23 September 2005

Corruption: Republican Style

All of the same names just appearing and reappearing: Abramoff, Delay, Rove, Tyco, et al.

These guys have put together a nice little boys club by which they can rape America. Here's the latest to come down the pipeline in an ongoing investigation of Abramoff and his 'lobbying' on behalf of Tyco, Inc. Remember, their CEO and CFO were just sentenced to time in a NY State Prison for corruption, fraud, etc. Poor boys, they got caught.

Timothy Flanigan, general counsel for Tyco, just revealed in a statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Abramoff was signed on by Tyco to help kill offshore tax havens for US companies. Abramoff bragged that he had direct access to the White House and Congress.... specifically to Karl Rove and Tom Delay. Later, Abramoff said he had personally been working with Rove ont the issue to help maintain illegal offshore havens. Don't forget that Abramoff's partner in crime used to be Delay's boy.

Of course, in Rove style, his spokeswoman said Karl "has no recollection" of being contacted by Abramoff about Tyco's concerns. Of course you don't Karl.... just like you don't recall the Plame issue either until records were revealed to the contrary. Oops. I forgot.

Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig, promoted him as "Tyco's savior on the tax issue", according to Flanigan's statement and others familiar with the process.

Tyco -- whose executive was on trial and brought the offshore funneling of profits to light -- was worried that the Bush administration might embrace legislation promoted by Democrats that would impose higher taxes on US based companies that had moved their profit center offshore to cut their tax bills (nothing more than a mailing address). The legislation was motivated by popular anger over such offshore moves, and carried the additional penalty of barring such firms from receiving federal contracts. After all, why pay taxes when the money could better be used to throw multi million birthday parties for your wife or build beach homes for execs.

And, again, mere coincidence I am sure..... Rove's personal assistant, Susan Ralston, formerly worked as Abramoff's secretary. What better way to keep your shady dealings under wraps than to keep everyone in house (and indicted). And, you wonder why Bush keeps promoting college buddies. The further you spread your wings the more damage can be done by those that have ethics (think whistleblower).

The Bush administration was not happy about the tax penalty, but both the House and Senate approved language denying federal contracts to companies largely based in the United States but incorporated in tax havens. Tyco was among a large contingent of companies, including Ingersoll-Rand and Noble Corp., that hired an army of lobbyists to stall the legislation and ultimately kill most of it. But they made it appear as if they passed something that halted corporate corruption.... after all, the American people would not really notice either way. Right?

Abramoff's firm had promised to repay three-quarters of a $2 million fee that Tyco paid to kill this legislation to a firm called Grassroots Interactive.

The fee was supposed to finance a letter-writing campaign by Tyco suppliers against the offshore tax bill, but it has been concluded that $1.5 million of it was "diverted to personal entities controlled by Mr. Abramoff" and misspent, according to Flanigan's statement.

And, now we begin to realize why our country is having such problems in this century. That old boys club has regained power with a vengeance and they plan on using it before anyone catches up to them.

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