Fossella and Abramoff revisited
In the Washingtonian there is an interesting piece from a reporter who befriended Abramoff long before scandals enveloped him. Reading through it reminded me of some past queries about the potential connections between Fossella and Abramoff.
Jack expressed anger at politicians who now claimed they never knew him. He was particularly annoyed that Montana senator Conrad Burns had been quoted as saying he wished Jack “had never been born.”
“Was he wishing I was not born when we were together in Florida, or when we were dining at Signatures, or when he was using our sports boxes or getting tons of money?” he said later in an e-mail. [via the Washingtonian]
While Vito did go to Florida, there is no indication Abramoff was with him but the story doesn't end that easily. There is this 2004 campaign expenditure from Abramoff's restaurant Signatures. And then there is that Jan 5, 2006 SI Advance article about Fossella's fund raiser at a private luxury sports box at Camden yards. The same event the NRCC touted that Abramoff and Tony Rudy would be in attendance at.
Of Ohio congressman John Boehner he said, “He dined and drank at Signatures with the best of them.” [via the Washingtonian]
Curiously this seems to indicate the nefarious nature of law makers using Signatures restaurant, even if they were not sitting at the head of a table with Abramoff and his clients. According to Jack, just dining and drinking there, or in other words just being seen there leaves no doubt about the expected nature of the visit.
And I will end with this quote from Fossella that appeared later in the SI Advance article from above, and a seemingly appropriate final quote from the article on Abramoff;
"All I can tell you is I don't know [Abramoff]". -Rep. Fossella
"It puzzles me as well. They could so quickly dismiss all of this nonsense if they would just tell the truth. I often now wonder what it is about politicians which causes them to lie to protect themselves, even in the face of constant reminders that doing so only causes the problems to get worse." -Jack Abramoff [via the Washingtonian]