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As some may know I have been investigating the Jack Abramoff scandal and the Republican Culture of Corruption for well over a decade and since 2004 I have been writing about that scandal here at Daily Kos.

For many, this scandal has become a thing of the past. And yet, quietly, steadily and persistently the DOJ is making progress on this case. Recent developments should make a lot of grifters in the Republican Party and conservative movement very nervous.  In the coming weeks and months the Abramoff scandal may have folks like Dick Armey, Karl Rove and others more worried about Grand Juries than Health Care.

In September the trial of Abramoff crony Kevin Ring is scheduled to begin. Earlier this month the Government released a list of over 1,100 exhibits they plan to enter into evidence. It will be a massive document dump.

And if that wasn’t enough, the DOJ just indicted Horace Cooper. This opens a new front in the investigation and is real trouble for the GOP.

Let’s dig deeper on the jump...

Horace Cooper is the latest person to be indicted in the growing and ongoing Abramoff Scandal. He was an inside man for Abramoff from at least 1996 through Abramoff’s fall from power in 2005—first as a long-time staffer for former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey, then as a Bush appointment to the Voice of America and finally as a Bush appointment to the Department of Labor.

Cooper’s indictment is a reminder to the GOP that their long tainted history of corruption with Abramoff and other lobbyists is far from over.

It is a busy summer. A lot is going on and it is hard to keep track of big stories in the news, especially in late August when they are almost always overshadowed the "shark attack" news story of any given year (this summer I would give the non-news story award to "angry" conservatives being WATB in the face of a changing world. In a related story I’m told that a bear crapped in the woods, but I digress).

The ongoing investigation into the Abramoff scandal is a very big story that is flying under the radar. In January I wrote about the status of the investigation as the year began. 16 people had pled guilty or were convicted in trial. Since then at least another five have been indicted and there may be more plea deals that are under seal. A lot of people are talking and the Kevin Ring Trial gives all that chatter a focal point. Already lots of details are coming out. Some of the best reporting on this case is currently being done by The Anti-Corruption Republican (ACR) a blogger from Tom DeLay’s old District in Texas. He is a conservative Republican. I’m a liberal Democrat. And yet we see eye to eye when it comes to fighting corruption in Washington. His work is outstanding. It is well researched, detailed, fair and comprehensive. In a recent post from last Thursday he reported that the DOJ has 30 co-conspirators in the scandal (emphasis added):

The first item we want to report is some fascinating information that came out during the discussion over Exhibit 566:

Exhibit 566:  Email from [Pat, full name Padgett] Wilson to Ring, "RE: dave mattthews band"; 2/4/2002 [snip].

Mr. Ring's defense team objected to the inclusion of this Exhibit on the basis of relevance (FRE 403), and Ring attorney Andrew Wise made a spirited case to Judge Huvelle extending far beyond relevance.  Mr. Wise made it clear that he felt that the inclusion of "oriental massage" and "hookers" would be very prejudicial to his client.  Mr. Wilson had been interviewed previously on this matter and had stated that he had only been joking and that no massages or hookers were ever offered up to anyone.  Judge Huvelle asked the government who Mr. Wilson was, and whether the government planned to use him as a witness.  DoJ attorney Michael Ferrara said the government did not intend to call Mr. Wilson as a witness.  <span style="background:yellow;">In fact, Mr. Ferrara said, "The government considers Mr. Wilson to be a co-conspirator ."</span>

Judge Huvelle asked, <span style="background:yellow;">"Just how many co-conspirators do you have in the Abramoff case?" </span> [paraphrased]  <span style="background:yellow;">Mr. Ferrara answered that there are 30 co-conspirators.  He said 17 have already been named.</span>  This leaves another 13 individuals still to be formally identified as co-conspirators in the case.  Based on the government's Exhibit List and today's status conference, we can now name 4 of these conspirators:

  1. Julie Doolittle
  1. Padgett (Pat) Wilson - Team Abramoff (named today)
  1. Jennifer Farley - White House Intergovernmental Affairs (named today)
  1. Susan Ralston - Karl Rove's assistant (named today)

As some may remember Susan Ralston was Jack Abramoff’s long-time secretary and assistant before she "left" his services to work for Karl Rove in the WH. So, according to the DOJ, Karl Rove’s secretary was engaged in a conspiracy with Jack Abramoff to defraud the American people. If the ACR is correct there are nine co-conspirators waiting in the wings to be named. Based on what I know, it would be reasonable to include DeLay, Doolittle, Don Young and Karl Rove on a list of possible co-conspirators.

