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February 03, 2006

Try Not To Reid Too Much Into This, OK?

Tribes gave to Reid after hiring Abramoff

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada began receiving campaign contributions from at least four American Indian tribes only after they hired Jack Abramoff, Republicans charged this week in an effort to tie the Senate Democratic leader to the disgraced lobbyist.

On Thursday, Reid shrugged off questions about money he received from tribal clients of Abramoff, who pleaded guilty last month to three felonies after being accused of exchanging meals, travel and gifts for political favors.
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"I've said that I received money from Indians in the past and will continue to do so," Reid said.

Asked what he would say about tribes who did not give him money until after hiring Abramoff, Reid said, "What I've said all along."

What the hell does that mean? You usually have to break out the hook when this guy's talking to the press, now he's grunting out six-syllable answers.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee this week revived a charge that Reid received more than $50,000 from four tribes with gaming interests between 2001 and 2004 after they hired Abramoff. The Nevadan had received no money from those tribes before then, Republicans said.

The donations included:

• $19,500 from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California.

• $5,000 from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana.

• $7,000 from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

• $19,000 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
...
Reid has acknowledged receiving $61,000 from tribal clients and lobbying colleagues of Abramoff. He has said the money was legally raised, that he has done nothing improper and does not plan to refund the donations.

Sure, the money was raised legally and he's under absolutely no obligation to return it, but if the Dems are banking as much as they seem to be on this whole "Culture of Corruption" schtick, wouldn't it be a good idea to return the money just to distance yourself from Abramoff?

Appearance of impropriety, anyone?

Does Reid need $61,000 that badly?

The American Prospect, a self-described liberal publication, commissioned a study of donations by Indian tribes that Abramoff represented compared to tribes who were not clients.

The study, performed by campaign finance specialists Dwight L. Morris and Associates, suggests "it's likely that Abramoff had little impact on giving to Democrats," the publication said in a Jan. 27 report.

So, did Abramoff have little influence over any tribes that gave to Republicans as well? I'm guessing The American Prospect and their pals at Dwight L. Morris and Associates would say no.


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posted by John From WuzzaDem at 12:06 PM

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