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GOP letter to Norton came after Abramoff sent checks

Republican leaders in the House wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton critical of an off-reservation casino plan after they received money and services from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Raw Story reports.

From January 2003 through September 2003, Abramoff and his wife wrote checks totaling at least $19,000 to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Missouri), Chief Deputy Majority Whip. Eric Cantor (Virginia) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Abramoff also held fundraisers for Hastert and then-Rep. David Vitter (Louisiana) at his restaurant, and hosted meetings for DeLay and Blunt at the same restaurant and at his deli.

Then, a lobbyist working with Abramoff drafted the infamous letter [See Pages 7-8] that criticized a Louisiana tribe's land-into-trust request. DeLay, Blunt, Cantor and Hastert signed it and dashed it off to Norton, Raw Story reports.

At the same time, Abramoff helped Vitter insert language into Interior's appropriations bill that warned against approval for the land request, according to Raw Story.

Get the Story:
Stacking the deck: How GOP lawmakers teamed with a top lobbyist to crush a rival's casino bid, raking in donations in the process (Raw Story 3/29)
DeLay allies draw up plan to hit back (The Hill 3/30)
Liberals To Target DeLay In Ads (The Washington Post 3/30)
Ads Will Seek to Turn DeLay's Powerful Network Into His Downfall (The New York Times 3/30)

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