And based on the latest Abramoff indictment it might be worthwhile to add Dick Armey to the list of possible co-conspirators.

The latest indictment is Horace Cooper. And that would leave only eight co-conspirators yet to be named. Now I’ll bet your wondering who Horace Cooper is and why his indictment is a big deal.

Well, Horace Cooper is a long-time Republican gadfly and a grifter. His bio on the now defunct HoraceCooper.com web site states:

Horace Cooper is a writer and legal commentator. He previously served as Counsel to the Honorable Richard K. Armey, Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives from 1994 – 2002. He is a Senior Fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research and the Centre for New Black Leadership. Horace Cooper’s interests include the current issues involving law and American society, political forecasting, the United States Supreme Court.

Media Experience: Most recently, Cooper has been an expert guest on Court TV: Banfield and Ford and ABC’s Nightline. Cooper has participated in hundreds of radio interviews and appeared on dozens of national television shows including On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Hannity and Colmes, Fox and Friends, CNN Loud [sic] Dobbs, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, C-SPAN’s Morning Journal, and the The Tavis Smiley Show. In addition to television, Cooper has been interviewed on National Public Radio and is regularly featured in print in the National Review, Human Events, Washington Times, and serves as senior columnist for Townhall.com.

Former professor Cooper often appears on university and association panels and is available to make expert appearances and for interviews if the subject matter is appropriate to his expertise.

And a GOPAC bio for Cooper described him this way:

Called a Republican "Top Gun" in a front page Washington Times profile, Horace Cooper is a Senior Fellow with the Washington, DC based think tanks, the Centre for New Black Leadership and the National Center for Public Policy Research. He also writes a regular political analysis column for the Washington Times, United Press International and GOPUSA.

Rush Limbaugh once lamented that he was a "black man in America who happens to be conservative that the news media consistently ignores," but now Horace Cooper appears frequently on radio and television discussing such issues as crime (OJ Simpson trial and capital punishment), education reform, telecommunication, urban family issues (affirmative action and anti-drug legalization), government ethics (Clinton Impeachment), workplace issues (minimum wage and immigration), and congressional reform (term limits and election predictions), and community renewal (school choice and faith based assistance programs).

Listed by Washington, DC's National Journal as a member of the "GOP's Youth Brigade," he was a regular guest on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" prior to its cancellation. Horace Cooper also regularly speaks/debates on college and university campuses across the country and has served four years on the GMU Board of Visitors, the board of trustees of George Mason University. Until November 2001, he was a senior aide to then Majority Leader Dick Armey, (Coalitions Director, Counsel, and Press Secretary) where he worked for over a decade.

A confirmed cigar smoker (profiled in Cigar Aficionado), Horace Cooper was also the Chief of Staff and Deputy Director of the Voice of America (the U.S. international broadcasting arm) for a year. A graduate of the GMU School of Law and the University of Texas at Austin, he was praised as a key Republican strategist in Elizabeth Drew's New York Times bestseller "Showdown: The Struggle Between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House" and extolled as a "poster conservative" by Michele Mitchell in "A New Kind of Party Animal." Horace Cooper resides in Mason Neck, Virginia with his black convertibles.

