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Abramoff Scandal
Editorial: Burns, Baucus and Rehberg were bought


"Montana's Sens. Conrad Burns and Max Baucus and Rep. Denny Rehberg have made a big show in recent days of returning or giving away campaign contributions linked to pariah-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, formally one of Washington, D.C.'s top stringpullers now under investigation for influence peddling, bilking clients and other bad deeds. Members of Montana's congressional delegation have joined politicians elsewhere in attempting to distance themselves from Abramoff.

This is silly and entirely for show.

The money that Abramoff and associates funneled to Burns, Baucus and Rehberg, et al, already bought the access, consideration, help, favors and votes it was meant to buy. Giving away money won't undo whatever these politicians did to earn support from Abramoff and his clients.

For that matter, the money itself has been spent. �Returning� money to Abramoff's clients or �donating� it to third parties qualifies now as a new campaign expense - more or less like buying an ad that proclaims, �We're not in this guy's pocket - honest.� Where's this money going to come from? That's right - from other lobbyists or big-money donors who will have their own demands, expectations and strings to pull."

Get the Story:
Too late guys; you've already been bought (The Missoulian 12/22)

Relevant Links:
Montana Republican Party - http://www.mtgop.org
Montana Democratic Party - http://www.montanademocrats.org

Related Stories:
Abramoff still an issue for Montana politicians (12/21)
Editorial: No more nasty politics on Montana? (12/21)
Burns staffer went on Abramoff Super Bowl trip (12/21)
Ex-Abramoff associate pleads guilty in Montana (12/21)
Sen. Baucus returns $19K in Abramoff donations (12/20)
Another Republican returns Abramoff donations (12/19)
Burns to return $150K in Abramoff donations (12/16)
Editorial: Burns should return Abramoff donations (12/15)
Burns already spent donations from Abramoff (12/14)
Former Burns aide talks with Abramoff investigators (12/13)
Editorial: Don't hate Burns, hate the system (12/12)
Burns wishes Abramoff had 'never been born' (12/9)
Opinion: Burns worried about public opinion (12/9)
Sen. Burns to launch Abramoff offensive in January (12/8)
Sen. Burns wants name cleared in Abramoff probe (12/7)
Staffer for Sen. Burns went to work for Abramoff (12/05)
Ex-Abramoff associate charged in Montana for poaching (08/19)
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Abramoff probe spreads to members of Congress (11/28)
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