Hastert Under Investigation for Corruption?

ABC News’ The Blotter is reporting that Hastert might be under investigation for his role in the Abramoff scandals:

Federal officials say the Congressional bribery investigation now includes Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, based on information from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.

Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes.

The other tribes were represented by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff who reportedly has provided details of his dealings with Hastert as part of his plea agreement with the government.

Oh keep singing, Jackie-boy! Keep on singing. Let’s nail all of these bastards. If you are corrupt, as I believe the majority of Congress is, then you should pay for it. We can’t just let these weasels run amok in our government; there has to be some accountability.

So, did anybody wonder why Hastert was sticking up for a corrupt Democrat the other day? Well now you know the answer. He’s worried about his own office getting raided by the FBI. Unfortunately, the Jefferson raid has tipped him off, so he’ll no doubt be hiding any incriminating evidence in the weeks ahead.

The Blotter also has an update on the Hastert connection:

Despite a flat denial from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement sources tonight said ABC News accurately reported that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is “in the mix” in the FBI investigation of corruption in Congress.

Speaker Hastert said tonight the story was “absolutely untrue” and has demanded ABC News retract its story.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has provided information to the FBI about Hastert and a number of other members of Congress that have broadened the scope of the investigation. Sources would not divulge details of the Abramoff’s information.

Oh I love it: “a number of other members of Congress…” Get them all! There’s obviously tons of corruption in our government, but only now do they seem to be actively investigating it. Getting Abramoff to rollover and start singing was a major score. He was right in the middle of things and he knows all the major players at the congressional level. As a lobbyist, that’s his job.

Speaking of lobbyists, the problems with our government and its endemic corruption can be traced to these professional lobbyists, whose job seems to consist of bribing congresspeople in the way closest to “legal” as possible. Obviously, they have to step over the boundary quite a bit. The system seems to encourage this corruption — at least, it seems systemic to me.

Personally, I think lobbying should be illegal. Just flat out, ILLEGAL. I think it’s just wrong. It’s quasi-legal bribery. It corrupts our government at every level by giving a huge advantage to the rich and powerful who can afford these lobbyists — you just know that Abramoff and his firm charges over a hundred bucks an hour. Shit, I bill at $115 an hour (for my firm) and I’m just a web designer. Abramoff probably charged over $200/hour… okay, I just googled it. It’s worse than I thought: He was billing up to $750 per hour!).

The rest of us are effectively locked out of the Washington-game if we can’t pony-up the obscene amount of money it costs to bribe -er, I mean “lobby” a congressman. Is that fair? Is that democracy?

If we don’t clean up the system now, we’re gonna have to deal with it again later. It won’t be long before the snakes are back, and shit, the Bush cabal is still in charge and they’re more corrupt than anybody. We need massive systemic change in Washington or our democracy is effectively over.


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