Cross Posted at Daily Kos
It won’t be a Republican Scandal for long if Senator Reid, the Democratic Leader in the Senate, and potential 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Clinton do not return Abramoff-tainted money. It is untenable that we are currently in a position where President Bush can say that he is returning such tainted contributions, but the Democratic Leader and presumed standard-bearer in the next Presidential election cannot.
But Reid has his reasons:
Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen says the Senate minority leader has done nothing wrong and sees no reason to donate the political contributions received from clients of Jack Abramoff. Link
Indeed, this is legally defensible and apparently the former clients of Abramoff, the Indian tribes involved in running casinos, threw away their money on Reid since he opposes legislation that would hurt the gambling industry in Nevada. Las Vegas is in Nevada, correct? Thought so. So Reid has a defensible position.
Delaware Senator Carper agrees. Senator Carper received $7,077 from Native American tribes who had hired Jack Abramoff as well as registered lobbyists who are members of the same law firm as Abramoff. It should be noted, however, that the law firm in question, Greenberg Traurig, has an office in Wilmington, Delaware.
And in the face of the first aftershocks of the Abramoff scandal, Senator Carper stood firm.
You will note the distinction that Carper and Reid make in their statements between receiving contributions from tribes that have hired Abramoff in the past and receiving them from Abramoff himself. Apparently, this distinction is supposed to make a difference in the political consequences of who received what from or in spite of Abramoff. In my mind, it doesn’t. Abramoff-tainted money is Abramoff-tainted money. If Democrats are to gain any traction from this scandal at all, we have to be pure as the wind driven snow. We cannot be distracted by defending our keeping Abramoff-tainted money.
I challenge any and all Democrats to donate their Abramoff-tainted money to whatever good cause you desire. And if you do that I will personally lead a grass/net-roots fundraising drive to replace those funds, if you so desperately need them in the coming campaigns.
It is one thing to be legally defensible; it is another to morally defensible. In this matter, where Republican corruption runs deep and wide, we cannot be pulled in with those drowning bastards. Donate the money. I don’t care how far removed from Abramoff it is. Donate now.
Thank you Senator Carper. Let’s hope all Democrats do the same.