This morning, the House Government Reform Committee released a wayyy-long report on former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, detailing Abramoff’s efforts to cozy up to White House officials by providing them with meals, drinks, and concert tickets. So what are some of Washington’s most easily corruptible officials listening to these days?
Susan Ralston According to the report, Ralston–who in 2001 took a senior-assistant position under Karl Rove–was “the most frequent recipient of tickets from Abramoff.” On June 15, 2002, she received two tickets to see Andrea Bocelli at Washington’s MCI Center (where she got free parking–how’d she swing that little perk?); and on August 4, 2002, she received four tickets to see Bruce Springsteen, proving once again that Republicans just don’t understand the Boss.
Ken Mehlman The former White House Director of Political Affairs (and Bush re-election campaign manager) really, really wanted to see Bush’s favorite Irish rock band play on June 15, 2001:
Abramoff also offered tickets to Ken Mehlman for a U2 concert…When Abramoff learned from his staff that “Ken Mehlman of the White House apparently wants to go,” but it was unclear if “we can fit 2 more in for Friday night,” he instructed his staff: “We must.” A day before the concert, [Lobbyist Kevin Ring] e-mailed Abramoff that he would “talk to Mehlman at the concert tomorrow night” about positions at the Department of Labor. The documents do not indicate whether Mehlman attended, or if he did, whether he paid for his own tickets.
If they did talk, it was probably during “Elevation.” That song’s just plain terrible: “A mole/digging in a hole/digging up my soul”? What the fuck does that even mean?
Jennifer Farley The White House aide is probably the biggest offender of all: On April 11, 2002, she received two free tickets to see…Yanni. Alas, the show, like the others, was held at the MCI Center; not even a plugged-in pug like Abramoff can get you into the Acropolis.
Committe On Government Reform [Official site]