to find any infringement to blow up and make look like a scandal."
Pal, you don't need a microscope. ThinkProgress found this nailed to your freakin' front door.
– Rohrabacher enjoyed free dinners at Signatures, Abramoff’s high-end restaurant, once or twice a month.
– Rohrabacher took one of Abramoff’s “Standard Operating Procedure”-style trips, visiting the Northern Mariana Islands while Abramoff was working to convince Congress keep factories in a U.S. territory free from complying with fair labor laws. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 28, 2005]
– Rohrabacher helped Abramoff score a $60 million loan to buy the SunCruz fleet of casino boats in Florida by allowing the lobbyist to list him as a personal reference. (Abramoff added a faked $23 million wire transfer to Rohrabacher’s reference to close the sale.)
Maybe he can help you finance some content on your pitiful PAC site. Or is that a monument to GOP unfinished business?
The guy is bad news. In all fairness, Rohrabacher has been a champion for NASA and seems to care about the environment (he is an avid surfer). He just seems to have a problem with...humanity. And propriety. And we still wonder if his phones, email and web surfing are being monitored closely if his pals in the White House are serious about tracking terrorists.