Gordon Smith & Jack Abramoff

So, Jack Abramoff has admitted defrauding his clients and working his "magic" on members of Congress. He'll be singing to the feds on exactly which Republican leaders went beyond the rules.

Most of the illegal activity centered around his tribal casino clients. So, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee has been digging into the widening Abramoff scandal.

Of course, Oregon's own Senator Gordon Smith has a seat on the Indian Affairs Committee -- and he's been leading the charge for ethics and openness in government curiously silent during the hearings. Why?

Willamete Week has the story:

Why so mum? Perhaps because the issues raised by Abramoff-who was arrested by the FBI last week-hit a little too close to home.

Smith and Abramoff aren't strangers. The senator has held fundraisers at a D.C. restaurant that Abramoff owned until recently, and he has taken thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Abramoff and his tribal clients. ...

Between May 2001 and May 2002, Abramoff wrote three $1,000 checks to Smith, followed by a $2,000 check in June 2002 from one of his main clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaws. In late October 2002, right before Smith's reelection, while he enjoyed a large lead in the polls over Democrat Bill Bradbury, the senator accepted three more checks totaling $4,000, two from the Mississippi tribe and one from another Abramoff client, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California. Since the election, Smith has received two additional checks from Abramoff's Indian clients, totaling $6,000.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • Gordie (unverified)

    Using this link to search for Oregonians receiving Abramoff contributions since 1999, I found the following totals:

    Smith (R): $12,500 Republican Party of Oregon: $2,000 DeFazio (D): $1,500 Wyden (D): $1,000

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

    Gordon Smith resign.

    Oh, instead he is going to "give the money back"? Give the votes back ! Not OUR votes, from we, the Oregonians you lied to. No, THE DISHONEST VOTES you CAST as a FRAUD for us in the U.S. Senate.

    Character matters. Gordon Smith, your lack of ethics and invalid judgement -- which cripples the ethical sense in the first place: blind, deaf, and mute to judge the character of Abramoff bringing fat envelopes in your office, your Office we PAY for, makes yours a bad character. Refuse to resign and serve as a fraud and dishonor Oregon, and prove your moral character is unholy black and void.

  • Sid (unverified)

    Maybe this is why the O's editorial board wrote such a bad piece of commentary on the scandal. They're worried that their darling Smith might be on Jack's 60 list.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Word on the Hill is Gordo is working late tonight... shoveling Abe Jackoff's BUCKETS OF CASH from his bank accounts to charities as fast as humanly possible.

    It's hard work, people. Hard work.

  • pdx dem (unverified)

    can't wait to vote him out!

  • (Show?)


    You're wrong, on at least the Wyden score.

    While many of the Republicans named received money raised directly by Abramoff (or even checks written by Abramoff himself), Sen. Wyden's $1,000 contribution did not come from Abramoff.

    There is a significant difference between receiving a contribution raised by an admitted felon, and accepting a contribution from an Indian tribe that got duped into hiring that felon to lobby for them. Some of those tribes hired multiple lobbyists and law firms.

    Including Democrats in these stories (and blogs)who never met with or talked to Abramoff, whose money was not solicited by him nor ever touched his hands, is playing right into the RNC playbook of trying to bipartisan-ize this story.

    Let's keep clear on what money came directly from Abramoff and what money came from his clients (who were defrauded by Abramoff).

  • Gordie (unverified)

    Splitting that hair isn't making much of a difference...Wyden has already committed to giving the money back. Accepting that money, whether from Abramoff or out-of-state tribes, does what for Oregon?

  • Gordie (unverified)

    Whoops, now Wyden has changed his tune...

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., received $1,000 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in 2003, but he is not returning the campaign money, said Josh Kardon, Wyden's chief of staff. "We have researched the one contribution, and it did not come from Mr. Abramoff," Kardon said.

    I still want to know what support a tribe from Michigan was hoping to buy from a senator in Oregon...and that thought goes for all of Oregon's politicians that accepted such money, regardless whether they've now given it back, donated it, etc.

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