Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Blunt Rips Off Constituents -- Again



Go here to read the entire story: Dateline, today

Here are some exerpts:

Rep. Blunt participated in an elaborate money-laundering scheme with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) during the 2000 presidential campaign. The scheme was designed to hide the source and use of funds solicited for the expressed purpose of financing Republican convention parties. Reps. Blunt and DeLay intentionally raised funds in excess of what they needed for the parties and diverted almost $100,000 to the Missouri Republican Party to help finance Rep. Blunt’s son, Matt Blunt’s, campaign for Secretary of State, a further violation of 5 CFR § 2635.702(a) as well as House rules prohibiting conduct that does not reflect creditably on the House.Rep.

Blunt signed three letters to Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton on behalf of Indian tribal clients of former lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff and he opposed legislation harmful to another Abramoff client, a garment manufacturer in the Northern Marianas Islands. (Note: the legislation to exempt the Maianas Islands from US Labor Law, while allowing them to label their products as "Made in America", involved slave labor, of women and children imported from Asian Countries, forced abortions, and plantation ethics by the employeers.)

In return, Rep. Blunt received campaign contributions from Abramoff and his clients. Such conduct may have violated federal bribery laws. CREW’s complaint against Rep. Blunt is available at www.citizensforethics.org.

In November 2002, hours after he was named new Majority Whip, Rep. Blunt attempted to secretly insert a provision into pending legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris at the expense of its competitors. Philip Morris, a division of the conglomerate Altria Group Inc., is Rep. Blunt’s largest campaign contributor. Within days of the announcement of Rep. Blunt’s new position, Altria donated a hefty $32,400 to Rep. Blunt’s political action committee (PAC). In addition, Rep. Blunt was dating Philip Morris’s lobbyist, Abigail Perlman, whom he has since married.


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