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(This is a long one, it's not about Palin, plus it's about a member of Congress, but you can still stay focused through it, right?)

For the past week, I had gone through the Federal Elections Commission online database, and I noticed that Jack Abramoff and four ASG associates all donated to the same PAC, which donated to a senator's campaign on the same day.

I recently dove back into the FEC database and got back to digging. On June 16, 2003, Jack Abramoff gave $2,500 to the Keep Our Mission (formerly Keep Our Majority) PAC owned by former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Greenberg Traurig director Todd Boulanger, an indicted Greenberg Traurig employee (Kevin A. Ring), and another employee gave $500 each. Two more directors, former Bob Ney chief of staff Neil Volz and Shawn Vassel, gave $1000 each. A fifth employee gave $250, making for a $6,250 total from Greenberg Traurig. The Mississippi Choctaw Indian Band gave $15,000 to the PAC. $14,250 was also given to this PAC on this date by miscellaneous lobbyists.

On June 3, Dennis Hastert held a fund raiser at Jack Abramoff's restaurant, called "Signatures," for the Keep Our Majority PAC. It was estimated that over $21,500 was given, which matches up exactly with the amount contributed on June 16. Strangely, though, the Mississippi Choctaw contribution, or rather all of them, are missing from the database in searchable format. I happened to find them by accident on the same image as another contribution.

Next, I wanted to see what legislation was going through Congress in June 2003. Well, wouldn't you know it, a week after the June 3 fund raiser, there was a bill on Internet gambling prohibition. Before the final vote, there was a vote on a provision that would have exempted the state-licensed businesses from the bill.

Tom DeLay had been trying to pass legislation that was favorable to Abramoff's clients that month, relating to Internet casino gambling. The Choctaws had a license; the casino they were opposed to didn't. The day of Abramoff and his friends' signatures was written on Hastert's PAC forms as being donated on June 16, after the bill's passage, instead of before on June 3.

According to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, such falsifications of contributions reports is a misdemeanor. The head of the House ethics committee (or any number of other figures) shall refer to the Attorney General the name of any individual they have reasonable cause to believe they committed such a crime, with a maximum penalty of $10,000.

Dennis Hastert now works at Cassidy & Associates, a lobbying company where former Greenberg and Traurig director Todd A. Boulanger also currently serves as Vice President.

The PAC donated $10,000 to Rep. Mike Ferguson (NJ-7) that month on June 27, who had been on the subcommittee that drafted the gambling law that failed to pass in the 107th Congress. Four days before, Ed Buckham and Terry Allen of ASG, who also represented the Mississippi Choctaws and were a group Abramoff often told clients to funnel money through, gave $2,000 to Ferguson directly on June 23.

Here's the link to the database for individual contributions, and here's the PAC database. "Neil Volz," "Kevin Ring," "Jack Abramoff," "Ed Buckham," and "Jim Ellis" appear to be good starting points, if you want to look around for corruption in Congress yourself.

Here are the documents:






Originally posted to Ash Meerstrand on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:02 PM PDT.

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