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Opinion
Commentary: Tighten up lobbyist rules


"The case of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff underscores the need for tighter rules in the influence-pedaling business. Between 1999 and 2003, Mr. Abramoff allegedly facilitated fundraising events for several congressmen in four Washington-area luxury stadium skyboxes - boxes paid for with lobbying money from his Indian tribe clients. The tribes wanted him to protect their gambling interests on Capitol Hill.

Last fall, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee accused Abramoff of bilking six Indian tribes of $82 million in exchange for forwarding their interests to lawmakers. It seems the Indian tribes were duped. The matter now is the subject of a Justice Department inquiry.

Meantime, the Senate probe also found that the millions Abramoff was paid were funneled through an associate's public relations firm, which did not have to file any disclosures to the Federal Election Commission."

Get the Story:
High Fives in the Skybox (The Christian Science Monitor 1/18)

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