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Monday, January 09, 2006

Laundering Abramoff's Money

Political strategist Rich Galen rightly calls Tom DeLay "the first political casualty of the Abramoff affair" after the former House majority leader announced he would permanently step aside and not seek to be reinstated after resolving indictments against him for money laundering and conspiracy related to financing of Texas state political campaigns. That DeLay agreed to this action after pressure from colleagues is probably significant, see Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, Captain Ed, etc. for ongoing analysis. Another point of Mr. Galen's with which I agree is this business of donating "contaminated" contributions from Abramoff to charity:

... If there was nothing wrong with the donation, then keep it. If there WAS something wrong with the donation - when was that something discovered and why did it take until now to decide the money was dirty?

Finally, we should keep in mind these are campaign donations. Elected officials are attempting to purchase decency by sending campaign donations - other people's money - to charities. I guarantee you that the accountants who oversee those campaigns will claim a charitable deduction from Federal income taxes next year to offset the taxes the campaigns have to pay on earned interest.

If the officials were serious about this, they would match the contaminated donations with a similar amount from their own checkbooks.

[emphasis added]

I don't think that this proves Nancy Pelosi's bald assertion that there is a Repbulican-bred culture of corruption in Washington, but politicians who pull such shenanigans need to be held to account, including the president.

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