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Politics
Online Chat: Abramoff 'close friend' of DeLay


Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is a "close friend" of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), the authors of a new book said on a Washington Post chat yesterday.

Lou Dubose & Jan Reid, authors of "The Hammer," made two references to the scandal involving Abramoff and public relations consultant Michael Scanlon. Both men were close associates of DeLay.

"A huge blooming scandal involving DeLay associates, Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, billing six Indian tribes, to this point $66 million, with more to come. The services they rendered for these fees are being called in question by Senate Indian Affairs, in an investigation led by Sen. John McCain. A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, is looking at the same billing, and following much of the money to shell businesses, pass through entities, and Republican political campaigns. There is a certain element of guilt by association involved here, but it's also established that the two lobbyists promised their clients access to the DeLay network," the authors said.

When asked later on about the scandal, they added: "Jack Abramoff was a member of DeLay's informal "kitchen cabinet," a major fundraiser, and a friend who shared DeLay's ideology. DeLay introduced Abramoff in Saipan as his close friend. In a speech to College Republicans said Tom DeLay is who we all want to be when we grow up. The association goes back many years and will likely end badly."

DeLay has distanced himself from the pair, saying that anyone trading on his name should "stop."

Get the Story:
Online Chat Transcript: Book: The Hammer (The Washington Post 10/20)
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