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Politics
Vitter, Hastert never paid Abramoff restaurant tab


Sen. David Vitter (D-Louisiana) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) never paid for the use of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's Washington, D.C., restaurant, Business Week reports.

In separate events, then-Congressman Vitter raised $12,000 in September 2003 and Hastert raised at least $14,750 in June 2003. Both Republicans say they were supposed to be billed for using the Signatures restaurant but their accounts were never charged.

The fundraisers bear ties to Abramoff's lobbying on behalf of his tribal clients. From January 2003 through September 2003, Abramoff and his wife sent checks totaling at least $19,000 to GOP leaders, including Hastert. During this time, Hastert signed a letter to Interior Secretary Gale Norton opposing off-reservation casinos.

Also during this time, the Interior Department's appropriations bill was moving through Congress. Abramoff helped Vitter insert language into Interior's appropriations bill that warned against off-reservation casinos.

Get the Story:
Denny Hastert's Late Payment (Business Week 4/19)

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