My (Kosher) Dinner With Tom DeLay
John Byrne over at The Raw Story has been doing a tremendous job uncovering the seedy cesspool that Jack Abramoff and friends have been dwelling in for years. Today, Byrne has constructed a timeline highlighting Abramoff's dealings with Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, the Republican "Chief Deputy Majority Whip" (i.e. Deputy Dog), along with other Republican congressfolk. Here's a snippet of what Byrne has uncovered:
When Republican power lobbyist Jack Abramoff decided to open a kosher deli in downtown Washington, he announced he’d be naming a sandwich after Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the freshly-minted Chief Deputy Majority Whip.
The decision to tap Cantor for the highest appointed position in the House after just two years in Congress caught many by surprise. But most saw Cantor’s selection by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) as sage; Cantor was the only Jewish Republican in the incoming House and represented a valuable asset in terms of fundraising and in reaching out to Jewish conservatives.
In welcoming Cantor to the House leadership team, Abramoff held a $500-a-plate fundraiser at his deli, Stacks.
A week prior, DeLay praises Abramoff’s cuisine and generosity to the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, in a paean to Jewish tradition and dietary laws. Saying food is a “means by which we derive the energy needed to understand and obey the guiding hand of Providence,” he jokingly recognized Abramoff and the exact address of his kosher deli.
“Tonight,” DeLay remarks, “I’ll see all of you at Stacks at 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue. Jack Abramoff is buying.”
Six weeks later, DeLay and his chief whip Roy Blunt hold meetings at Signatures, Abramoff’s posh Pennsylvania Avenue eatery. These meetings are paid for by their congressional campaigns.
No date is given for Blunt’s function, which is paid for May 15. DeLay’s campaign rendezvous, described as “MEALS/STRATEGY,” is held May 1, 2003 and paid for the first of June, according to records obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Who knew that DeLay was a such a coinnesseur of Jewish dietary laws?
As Byrne notes, Democrats and liberal advocacy groups are launching a nationwide ad blitz against DeLay. In response, Cantor and other assorted conservatistas are preparing to mount a furious counter-attack on behalf of Boss DeLay. Stay tuned.