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Politics
Lobbyist scandal reaches to top levels of GOP


"Throughout U.S. history, "every kind of charlatan and every type of crook has deceived and exploited America's native sons and daughters," says Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit."

The unfolding scandal touches some of the GOP's most influential elected officials and lobbyists and could rock the capital before it's over.

To their credit, it is two independent-minded Republicans - McCain and Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado - who have exposed the sordid tale and are trying to clean up the mess.

At the center of the scandal is Jack Abramoff, a GOP lobbyist and longtime friend and political associate of some of his party's most gifted strategists, including Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition and the Southern regional chairman for President Bush's re-election campaign, and noted conservative activist Grover Norquist.

Abramoff is a leading GOP fundraiser, having collected hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other top Republicans.

He is also among the elite group of "Pioneers" who pledged to raise more than $100,000 for Bush's re-election campaign this year."

Get the Story:
John Aloysius Farrell: Bilking of tribes could shake D.C. (The Denver Post 10/3)

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