Conrad Burns

Same Apple, New Barrel

Former Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) who lost his bid for re-election in 2006 thanks to suspicions around his taking campaign contributions from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has registered as a lobbyist himself, having just cleared the one year moratorium (new rules will make it a two-year ban) on lawmakers becoming lobbyists. He's now working, along with a former staff member, for a firm, Gage LLC, founded by another ex-staffer. DC's a small town.

Cashing In On Corruption

For a few congressmen booted out in 2006 amid charges of corruption, nothing says "turning over a new leaf" like taking high-powered lobbying jobs with people you used to help steer money too. Former Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) and former Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) who found themselves embroiled in corruption scandals last year have both landed jobs as lobbying advisors with groups they had a history of helping financially.

 

Abramoff Emails Show How Money Targeted to Republicans

We know how it works. We know that lobbyists use campaign contributions every day on Capitol Hill to secure legislative favors. But until we had Jack Abramoff and all his emails, did we ever have such an inside view?

AP reports that a series of emails show that "Abramoff's team repeatedly discussed donations as the reason Republican leaders should intervene for the Saginaw." Abramoff's team successfully sought money for the tribe to secure federal school building money.

Here's an email from Abramoff deputy Todd Boulanger:

Shivers down congressional spines

I can't imagine many people in Washington will be happy to read this line in tomorrow's New York Times story about Jack Abramoff's sentencing hearing in Miami:

 

 

The judge agreed to the prison term, the minimum possible under sentencing guidelines, after prosecutors praised Mr. Abramoff for his cooperation in the Washington inquiry, which centers on accusations that he had tried to bribe public officials, including Republican lawmakers.

 

MUST READ: Rolling Stone Reporter Crashes Burns' Fundraiser as a Lobbyist

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi impersonated a lobbyist and gained entry into Sen. Conrad Burns' birthday fundraiser -- and then wrote about it!

 

Taibbi pretends he's the lobbyist for a Russian oil company wanting to drill for oil in the Grand Canyon. It's hilarious. You'll laugh, and then you'll cry when you think about the fact that this is how our democracy works.