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Politics
Lobbyists say Abramoff probe has run its course


"A funny thing happens when you talk to lobbyists, especially those with Indian casino clients, about the Senate investigation of Abramoff and Scanlon. None of them will talk for the record, of course, but they are surprisingly unanimous that all this unpleasantness will soon blow over.

"I think that story has about run its course," one told me the other day. "Really, after you get past Jack's excesses--which are Jack's--there's not much there."

"I'm hearing there won't be any more hearings," another told me. "It's done. They've nailed Jack. End of story."

This is just wishful thinking, though. The new chairman of the Indian Affairs committee, Sen. McCain, has made it clear he has much more material to ventilate in hearings that will continue next year. But the lobbyists' defensiveness is understandable. Stripped of its peculiar grossness, Abramoff's Indian story really is just another story of business as usual in the world of Washington lobbying, and the longer hearings like McCain's drag on, the more likely it is that even the Republican "grass-roots" will wise up. That closed, parasitic culture of convenience--with its revolving doors, front groups, pay-offs, expense-account comfort, and ideological cover stories--is as essential to the way Republican Washington works, ten years after the Revolution, as ever it was to Democratic Washington."

Get the Story:
A Lobbyist's Progress (The Weekly Standard 12/20)

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