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Coincidently, I Mean.......

Colorado Prepares For Its Portion of The Abramoff Scandal!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 15, 2006.

Wayne Allard, the retro Senator from Colorado, is busy trying to flog former Senator - and former Democrat - Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell for the Secretary of the Interior, the post former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton just resigned. I wonder what they’re thinking.

We don’t know why Norton resigned. I believe there was talk of family and private sector opportunities, etc. It’s only a coincidence that the biggest scandal in the history of the federal government - at least in terms of personal enrichment and involving the actually quite glib and funny Jack Abramoff - is almost solely involved with aboriginal people under federal jurisdiction like Indians and those found on the island of Samoa, where near slave labor and underage prostitution had the support of Abramoff’s good friend Tom DeLay, who we have on tape calling the Samoan shenanigans a pinnacle of Republican values, and that all this fell under the jurisdiction of Gale Norton’s Department of the Interior. Surely it’s just a coincidence that Norton could well eventually play a depositional or even a public testimonial role in the trials that start in a year or so. We don’t know, of course. We’ll have to see.

We do know that GOP Faith Based Hypocrite Ralph Reed, who took gambling money to fund Potempkin campaigns against gambling with Abramoff’s connivance, and Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader who wants to kill the federal government, are in a bit of a pickle with the Abramoff scandals. Reed is likely to be indicted at some point and Norquist has just been reported to the IRS, his most favorite buncha guys, because he laundered money for Abramoff through his not-for-profit corporations. Stay with me here.

Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, and a longtime Abramoff friend, apparently donated $1 million in ATR funds to an anti-lottery and gaming coalition, which in turn donated a portion to Ralph Reed's fake grass-roots activities on Abramoff’s behalf. Norquist arranged White House meetings for Abramoff's tribal clients. Congressional investigators apparently suspect that Norquist, whose organization received money from Indian tribes Abramoff represented, laundered funds for Abramoff. Ya think? Okay. Sorry. No proof.

Yet, Norquist hasn't been interviewed or called to testify before the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee, which Campbell coincidently headed when the Abramoff scandal broke before his retirement in 2004. Norquist claims those White House meeting with Indian leaders was unconnected, simply a reward for tribes that had passed resolutions supporting the president's policies.

By the way, as of a year ago, a year after he left office, the FBI was still investigating Senator Campbell’s affairs. Campbell’s office was possibly involved in, among other issues, corruption involving drug companies here in Colorado. Haven’t heard if that investigation has been terminated. So strange. Anyway.

Norquist’s goal has been to financially starve opposition to his political views, which are selfishly reactionary. When Douglas Bruce here in Colorado got TABOR, the so called Tax-payers Bill of Rights, passed years back, Norquist was ecstatic. For it was apparent that public education as well as roads and much infrastructure would eventually collapse with no funding. TABOR was predicated upon the gossamer illusion that blue collar workers have the same concerns as those who live, or could live, on investments and market manipulations. It flattered the ignorant, and they signed on. Yes. I said ignorant.

Eventually, early supporters started dot connection here in Colorado, and two noted their particular areas of responsibility were about to go broke. So Governor Owens and CU President Hank Brown, both Republicans, campaigned for a huge exception to TABOR, Referenda C and D in our last election.

Norquist reportedly spent lots of money to defeat C and D, and not just because it would be correctly viewed as a referenda on his influence. He lost, big time.

But supporters of those fighting C and D ran some integrity-challenged, expensive political ads, and because the sponsor is a private entity, supposedly doesn’t have to reveal its sources of income. But what if some of Jack Abramoff’s money that Norquist was busy laundering supported that political campaign? Wouldn’t that make that campaign involved in a criminal action? Hard to say.

Here’s how I see it. When the Cabinet Department which was supposed to oversee Native American operations and prevent the very things that Abramoff exploited, and the Senate Committee set up to police that Department blatantly avoids taking testimony from key participants, it doesn’t look good. Those groups were headed by Secretary Norton, from Colorado, and Senator Campbell, ditto. During this same period when Abramoff funds were being laundered, a Colorado political campaign is financed by unrevealed out-of-state sources, likely scandal participants.

And then a Colorado Republican Senator thinks it a great idea for Coloradoan Campbell to succeed Coloradoan Norton. Huh. See, Campbell didn’t leave office because of his own scandals, but because he said he wanted to be back with family, he said. Yet, he’s now saying he’s flattered to be suggested for the post and would take it in abject denial of all that. Would the Secretary of the Interior have any power to influence the Abramoff investigations? Coincidently, I mean.