Friday, November 04, 2005

DeLay's Staff Tried to Help Abramoff

John Solomon and Sharon Theimer, Associated Press
11/03/05
Rep. Tom Delay's staff tried to help lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter-million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.
'Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting,' then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled 'Gale Norton-Interior Secretary.'...
...Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had 'good news' about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy's message to Abramoff was sent from Congress' official e-mail system.
Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and the lobbyist and one of the tribes he represented won face-to-face time with the secretary during a Sept. 24, 2001, dinner sponsored by the group she had founded.
Abramoff's clients were trying to stop a rival Indian tribe from winning Interior Department approval to build a casino.
[Excerpt]"

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