Thursday, June 23, 2005

Indian Games: Abramoff, Scandal or Business?

Let's talk about Indian (not Reindeer) Games.

Some folks are having a tizzy fit that some Washington Lobbyists charged 7.7 million for their services, and pocketed 6.5 million in profit, having only spent 1.2 million. To this, I say...

So what? Have you got something against the free market? Or are you just trying to smear folks who you think will bring political advantage to your side of the fence? Shame on the New York Times and those trying to make a scandal out of this. The answer lies in the free market, not scandal. You think your lobbyist is too expensive? Get another one. The Choctaws didn't have to hire Abramoff et al. And if the margins are really that great in the lobbying industry (i.e. a 500% return is pretty good after all), then maybe more folks should start lobbying businesses. Or maybe...government should have less power, so that there isn't such a large incentive to try and get the stick of government on your side.

Article exerpt:

In 2001 alone, the Choctaws paid $7.7 million to Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon for lobbying work. But the pair spent just $1.2 million on the designated projects, keeping the remaining $6.5 million for "gimme five" - themselves - according to the e-mail and witnesses.
The tribe ultimately paid Mr. Scanlon as much as $15 million, and he gave Mr. Abramoff $5 million in kickbacks, said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and the chairman of the Senate committee. "Mr. Abramoff betrayed a longstanding client, betrayed his colleagues, betrayed his friend," Mr. McCain said.

Lyle's exerpt:

Typical McCain grandstanding. Mr. Abramoff didn't betray a client, he charged alot of money. So what. McCain does the same thing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/23/politics/23indian.html

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