Culture of Corruption
"The U.N. seems to be a scandal within a scandal within a scandal and the only language they understand is money, and it's time for U.S. taxpayers to stop footing the bill for a corrupt mentality" Fossella (Dec. 2004).
A year later and it seems we can replace the U.N. with "Republican Party" as a "scandal within a scandal within a scandal and the only language they understand is money".
A list of skybox fundraising events maintained by Abramoff at his former law firm, Greenberg Traurig, lists 72 events for members of Congress between 1999 and 2003. All but eight were put on for Republicans, many of them members of the House leadership.
via Washington Post
Yesterday the Staten Island Advance ran a story about the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee listing this; "Join Vito Fossella ... with Tony Rudy and Jack Abramoff for a baseball game" in 2002. A spokeperson for the NRCC says it was a mistake, and Fossella and his campaign committee have produced invitations that make no mention of Abramoff. The article goes on to quote Fossella, "All I can tell you is I don't know [Abramoff]". Fossella wants Abramoff associated with him as much as anyone wants gum on the bottom of their shoe. For someone who has dodged so many of the corruption labels that are bringing down his fellow Republicans, any association can only create trouble. It only makes it more humorous that it is his own NRCC that opened the door, mistake or not. (updated)
While the focus of the article is the Abramoff connection, or lack thereof, it briefly mentions Tony Rudy and quickly moves on. But who is this Tony Rudy who the NRCC listed as someone joining Rep. Fossella for this skybox fundraiser? Bloomberg.com fills us in:
One partner, former DeLay aide Tony Rudy, is now a focus of a federal investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Prosecutors are clearly looking at Rudy, 39, DeLay's former deputy staff chief. Abramoff's plea agreement states that in 2000 a DeLay aide the government called ``Staffer A'' helped the lobbyist defeat legislation that would have restricted Internet gambling. People familiar with the case later said the staffer was Rudy. In return, the wife of ``Staffer A'' was paid $50,000 through a charity, according to the plea. Rudy hasn't been charged with a crime.
Via the Plank, the blog of the New Republic we find out that Peter Stone of the National Journal says Rudy may be close to a plea bargin with federal prosecuters. The site goes on to ponder that testifying against Abramoff does not seem logical, but his connections with Abramoff and DeLay may point to Congress.
So we know the Rep. Fossella claims to not know Abramoff, but what about Tony Rudy?