Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H3'ed 6/17/10

Will Abramoff Tale Ever Fully Unravel in the Deep South?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message Roger Shuler
Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff recently was released from federal prison in Maryland to a halfway house. His sentence is due to end on December 4 for his convictions on fraud-related charges.

But here is the looming question about Abramoff: Has he cooperated with federal officials in such a way that the full tale of Bush-era corruption will be revealed?

The Abramoff story, the subject of a new documentary film called Casino Jack and the United States of Money, is national in scope. But it has strong roots in the Deep South, especially in Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.

If Abramoff indeed "spilled the groceries" to federal officials, some prominent political figures with ties to the South might have reason to be extremely nervous.

Reports the Associated Press:

As part of his plea deal, Abramoff cooperated in a long-running Justice Department investigation that led to the convictions of former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and several top Capitol Hill aides.

But how far did Abramoff's cooperation go? What about political figures who go way beyond Bob Ney and J. Steven Griles?

Southern politicos with reported ties to Abramoff (and his fellow felon Michael Scanlon) include Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, and (of course) former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove.

Perhaps no one has stronger ties to Abramoff and Scanlon than Alabama's Bob Riley. Bill Johnson, a former member of Riley's cabinet, says Abramoff should be called to testify in an ongoing federal investigation of gambling-related matters in Alabama.

The probe, so far, has focused mainly on pro-gambling Democrats in the Alabama Legislature. But Johnson says it should also look at Riley and his ties to Mississippi gaming money that reportedly was laundered through Abramoff and Scanlon.

Is the story of "Casino Jack" Abramoff about to wind down? Or is it just starting to heat up?

National Public Radio (NPR), in a recent review of the Casino Jack film, provides an encouraging hint. It comes when NPR discusses director Alex Gibney's approach to the subject and compares his work to that of Michael Moore:

What Gibney does share with Moore is an unapologetically leftist ideological streak. Knowing that, his ability to get interviews with prominent conservatives is impressive. Former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, in particular, sits down for an extensive Q&A with Gibney in which he proves remarkably candid--and shockingly unrepentant--about his alignment with Abramoff.

Unfortunately, the one on-camera interview Gibney doesn't score is with Abramoff himself. The director spoke to his subject a number of times while researching the film, but Abramoff--a federal prisoner, and involved in ongoing investigations to boot--wasn't allowed to appear on camera. While the film contains a great deal of archival footage of Abramoff, from childhood through to his conviction, along with mountains of e-mail correspondence in which he gloats with associates over his schemes, the lack of Abramoff's current perspective is an unfortunate omission.

So as of May 6, 2010, the date of the review, Abramoff was involved in ongoing investigations? Does that mean some prominent Republican sphincters might be getting tight?

Let's hope so.
Rate It | View Ratings

Roger Shuler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Boy Scouts and the Horrors of Their "Perversion Files"

Bush vs. Obama on Spending: It's No Contest

Why Is Karl Rove Planning to Visit the Backwoods of Alabama?

What's the Real Story Behind Karl Rove's Divorce?

Is "Morning Joe" Scarborough a Murderer?

Rove Might Be Trying To "Pull A Siegelman" With Julian Assange

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend