Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Republican felon Jack Abramoff has written a new book that appears to be long on titillation and short on details. "Casino Jack" seems to pull more punches than "Smokin' Joe" Frazier ever threw.
But while withholding more evidence than he provides, Abramoff confirms our worst fears: He helped soil our democracy in a way that almost certainly is unprecedented--and Alabama was one of his prime playgrounds.
How did he do it? Mainly by playing conservative Christians for fools.
The book is called "Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption from America's Most Notorious Lobbyist." And after reading it, even the least rational Alabamians are likely to understand the following:
* Bob Riley rose to the governorship on a wave of GOP criminality;
* Don Siegelman, indeed, was targeted for a political prosecution--partly to assuage Abramoff's clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians;
* Milton McGregor was targeted for a political prosecution in the ongoing Alabama bingo case--again to protect the Mississippi Choctaws.
The big loser in Abramoff's book, however, is the U.S. Department of Justice. We learn that the DOJ uncovered only a fraction of the criminal actions connected to Abramoff--or perhaps we should say the department acted on only a tiny portion of what it uncovered. In fact, the Abramoff "prosecution" now looks mostly like an exercise in political damage control--one that, so far, has helped protect Bob Riley and his henchmen in Alabama.
Most importantly, Abramoff indicates that the DOJ remains a dysfunctional mess under Barack Obama, with enough embedded Bushies and spineless Obamaphiles on the loose to pull off a charade like the Alabama bingo case.
In a sense, "Casino Jack" is at the heart of a story about simple mathematics. Mary Orndorff, of al.com, explains the numbers for us:
Jack Abramoff helped his Indian gaming clients in Mississippi protect $400 million in annual revenue by spending $20 million of their money to defeat gambling expansions in Alabama, the convicted former lobbyist wrote in his new book.
Abramoff spent 3 - years in jail after pleading guilty to corruption-related charges, including bilking the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and others out of millions of dollars and bribing public officials in Washington, D.C.