No one ever said that Congressional Republicans lack chutzpah. But this is rich even for them.
The GOP is trying to use the Jack Abramoff scandal — in which a Republican lobbyist bribed staffers to Republican members of Congress and members of the Republican Bush administration — to tar Democrats and their allies.
Here’s how it works: Democrats have proposed legislation that would legalize and regulate internet gambling. Republicans, backed by their Christian conservative allies, oppose it.
For most of the period that he was running his illegal operation, Abramoff worked for the law and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig. For a portion of that period, Greenberg Traurig — but not Abramoff — also did some work for the Interactive Gaming Council, an internet gambling trade group. It’s also true, of course, that Abramoff had in the past lobbied on behalf of eLottery, an internet gambling firm.
That’s prompted congressional Republicans to circulate a memo, obtained by the Washington Post, warning: “While Jack himself is now imprisoned, many of his former associates continue to carry out Abramoff’s plan to legalize Internet gambling in the United States.”
Here’s a list of other clients that Greenberg Traurig has worked with in recent years: the Business Roundtable; the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (an arm of the Chamber of Commerce); health insurer Humana; and gun maker Smith & Wesson.
We await GOP denunciations of those outfits.