Tom DeLay and three other Texas GOP congressmen sent a letter to the Justice Department dated December 11, 2001 urging it to close the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe’s Livingston casino eight days after Jack Abramoff e-mailed a lobbyist associate

“We have to shutter Alabama Coushatta and fast.”  Houston Chronicle.

Abramoff was making huge sums from a competing tribe.  A DeLay spokesman claims the letter, on which DeLay’s signature appears first, was generated by the congressman because of his opposition to gambling in principle.

If that is so, shouldn’t we find DeLay firing off similar letters to the Justice Department regarding all Indain operated casinos in Texas?

(Also to be found at DailyKos)

Instead, we find him accepting $50,000 on behalf of a nonprofit organization on which he sits as a board member.  From whom?  The Mississppi Choctaws — another Abramoff (gambling casino) client.

Then gambling’s all right, as long as it’s not Texas Indians?  

The letter was consistent with efforts by Texas authorities and legislators to close the month-old casino.

But it also coincided with the efforts by Abramoff, on behalf of Indian clients in Louisiana, to shut down such Texas casinos.

GOP Reps. John Culberson of Houston, Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, and Pete Sessions of the Dallas area signed the letter along with DeLay.  

“This was a no-brainer. It was like opposing taxes or supporting free trade,” said Culberson, whose staff supplied a copy of the letter Tuesday in response to the Chronicle’s request. “Tom DeLay’s opposition to gambling was the same as mine and most Texans’ — it was instinctive and strong.”

But the timing of their letter didn’t occur until after an earlier Abramoff message.

“We need to get the (attorney general) arresting them RIGHT now. We need to get the pastors rallying right now. This is going to be the death of us,” Abramoff wrote in a November 2001 e-mail to Reed as the Alabama-Coushatta casino opened.

Oh!  So Abramoff was likewise appalled by exposing Christians to gambling in Texas, right?  Hardly!  

A former DeLay top aide, Tony Rudy, had joined Abramoff as a lobbyist on behalf of the Louisiana Coushatta Indians, who didn’t want Texas tribes cutting into their gambling business.

So, it’s a bit difficult to follow DeLay and his Texas GOP cronies onto the moral high ground where they’ve scampered in defense of their influence peddaling.

Further, as per Abramoff’s “request” we find that in the November 11, 2005 issue of the Star Telegram, former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, boasts of choreographing the closing of the Tigua indian tribe’s casino in Texas.  And lookee here, another GOP politico smitten by religious scruple no doubt.  (Admittedly, there’s nothing in the story linking his actions to a payoff.):

In the Nov. 30, 2001, e-mail, Reed told Abramoff that 50 pastors led by Ed Young, of Second Baptist Church in Houston, would meet with Cornyn to urge him to shut down the Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s casino near Livingston, Texas. He said Young would back up the request in writing.

And completing the circle of fraud, bribery, corruption, and influence pedalling. . .

The previously released e-mails that showed in 2002 Abramoff and Scanlon secretly funneled millions to Reed to help fund the campaign to get the Tigua casino shut down. The lobbyists then persuaded the Tiguas to hire them to reopoen it.
Members of the Louisiana Coushatta tribal leadership testified last week that Abramoff used the threat of the Alabama-Coushatta casino in Texas to get more lobbying business from the tribe.

No doubt at the upcoming corruption trials of Republican defendants too numerous to mention, juries will be told that unlike in the OJ Simpson trial, the glove fits in each of their cases.

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