Wednesday's Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing, chaired by Senator John McCain, was a wealth of information on just how corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff ripped off the 7th District's Coushatta Indians, peddled influence in the Department of Interior, raised money for Tom DeLay, and made Ralph Reed rich by putting anti-gambling Christians to work in support of the efforts of gambling interests in Louisiana. Here's one story on it. Here's another. And another.
Despite the fact that just about all this activity was carried out with funds bilked from a business in the 7th District (the Coushatta Casino in Kinder), 7th District Republican Congressman Charles Boustany has yet to utter a single comment on the burgeoning scandal.
Think it could have something to do with the money DeLay and his cronies raised for Boustany's maiden campaign?
The evidence (links to which can be found here) reveals a level of political cynicism that is breathtaking in its scope. Abramoff's client was the Kinder casino-owning Coushatta Indians. When the Jena Choctaw Indians sought a casino license in Louisiana, Abramoff said he could defeat it, but that it would cost a lot of money. Apparently this effort and a similar effort to defeat a license for a Texas-based tribe moved over $30 million from the Coushatta Tribe's accounts into Abramoff's. Some of it went to Tom DeLay. A lot of it went to former Christian Coalition operative Ralph Reed.
Reed was enlisted by Abramoff to stir up anti-gambling sentiment among Louisiana's fundamentalist Christian communities. So, Abramoff gave gambling-generated money to Reed to use anti-gambling Louisiana Christians to help defeat gambling initiatives that would have hurt the Coushatta Tribe's gambling operations! Got that? Louisiana Christians' anti-gambling fervor was used to score wins for casino owners. Ralph Reed did the orchestrating, using money from Abramoff's gambling clients.
Edwin Edwards could have taken lessons from these guys!
In one email contained in the evidence presented during Wednesday's hearing, Reed gushed that he believed he could use the money Abramoff was providing (again, from the Coushattas) to win control of both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and the Governor's Mansion. Wonder who their candidate was? Had to be someone with close ties to the DeLay/Abramoff/Grover Nordquist wing of the corrupt establishment.
Despite the fact that the victims of the Abramoff reside in the 7th District, 7th District Republican Congressman Charles Boustany has remained silent on the issue. One can only assume that the rookie Congressman is too dependent on the financial largesse that DeLay, Abramoff, et al, to dare speak out against these outrages.
Amazingly, candidate Boustany ran on a platform based, in part, on the fact that he was not part of the old time politics. No. He's part of that new fangled corruption that lies at the heart of Republican control of the House, the Senate, and the White House.
Does the Congressman have no shame?