And last week, the Department of Justice described him this way:

According to the indictment, Cooper was employed from approximately 1994 to late 2001 as a staffer for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From approximately late 2001 to December 2002, Cooper served as the chief of staff for Voice of America (VOA), an executive branch agency of the U.S. government and subsequently from December 2002 through approximately August 2005, he served as chief of staff for the Employment Standards Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The indictment alleges that from approximately December 2001 to May 2005, while he worked at VOA and then at the Department of Labor, Cooper conspired with Jack A. Abramoff, a former Washington, D.C., lobbyist, and others, to defraud the United States of his honest services and of its right to have federal executive branch business conducted without improper influence. The indictment also alleges that Cooper, Abramoff and others conspired to give and receive things of value to influence or reward Cooper for official acts as a federal executive branch employee.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that during this time, Cooper solicited and received from Abramoff and his colleagues thousands of dollars worth of tickets to sporting events and concerts; that Cooper and his companions allegedly received free or discounted meals and drinks on dozens of occasions at a restaurant controlled by Abramoff; and that Cooper, at Abramoff’s invitation and expense, allegedly hosted a Super Bowl party for his friends at another restaurant Abramoff controlled. The indictment also alleges that Cooper, rewarded and influenced by the tickets and meals solicited and received from Abramoff and his associates, agreed to use his official positions at VOA and the Department of Labor to advance Abramoff’s interests and those of his clients. In addition, the indictment alleges that from approximately 1998 to 2000, Cooper received from Abramoff and his colleagues thousands of dollars worth of tickets to concerts and sporting events while Cooper was serving as a Congressional staffer.

The indictment also charges Cooper with concealing his relationship with Abramoff, Abramoff’s colleagues and clients and the public by, among other things, failing to report certain gifts received from Abramoff on his annual financial disclosure forms, as he was required to do as a high-level official in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. In addition, the indictment charges Cooper with making false statements on his 2003 and 2004 Executive Branch Public Financial Disclosure Reports. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Cooper reported he had received no gifts from a single source with an aggregate value of more than $260 during those years, when allegedly he had received from Abramoff many tickets to concerts and sporting events that required disclosure.

Finally, the indictment charges Cooper with obstructing a grand jury investigation by making false statements to federal law enforcement officials and to the grand jury, and by providing investigators with certain documents that he maintained proved his statements regarding alleged free meals were true, when allegedly he knew that they did not.

The PDF of the Horace Cooper Indictment is damning. This guy is a real weasel who viewed his service in Government as a ticket to the easy life. He not only wanted the freebies from Abramoff he complained if he was ever actually charged for them. For example:

25. Between in or about May 2002 and June 2004, COOPER received thousands of dollars worth of "comped" meals or drinks at Signatures, as well as a free Super Bowl party for COOPER and approximately twenty-five (25) of his friends at Stacks. [snip]

28. On or about May 18, 2002, after having dined at Signatures restaurant and been charged $140.93, COOPER e-mailed Abramoff, stating: "I think there may have been a little glitch at the restaurant on Friday. I went there and gave my credit card and it was charged, It's no big deal, but I thought I'd let you know."

29. On or about May 18, 2002, in response to COOPER's e-mail, Abramoffe-mailed two colleagues involved with Signatures, stating: "I did not want [COOPER] charged for meals where he is paying. I am doing a huge deal with [COOPER] and want to comp [COOPER]. Can you have this credited and make sure we don't charge [COOPER] in the future? Thanks."

30. On or about May 19, 2002, Abramoff notified COOPER that he would be reimbursed for the May 18, 2002 meal at Signatures and that he would not be charged in the future..

There is a lot in the indictment. When at VOA, Cooper tried to get millions of tax dollars moved to a front company owned by Abramoff for TV/video production, but what really sets this indictment apart is what Cooper did for Jack at the Department of Labor. This is where the sleaze of this conspiracy embraces its heart of darkness.

In 2002 the Department of Labor was investigating labor abuse and other complaints from a garment manufacture based in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) a US Territory some forty miles North of Guam in the Western Pacific. When Cooper moved to the Department of Labor he quickly started working with Team Abramoff to block any investigation. Here are some highlights from the indictment:

46. On or about November 27, 2002, in an e-mail to a representative of the CNMI Garment Manufacturer regarding a pending investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Abramoff informed the client: "I have a contact now at DoL who will look into this. . . he knows nothing, so you have to summarize the situation and give him the ideal action item." [snip]

49. On or about December 4, 2002, Abramoff e-mailed COOPER at his personal account, providing "more info on [the CNMI Garment Manufacturer's] situation. Please let me know what can be done."

