News and articles relating to the scandal surrounding Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Article links Abramoff, co-defendant to '98 Guam election

by Mindy Fothergill, KUAM News
Sunday, April 02, 2006


On the heels of the sentencing of former powerhouse Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Wall Street Journal released an explosive article this weekend citing Abramoff's and his co-defendant and former partner Michael Scanlon's involvement in alleged efforts to taint the 1998 gubernatorial election on Guam.

The personal relationships of Scanlon, the former press aide to Congressman Tom DeLay, have opened the doors to information about his wheelings and dealings with former partner Abramoff and his ties to Guam. In the WSJ article, "End of the Affair - Behind Unraveling of DeLay's Team, A Jilted Fiancee", the national newspaper reveals political favors and maneuvers devised by the two men, once raking in millions through lobbying efforts and business dealings.

The article refers to Scanlon and his former fiancee Emily Miller, who both worked in the press office of DeLay, the former majority leader. Assisting in work for delay was former deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy. The Journal obtained numerous e-mails and messages relating to Rudy and Scanlon's activities while working for DeLay and their growing relationship with Abramoff.

The article states, "the two staffers often lent a hand to Mr. Abramoff, according to court documents and former colleagues." Abramoff helped the congressman raise millions of dollars and often treated DeLay and his aides to overseas trips, dinners, casino stays and golf outings.

In return, the aides assisted Abramoff. The WSJ piece further states, "In the fall of 1998, Mr. Abramoff wanted to help a Republican, Joe Ada, get elected as governor in Guam, even though he was trailing incumbent governor Carl Gutierrez badly in the polls." Ada was running with current Guam governor Felix Camacho.

After lunch on October 26, 1998, Abramoff emailed Rudy wanting to know if Congressman DeLay could call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by Gutierrez. The WSJ went on to state that Abramoff suggested he would draft a statement for DeLay, and Rudy could "issue a press release and letter requesting an inspector general, from the Department of Interior, to investigate these matters", saying it should have a major impact on the election next week.

Rudy and Scanlon released a statement from DeLay, along with a letter to the DOI's inspector general, calling for a full federal inquiry into Gutierrez. DeLay said in the letter, "The allegations and materials I reviewed point to serious corruption." The article goes on to state despite their efforts, Ada lost the race and the Department did not conduct an investigation.

DeLay's spokeswoman declined to comment and Rudy's lawyers did not return phone calls made by the national newspaper. KUAM News has also confirmed through sources in Washington, that a congressional inquiry is also underway into Scanlon's involvement on Guam when the Ada-Camacho team disputed the 1998 election results.

KUAM News attempted to obtain comment on the Wall Street Journal article from former governor Ada, however he is currently off-island. Spokesman for Governor Camacho Shawn Gumataotao also did not return calls for comment.


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