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Cannon denies ex-Abramoff lobbyist set agenda

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) is denying that his stance on gaming and other issues has anything to do with the hiring of a former associate of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff who has since been indicted.

Cannon hired David Safavian as chief of staff in 2001. Prior to joining Congress, Safavian had represented gaming and other clients at his own lobbying firm and with Abramoff.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune and Raw Story, Cannon helped to defeat an Internet gaming bill opposed by former clients of Safavian and Abramoff. Cannon began to receive campaign contributions from gaming tribes and took the Viejas Band's side in a gaming-related dispute.

Safavian left Cannon's office to work as chief of staff for the General Services Administration then as head of procurement policy at the White House. He was indicted for allegedly obstructing an investigation into Abramoff.

Get the Story:
Cannon's stands benefited former aide's ex-clients (The Salt Lake Tribune 9/29)

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White House official arrested in Abramoff probe (9/20)
Utah congressman hired ex-Abramoff associate (09/02)