- Jack Abramoff and Tony Rudy were involved in the 1998 gubernatorial election in Guam, according to the Guam Pacific Daily News:
In e-mails reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Abramoff had asked Tony Rudy, Rep. Tom DeLay’s deputy chief of staff, to see if he could garner any assistance in helping the 1998 gubernatorial candidacy of former Gov. Joseph Ada and then Sen. Felix Camacho, now the governor of Guam, who ran against incumbent Gov. Carl Gutierrez at the time.
The e-mail from Abramoff, sent Oct. 26, 1998, stated, “We want to know if there is any way to get Tom to call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by this governor,” referring to Gutierrez.
Abramoff then said he would draft a statement for DeLay and suggested that if Rudy could "issue a press release and letter requesting an Inspector General to investigate these matters, it should have a major impact on the election next week."
Within a few hours, the report states, Rudy and DeLay aide Tom Scanlon released a statement from DeLay and a letter to the Department of the Interior’s inspector general, calling for a federal investigation of Gutierrez.
- Former Pennsylvania congressman and current lobbyist Robert Walker “dismissed lobbying reforms approved by the Senate as minimal and said they would ‘have little or no impact on the way Washington actually operates,’” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Walker states that three steps need to be taken to crack down on lobbying abuses, “Credentialing lobbyists, abolishing so-called leadership political-action committees, and barring contributions by lobbyists to individual campaigns.”
- The Toledo Blade reports that Ohio Senate candidate Rep. Sherrod Brown (D), “his family, and his staff accepted 57 privately funded trips, valued at nearly $180,000, in more than a decade in the House – including flights to Finland, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Israel, Moscow, and Taiwan.” Brown opposes a proposed travel ban pending as a part of lobbying and ethics reform.
- The San Francisco Chronicle reports on Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s fundraising: “If money is power in politics, then Nancy Pelosi wields a lot of it.” Pelosi’s ability to raise money has also brought investigations, predominantly by a conservative named Ken Boehm. Although he tried, Boehm “failed to uncover anything that looked like a legal violation or a bona fide scandal, and he eventually got distracted and moved on to researching somebody else.”
- It seems to me that we get one of these “ethics committee sidelined” stories per week. This time it’s from Roll Call, “The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct met for several hours on Thursday but in the end only reached one public decision — to continue an investigation of a leftover complaint from the 108th Congress against Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) for his leaking of an illegally intercepted phone call between Republican leaders in 1996.”
- The Washington Post reports that Maryland is having just as hard a time as Congress in regulating lobbying.