The $25,000 Access Fee
Well, the New York Times stumbled across fresh evidence tonight of how Jack Abramoff sold access to the White House, and directed tribal money to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. That’s right; Jack got at least two tribes to pay Grover Norquist $25,000 for an audience with George W. Bush. One of the tribes wondered what the hell their casino issue had to do with bankrolling a conservative anti-tax organization, but they were told it would help their overall Beltway lobbying efforts to throw money at our man Grover.
Note that Norquist and Abramoff were scamming two different tribes for $25,000 access fees to meet the president on the same day, from the earliest days in his administration. And of course, the White House will claim that they knew nothing about this scam, when in fact Bush’s claim of not knowing Abramoff is now kaput. Time will show that Rove, Abramoff, and Norquist hatched this racket well before Bush came into office as a way to fleece the politically unsophisticated tribes and support the maintenance of GOP dominance in the Beltway. It built upon what DeLay, Gingrich, Abramoff, and Norquist built with the K Street Project and Corporate America when the GOP didn't own the pinnacle position for this scam. In Bush, they finally had the ultimate financial instrument to carry this out to the fullest, and they took advantage of the tribes once again.
And these guys used to complain about Clinton having donors over to the White House for coffees and sleepovers at the Lincoln Bedroom?