A report in today's Bloomberg news makes the same point we have here, that House majority leader contenders Reps. Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of Ohio are both awfully close to Tom DeLay and K Street:
- Both Blunt and Boehner have political action committees that employ Jim Ellis, who was indicted along with DeLay. Both PACs have retained Alexander Strategy Group, whose partners include former Abramoff and DeLay associates.
- Blunt =has served as the Republicans' official liaison to K Street.
- In 1995, Boehner handed out campaign checks from the tobacco industry to members on the House floor at a time when lawmakers were considering eliminating a tobacco subsidy. (We all know about that, but always worth repeating.)
- DeLay relied on Blunt as an "ambassador" to the lobbyist community.
- In 2003, Blunt wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton opposing a casino for an Indian tribe that would have competed with one of Abramoff's clients. The same year, Blunt signed a similar letter along with DeLay, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor.
- In 2002, Blunt tried to insert language into a bill that would have helped Philipo Morris, now Altria Group Inc., by making it harder to sell cigarettes over the Internet. Blunt later married an Altria lobbyist.
We've said it before, we'll say it again: "Meet the old boss, same as the new boss."