Editorial: Jack Abramoff pays the piper for crimes
"Jack Abramoff feels sorry for himself. The once high-rolling Washington lobbyist has been sitting in a jail cell since January, 2006, after pleading guilty to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy charges in two separate cases. Last week he was back in federal court, to be sentenced yet again for running a wide-ranging corruption scheme that involved - among many others - former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), who was recently released from prison.

"I come before you as a broken man," Abramoff whined to U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle. "I am sorry, so sorry, that I have put everyone through this." Judge Huvelle could have given him another dozen years in the slammer, but settled for four years in prison. That was because Abramoff has cooperated fully with authorities - cooperation that has helped lead to many other arrests, apparently including that on Monday of former lobbyist and Abramoff pal Kevin Ring, who is being charged with conspiracy, fraud, and obstruction of justice. More arrests and indictments are expected to follow.

But there is no need to feel sorry for Abramoff, who brought shame on everything he touched, and in the proces, sullied his Republican Party, whose leaders he had cultivated since 1980. Anyone with tears to spare should save them for his victims, most particularly the poor American Indian tribes he defrauded of millions in a kickback scheme. "It totally destroyed our tribe," said Bernie Sprague of the Michigan-based Saginaw Chippewas. "All he worried about was [himself]. That was the only thing on his mind.""

Get the Story:
Editorial: Abramoff pays the piper (The Toledo Blade 9/11)

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