What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 27, 2006

So it IS a Republican Scandal, after all!

Via the always awesome Josh Micah Marshall at Talkingpointsmemo, I found this.

For weeks, it seems, conservatives near and far have been telling us that the Abramoff scandal is somehow "bipartisan" because Abramoff and his clients have given to both political parties. They point to the money Democrats recieved from the Indian tribes who were Abbramoff's clients (and wasn't he stealing from them as well?? - just asking).

We know that Abramoff gave no money to Democrats. Not it turns out that something very interesting happened when those tribes became Abramoff's clients. I'll let the American Prospect explain things. The begining of the piece:
A new and extensive analysis of campaign donations from all of Jack Abramoff’s tribal clients, done by a nonpartisan research firm, shows that a great majority of contributions made by those clients went to Republicans. The analysis undercuts the claim that Abramoff directed sums to Democrats at anywhere near the same rate.

The analysis, which was commissioned by The American Prospect and completed on Jan. 25, was done by Dwight L. Morris and Associates, a for-profit firm specializing in campaign finance that has done research for many media outlets.
Here's the main point:
Although Abramoff hasn’t personally given to any Democrats, Republicans, including officials with the GOP campaign to hold on to the Senate, have seized on the donations of his tribal clients as proof that the saga is a bipartisan scandal. And the controversy recently spread to the media when the ombudsman for The Washington Post, Deborah Howell, ignited a firestorm by wrongly asserting that Abramoff had given to both. She eventually amended her assessment, writing that Abramoff “directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.”

But the Morris and Associates analysis, which was done exclusively for The Prospect, clearly shows that it’s highly misleading to suggest that the tribes's giving to Dems was in any way comparable to their giving to the GOP. The analysis shows that when Abramoff took on his tribal clients, the majority of them dramatically ratcheted up donations to Republicans. Meanwhile, donations to Democrats from the same clients either dropped, remained largely static or, in two cases, rose by a far smaller percentage than the ones to Republicans did. This pattern suggests that whatever money went to Democrats, rather than having been steered by Abramoff, may have largely been money the tribes would have given anyway.
Get a gander at this:
The big picture is also compelling. Taken together, Abramoff’s tribal clients gave $868,890 to Dems before hiring him; afterwards, they gave $794,483 -- a decrease of nine percent. By contrast, the tribes’ donations to Republicans went from $786,560 pre-Abramoff to $1,845,975 after he became their lobbyist -- an increase of 135 percent.In other words, when Abramoff entered the picture, contributions to Dems dropped, while donations to Republicans more than doubled.
I'll type that out again in case you missed it:
when Abramoff entered the picture, contributions to Dems dropped, while donations to Republicans more than doubled.
Got that?


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