10/03/2005

Daily Kos: The Norquist-Abramoff Circle

The Norquist-Abramoff Circle
by kos
Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 12:18:14 CDT

National Journal:

About once a month since 2001, Grover Norquist has invited a top Bush administration official or a Republican congressional leader to dine with him and some 20 or 30 corporate lobbyists who help subsidize Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group that Norquist heads.

The dinners at Norquist's Washington, D.C., home aren't cheap: The lobbyists pay ATR between $10,000 and $25,000 a year for the privilege of attending several of the intimate get-togethers, which have featured the likes of White House political guru Karl Rove and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, according to several lobbyists who have attended.

From time to time over the years, the K Street crowd has been joined at the dinners by other ATR supporters, including the leaders of some casino-owning Indian tribes who were top clients of one of Norquist's oldest friends, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Representatives of the Saginaw Chippewas of Michigan, the Louisiana Coushattas, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians were among those who either attended or helped to finance some of the Norquist-hosted soirees that were advertised as tax policy events. Moreover, some of these same tribal representatives also attended brief meetings at the White House with President Bush that Norquist has organized annually since 2001 for dozens of state legislators who have pushed anti-tax measures or signed anti-tax pledges.

The Indian tribes' participation in the ATR dinners and the White House visits underscores the long and successful political partnership that Norquist and Abramoff have maintained since the early 1980s, when Norquist managed Abramoff's successful campaign to be chairman of the College Republicans.

So Abramoff and Norquist are joined at the hip. And that's when the story gets really good. Read the whole piece.

(Thanks to the National Journal, which moved the story to a free part of its site after kos asked.)

Daily Kos: The Norquist-Abramoff Circle

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