50. On or about December 13, 2002, COOPER e-mailed Abramoff from his personal account regarding the U.S. Department of Labor investigation, stating: "Let's chat on Sunday. I think we can get something done here. The asst sec (my boss) appears to give me wide latitude to help oversee [Wage and Hour Division] people here." [snip]

53. On or about December 17, 2002, Volz sent an e-mail to a representative of the CNMI Garment Manufacturer, requesting a list of "EVERY person you have worked with at Labor Department (and if you know whether they could be classified as "friendly" or "enemy") so we can get our contacts out here in touch with the right people at Labor to get meeting postponed as well as expanded [to other favorable topics]." [snip]

61. On or about January 27, 2003, Volz e-mailed COOPER at his personal account regarding the CNMI Garment Manufacturer's issues with the U.S. Department of Labor, stating: "Nice seeing you at the Super Bowl party, Horace. Thanks for being willing to get re-engaged in this important issue. I will get you the names of the problem people at the regional level who are playing politics with this. [snip]

69. On or about April 7, 2003, Volz sent an e-mail to Abramoff, summarizing a luncheon meeting with COOPER several days earlier and explaining that "due to some of the reorganization efforts which Horace is helping out with (and the names we gave Horace) in December, somehow, several of our enemies have taken new jobs." [snip]

73. On or about April 28, 2003, Volz e-mailed Abramoff, telling him that "Horace [COOPER] is talking with General Counsel at DOL to assess options [on the CNMI Garment Manufacturer issues]."

74. In or about late-April 2003, COOPER suggested to Volz that the best way to remove an attorney on the U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the CNMI Garment Manufacturer would be to identify an actual or perceived conflict of interest, which would lead to removal of that individual from the investigation.

75. On or about April 29, 2003, COOPER inquired of colleagues within the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the process for removing an attorney from an investigation.

76. In or about late-April 2003, COOPER told Volz that he was "putting someone in place in [the U.S. Department of Labor office in] San Francisco who could help with the next stage of the process - getting a negotiated agreement with DOL to stop all this madness." [snip]

79. On or about October 5, 2003, Volz sent an e-mail to Abramoff updating him on the assistance he believed COOPER had been providing: "Horace [COOPER] has been good at inserting himself through reorganizations at holding off punitive action (could be couple million dollars) and getting some of the 'problems' moved to other offices."

80. On or about October 8, 2003, during a meeting between COOPER, Volz and a representative of the CNMI Garment Manufacturer in his office at the U.S. Department of Labor, COOPER reaffirmed his commitment to assist the CNMI Garment Manufacturer with respect to the U.S. Department of Labor investigation and advised Volz and the CNIMI Garment Manufacturer representative that they should direct their allies on Capitol Hill to contact the U.S. Department of Labor as another method of influencing the Department's position. COOPER never disclosed to his supervisors or other U.S. Department of Labor officials involved in the CNMI Garment Manufacturer matter that he was hosting this meeting with an adverse party.

Now the CNMI Garment manufacture that Cooper met with was most likely Willie Tan (who I think was in Washington in October of 2003). If not him, it was somebody from his company as it was his factories that faced a DOJ inquiry. Cooper protected the sweatshops and allowed a horrific system of labor abuse to go on uncheck by any Federal oversight or the rule of law. It was not a surprise that Cooper would work with Abramoff to do this in 2003 because by then he had been working with Abramoff and the Tan Family to protect the sweatshops of Saipan for years and years.

Back in 1995 when Abramoff was first hired to protect the sweatshops and labor abuse of the CNMI from any reforms or Federal oversight one of his first tactics was to organize junkets to the islands for Congressional staffers. The first Abramoff paid for trip left in April 1996 and Horace Cooper was a traveler. Back then he worked for Congressman Dick Armey, the Republican Majority Leader. The GOP had just taken over in the wake of the 1994 election and could use their newfound power for anything. They chose to help Jack protect sweatshops.

