Preston Gates, Abramoff Lobbying Firm, Profiled:


The Seattle Times looks at the rocky relationship between Jack Abramoff and his former lobbying firm Preston Gates. Preston Gates, an old Seattle firm, whose best known members were good-government types Jim Ellis and William Gates, Sr., the father of Bill Gates, was predominantly a Democratic lobby shop in the 1980s, but after the 1994 GOP takeover was forced to hire Republicans. The new GOP majority “was brutal” in pressuring Preston Gates to hire Republicans and so they hired Jack Abramoff, who falsely claimed to have connections to Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. Abramoff helped catapult the Seattle firm into becoming on of the biggest lobby shops in Washington, DC. He pulled in a $3.12 million contract with the Mississippi Choctaws, the most any lobbyist was paid in 1999. But despite his success he was a prima donna who did not want to hear the word “teamwork”, skipped meetings, and demanded he have his own car and driver. The Preston Gates and Abramoff relationship ended much the same way that Abramoff’s relationship with the College Republicans came to an end, with Abramoff’s ego and excesses becoming too much of a burden.