Well, it has been a big days of political writings on the Abramoff scandal. But first, I want to say that my heart goes out to the families of the 12 miners that did not make it out alive.
And now to the round up on Abramoff
WaPo has a story on the money trail left by Abramoff (The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail) and the connection with Russian energy interests to Tom DeLay to influence his votes on an IMF matter as well as donations from sweat shops in the Pacific.
A story by Bloomberg (Bush's 2004 Campaign to Donate Abramoff-Linked Contributions to Charity)has Bush giving back some of the political donations from Abramoff. While Abramoff was one of Bush biggest fundraisers, the one thing that tells me that the White House had little or no direct involvement is that they are actually being open about it. I think this marks a first for the Bush administration.
USA Today reports on the indictments (Former lobbyist pleads guilty ) and so does the Boston Globe (Abramoff pleads guilty, agrees to aid probe into Congress).
Another WaPo story (Mr. Abramoff's Plea) talks about the 1# implicated Congressman, Republican Bob Ney of Ohio. Ney still maintains his innocence, but growing evidence is showing that he had much more knowledge that he admits to.
The Columbus Dispatch has more in-depth reporting on Ney's involvement (Lobbyist admits he gave Ney bribes) and delves into Ney's legal troubles. It is likely that Ney will be indicted and if so, Republican leaders plan to call on him to resign prior to the next election. If he does not step aside, it would be an easy target for his next election cycle, leaving Republicans in even more jeopardy of losing the congress in the future. The Dispatch also chronicles the allegations against Ney (Allegations Against Ney)
The Billings Gazette writes on the Abramoff connections with Republican Senator, Conrad Burns who might also find himself in hot water (Abramoff cops plea, to help in D.C. probe)
And if you didn't pick up on all of the connections between DeLay and Abramoff in the above stories, you weren't paying attention. But to save you from having to go back and read again, Roll Call (subscription only) goes into the deep links between the two buddies (Deal Brings Allegations to DeLay Staff). I think the writing is on the wall that DeLay is on his way out of public service.