It is well known that Abramoff had a very close working relationship with Tom DeLay, but that was also true that Abramoff was tight with Dick Armey. Because Armey was already out of Congress when the scandal broke he has escaped any examination of his close ties to Abramoff. The Cooper Indictment should give people a reason to look at the many favors Armey did for Jack Abramoff.

In fact, Dick Armey was so tight with Jack that a February 19, 1998 Dallas Observer article on the relationship was titled, Dick Armey: Our Man in Saipan:

All of this is so awe-inspiring to right-thinking individuals that five top aides of House Majority Leader Dick Armey have taken time away from fighting the dark forces in Washington to witness the invisible hand at work.

Their boss, who has made opposition to the minimum wage his political mantra, hasn't taken the 9,000-mile trip himself, although last month he dispatched his press secretary, Michelle Davis. Armey's fellow Texan and right-hand man, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, from Sugar Land, made the journey too. [snip]

The trips DeLay and the five senior Armey staff members have made to the islands have been on the Marianas government's tab, trips typically costing $4,000 to $6,000 per person. Most got rooms at the Hyatt Regency Saipan, a $250-to-$2,500-a-night luxury hotel that, as its Web site seductively notes, "lies on 14 acres of lush tropical garden, lagoons, and a magnificent beach," with amenities such as a championship golf course and snorkeling above coral reefs. [snip]

To deal with the garment sector, the administration proposed to raise the minimum wage to mainland standards, ban the use of temporary workers in permanent jobs, and encourage the hiring of U.S. citizens in the Marianas' labor force. For products to be shipped to the U.S. mainland tariff-free, 50 percent of the workers in a factory would have to be U.S. citizens or legal immigrants eligible for citizenship. The proposal would be phased in over the next two years.

Armey and DeLay vowed within a week that they would fight to preserve the current system.

Their June 6, 1997, letter to the Marianas' governor mentioned that "a number of our colleagues and their staff have visited the commonwealth in recent months," and saw nothing but progress in conditions and living standards. Five Armey staffers, including his chief of staff, have to date taken their all-expenses-paid tours of Saipan. The trips were arranged by the Seattle-based law firm of Preston, Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, which the Marianas hired and paid more than $4 million over the past two years to lobby for the status quo. [snip]

"On the junkets, they're getting wined, dined, tattooed, and screwed," says Joe Allen, a harsh critic of Armey and DeLay. "It's difficult to get much of a picture there by touring a couple of showpiece factories and a model barracks or two."

Indeed, DeLay, whose New Year's holiday junket received considerable press attention, wasn't on the island more than a day when he gave the Marianas' garment industry his seal of approval.

On his first night on the island, DeLay was invited to a reception at the posh, beachfront Pacific Islands Club hosted by Willie Tan, the powerful garment factory king. According to a promotional brochure, Tan Holdings Corp. owns the island's largest garment factories, several hotels, a bank, and businesses ranging from travel agencies to ice cream parlors.

"When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made," DeLay said, after thanking Tan for "that great introduction."

In the wake of the Cooper indictment I re-read the Abramoff billing records for the CNMI that have been released (most of 1996, 1997 and 2001 plus some of 2000). Horace Cooper is all over these documents especially in 1996 and 1997. He is Armey’s point man to help Abramoff get whatever he needs for his sweatshop-owning clients. Unlike many travelers to the CNMI, Cooper didn’t just take the junket—he was active in working for to protect the interests of the sweatshops as a Congressional staffer. Abramoff himself bills the CNMI for more than a dozen meetings with Cooper. In the fall of 1996 and 1997 when votes are coming to the floor, Abramoff is meeting with Cooper on an almost daily basis. And when Cooper isn’t meeting with Jack, he’s working with Jack’s team to help frame the debate and stop any reform. Samples of billing entries concerning meetings with Cooper include:

3-13-96: Work on immigration bill Rule with calls and visits to Horace Cooper with Majority Leader Armey

4-15-96: Calls from Chris Myers with Chairman Crane; Horace Cooper with Majority Leader Armey and Matt Miller, AA for Rep Gutknecht regarding ongoing review of trip; possible committee/floor action on minimum wage and immigration issues important to CNMI

4-19-96: Meetings and discussions with Horace Cooper, Matt Miller and Chris Myers to frame issues and review questions for Friday afternoon meeting

6-10-96: meeting with Horace Cooper to review latest difficulties in CNMI; discuss ways to frame problems in a positive way, etc.

