The NY Times reports today that one of Jack Abramoff’s Indian lobbying clients made a $25,000 contribution to Grover Norquist‘s Americans for Tax Reform just days before the tribe’s chief attended a White House briefing with President Bush with whom he had his picture taken.
Further, another Abramoff Indian client made a similar donation and was also admitted to a meeting with Bush on the same day:
There is only one other documented instance in which Mr. Abramoff was able to obtain a White House meeting for one of his tribal clients through Mr. Norquist, and it occurred the same day of the visit by the Kickapoo leader. On that day, a leader of a Louisiana tribe has said he attended a separate event by Americans for Tax Reform that was also attended by Mr. Bush.
Documents obtained by investigators for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee show that the second tribe, the Louisiana Coushattas, also paid $25,000 to Mr. Norquist’s group shortly before the meeting…
Does this begin to look like a pattern? It’s called pay to play and Norquist appears to have played the game with a vengeance. Rarely have I heard of such a bald-faced example involving presidential access. Usually, things are done a bit more discreetly when it involves a president. But ‘discreet’ and ‘Abramoff’ in the same sentence is quite an oxymoron. Now, it appears that Norquist too was as greedy as Jack was. I don’t know the legal definition of bribery. But if Abramoff told the Indians that donation was the cost of meeting the president then it’d get perilously close to that I’d think.
God, how I hope that when Jack sings he takes down Grover. That one is quite a piece of work. My favorite Norquistism is his quip about Democrats who opposed the repeal of the estate tax. He claimed that they favored “a Holocaust on the rich.” Will anyone shed a tear if this guy’s lobbying career is garroted?