I don’t understand why all of these people waited until today or yesterday to get rid of the Abramoff money they took, but it seems they should have done that a while back:
At least 24 politicians have now pledged to relinquish $515,199 in Abramoff-tainted campaign cash, including some of the most powerful Republicans in Washington. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will give up at least $60,000. DeLay, the former House majority leader, has pledged to donate $57,000 in Abramoff-linked contributions to charity. And acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) plans to shed the $8,500 that Abramoff and his wife donated to his political action committee.
Also, I have no intention of trying to turn this into a bi-partisan scandal (like CNS News appear to be trying to do with this one page package of lies), as it seems pretty clear to me, at least, that this is a pretty much Republican dominated scandal, but this seems odd:
All but three of the 24 politicians giving up the funds are Republicans. The three Democrats — Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Richard J. Durbin (Ill.) and Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.) — have pledged to shed a total of $97,000 in contributions. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Reid has no intention of shedding the $47,000 he has received from Abramoff’s lobbying team and tribal clients.
“Abramoff was a Republican operative, and this is a Republican scandal,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. “Any effort by Republicans to drag Democrats into this is doomed to failure.”
Either the money is tainted, or it isn’t. Someone fill me in why this stance by Reid makes sense, because I am not seeing it.
*** Update ***
Never mind. I misread the story. I understand the distinction now- it is the same reason that the CNS news story is nonsense. Just a liitle slow on the uptake today.
*** Update #2***
Via Ross Douthat guest blogging at Andrew Sullivan’s joint, this David brooks quote:
I don’t know what’s more pathetic, Jack Abramoff’s sleaze or Republican paralysis in the face of it. Abramoff walks out of a D.C. courthouse in his pseudo-Hasidic homburg, and all that leading Republicans can do is promise to return his money and remind everyone that some Democrats are involved in the scandal, too.
That’s a great G.O.P. talking point: some Democrats are so sleazy, they get involved with the likes of us . . .