6-17-96: meeting with Horace Cooper to update on hearings, what to expect, latest DOI report.

7-9-96: Meeting with H. Cooper with Rep. Armey to review recent House and Senate Hearings and potential future actions by House and Senate staff, attempts to attach damaging language to appropriations bills and other vehicles between now and end of Congress; review issues with J. Abramoff;

8-29-96: Meeting with Leadership office staffers including H. Cooper, K. Knott and B. Gunderson regarding timing of September floor action, legislative priorities for GOP Leadership as related to Delegate bill;

2-24-97: meeting with H. Cooper, Leg Counsel for Majority Leader Armey to review agenda for l05th Congress leadership agenda.

4-6-97: Business dinner with Horace Cooper of the Office of Majority Leader Armey to discuss a range of issues.

5-13-97: Phone calls to the Hill to monitor a variety of issues; follow-up with Horace Cooper, General Counsel to-the Office of the Majority Leader;

9-4-97: call to H. Cooper (Majority Leader Armey) regarding fall floor schedule, Interior Appropriations bill.

And so on and so on and so on...

By 2001 Abramoff had moved to a new lobbying firm and Kevin Ring had taken over the CNMI account and of course Ring was in contact with Cooper who was still helping Team Abramoff from Dick Armey’s office.

The efforts of Cooper, Armey and DeLay to give Abramoff whatever he wanted ensured that thousands of workers were condemned to horrific labor conditions, abuse and stolen wages. Some were forced to have abortions. Others were forced into the CNMI’s booming sex trade and then the global networks of human trafficking.

This is the result of the work that Horace Cooper did for almost a decade as he did the bidding of Jack Abramoff—first as Dick Armey’s right hand man, then as Abramoff’s mole in the Department of Labor—in exchange for tickets, meals and access to the conservative pundit/think tank gravy train.

In the indictment, Cooper uses his position in the DOL to help Abramoff protect a sweatshop owner from a DOL investigation. That is the crime Cooper is charge with, but he committed far more crimes than were detailed in the indictment. When he helped block a DOL investigation into labor abuse on the CNMI he was also helping to block an investigation into his own complicity and involvement in that abuse. Of all the indictments to date in the Abramoff scandal this is the one where the horrific nature of the impact of the crimes can be seen in the destruction of the lives of so many young women and workers who were lured to the CNMI with a false promise of a better life.

Horace Cooper is a scoundrel and he deserves to spend many years behind bars. I hope he does. But he is more than that. He is also a classic Conservative Republican grifter. Meals and tickets were not the only payoffs Cooper got from Abramoff. He also got a punched ticket into the Right-wing noise machine gravy train. It is a pathway to riches. Spend some time on the Hill, then maybe a stint at an agency in the Executive branch (if there is a Republican President). While in Government service use your time and power to serve the needs of private sector power brokers. And when you leave—cash out. Get a sweet gig on the gravy train and milk it.

Before his indictment a few days ago, Cooper was milking his connections for all they were worth. He had a gig with the Abramoff connected National Center for Public Policy Research. As a Black Conservative he helped to front the National Center’s Project 21, a cynical effort to find African Americans willing to hype a conservative agenda for fame and fortune. Cooper got on that gravy train. His connections with Abramoff got him a teaching gig at GMU and easy access to conservative organizations. He became a Fellow at the Institute for Liberty and was (at least until his indictment) writing regular columns for conservative publications and web sites. Cooper also worked his connection to be a TV talking head pundit on this, that or the other thing. And of course he has worked with his old boss Dick Armey to promote the ideas and goals of Freedomworks and has had his writings published at Townhall and other collection points for predictable conservative dribble.

