a criminal fraud involving Abramoff, the Ohio Congressman, the evangelical political consultant, and the Tiguas. It appears that Ney tried to get the tribe, and other tribes, to pay for an expensive golfing trip to Scotland for about 10 people. If that request, and Abramoff’s request that the Tiguas send $32,000 to Ney and his PAC, influenced the performance of an official act, it is a violation of federal law. Soon after directing the Tiguas to send Ney $32,000 on March 20, 2002, Casino Jack was back. On June 7 he asked for as much as $100,000. In an e-mail to the Tiguas, Abramoff said “our friend” “if we could and some of his staff \(his committee chief The trip “will be quite expensive. I anticipate the total costif he brings 3-4 members and wiveswould be around $100K or more.” Abramoff mentioned the earlier trip funded through Ridenour’s officefor “another memberyou know who.” That was Tom DeLay. This time, the money would be laundered by Abramoff’s non-profit Capital Athletic Foundation. The Tiguas were being strung along. Abramoff and Scanlon were promising that Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd would slip into his Help America Vote Act the language that would reopen their casino. The Tiguas were told Dodd was working in concert with Ney. In truth, Ney didn’t ask Dodd to help with the Tiguas until July 25. Dodd flatly refused. Abramoff might have actually believed he had Dodd bought. In an email to Scanlon he reminds him to “get our money back from that motherfucker who was supposed to take care of Dodd.” Dodd was never in the deal. On August 3, 2002, Abramoff, Reed, Ney, spouses, and staff traveled by private jet to Scotland. A former Bob Ney aide working for Abramoff also joined them. The trip to the legendary St. Andrews golf course was paid for by tribes that operated casinos or were attempting to open casinos. Together on the plane, in the hotel, and on the golf course were Abramoff, Reed, and the Ohio congressman who received $32,000 to help the Tigua’s deal along in Washington. Reed maintains he had no idea the trip was paid for with gambling money from the tribes. After the trip, Abramoff cautioned Tigua political consultant Marc Schwartz to avoid any mention of the trip when he met with Ney. “BN had a great time and is very grateful, but is not going to mention the trip to Scotland for obvious reasons. He said he’ll show his thanks in other ways, which is what we want.” At an August 14 meeting with the Tigua tribal leaders, Ney thanked them for the golf trip. He was friendly and effusive, according to one source at the meeting. He told the Tigua leaders that he and Dodd remained committed to passing the measure that would open the casino. It wasn’t until October 8 that he told them that Dodd had “gone back on his word.” Abramoff seemed to believe his own cover story. “Dodd fucked us,” he wrote in a cheerless e-mail. “We’ve been fucked by a Democrat!” “Knowing what you now know,” Dorgan asked Schwartz at the committee hearing last November, “do you believe that Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Reed perpetrated a fraud on your tribe?” “I would say there’s no doubt that there was fraud,” said Schwartz. Abramoff and Scanlon were summoned before the committee and exercised their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. But they were already damaged goods. Reed, cur rently a candidate for Tom “The Hammer” DeLay , the U.S. House Majority Leader, has tried to dis tance himself from good friend and dis graced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and from Mike Scanlon, his former spokesman. lieutenant governor in the Republican Primary in Georgia, has not been asked to testify about his work in Texas. Nor did the Senate committee address in a public hearing the large contributions the tribe made to Republicans who have a lot more pulse left in them than do Abramoff and Scanlon: $30,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee $30,000 to the Republican National Committee $25,000 for Council for Republican Environmental Advocacy, founded by Bush Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Norquist $20,000 for Montana Republican Senator Conrad Burn’s PAC 10,000 to California Congressman John Dolittle’s PAC $10,000 to Kansas Senator Sam Brownback’s PAC -$10,000 to a PAC run by the Republican House Conservative Action Team $10,000 to Missouri Senator Kit Bond’s PAC The $7,000 contributed to Majority continued on page 18 AUGUST 26, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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