But now, his voice may grow dim. I’ve noticed that some right-wing sites are already scrubbing him from their pages.

Still up is a new web site that Horace Cooper started just a few days before his indictment. On August 18 Townhall announced the site with great fanfare (emphasis added):

Conservatives Defend Glenn Beck  

As several large corporations join the boycott of Glenn Beck, conservatives are rallying to his defense.

Institute for Liberty Senior Fellow in Law and Regulation Horace Cooper, JD, has created a FIGHT FOR GLENN BECK website as "a place for those of us who support him to speak out."

Yep, Abramoff crony Horace Cooper started a wingnut effort to pushback on the growing boycott of Glenn Beck by sane people just hours before he was indicted. His opening post is a classic example of a conservative grifter spewing lies and spin:

ColorofChange.org -- the group once run by self-professed communist Van Jones, now a senior White House staffer, a.k.a. the "Green Czar"-- is spearheading an effort to persuade advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Glenn Beck's show. That is, lefties want to muscle Fox into canceling Beck's show on Fox. There is no evidence that Fox is ever going to cave in to such pressure, of course, but that won't stop ColorofChange, aided by the MSM, from trying. [snip]

There are millions of us who watch Glenn Beck's show regularly. And so I have created this website as a place for those of us who support him to speak out.

Let's all join together on behalf of Glenn Beck. Please join me--because this is your fight, too.

And even under indictment, Cooper is still finding the time to defend Beck (it looks like he put up a new post today, but it is hard to tell as all posts are unsigned). So far his defense of Beck has attracted an impressive 25 followers.

Beck. Abramoff. Sweatshops. Armey. DeLay.

I’m never surprised as circles of corruption and wing-nut idiocy overlap. So it is not a surprise that a Republican columnist, talking head, think-tank gadfly who worked with Abramoff for almost a decade while also working with Dick Armey, the Voice of America and then the Department of Labor would bring so many of these circles together.

The Cooper Indictment opens a new pathway into the Abramoff scandal. It links the quid pro quo of the scandal more directly to the abuse on the Marianas Islands. Abuse that continues to this day (you can learn more by visiting Unheard No More). If you care about Justice this is an encouraging development.

The DOJ investigation of the Abramoff scandal is getting more and more focused. Soon some bigger fish will be pulled into the light of justice, but the sad truth is that most of the crimes will go unpunished. One of the most disgusting aspects of this scandal is the lack of investigation and policy corrections by the US Congress. This is a scandal that involved well over sixty Members of Congress and Senators. This is a scandal that also involved dozens and dozens and dozens of Hill staffers. And yet neither the US House nor the US Senate ever launched an ethics investigation into the scandal. Some minor and limited investigations of Abramoff and Native Americans or Abramoff and the White House or Abramoff and conservative nonprofits were launched but they were all more concerned with protecting Members of Congress than finding the truth.

The DOJ can only go so far. Only Congress has the power to get to the truth of this scandal. Unfortunately I do not think anybody in either Chamber has the courage to call for an investigation into the role of Congress, Members, Senators and staffers in this scandal. I do not know if anybody in Washington wants to take on lobbying reform in a serious way.

As a result crooks like Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich and others walk the streets just waiting for another opportunity to launch a new crime spree.  And without exposure to justice they will get another chance. More lobbyists than ever follow the trail of corruption blazed by Abramoff. New scandals are being born and real reforms as well as a curious investigative press are required to stop them from growing.

There is good news tonight about the DOJ investigation into the Abramoff scandal. There will be more developments, more details will be released and more people will be indicted and convicted. But once the DOJ is done with its investigation the truth will still be unknown. Many crimes will still wait for Justice. A real solution will require somebody in Congress having the courage to call for an investigation that will be painful for both Democrats and Republicans.

Courage in Congress?  Now that would be something to see.

A lad can dream.

Cheers

Originally posted to dengre on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 11:52 PM PDT.

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