Editorial: A true case of greed in Washington DC
"Selling access came relatively cheap for Ann Copland. For former longtime aide to Sen. Thad Cochran the price of access was tickets: Floor seats to a circus, tickets to a Paul McCartney concert, a luxury box at Camden Yards baseball park.

Copland pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff - now serving a four-year prison term - to commit what is called "honest services fraud" over a two-year period beginning in 2002. In essence, she got tickets while Abramoff and his clients got access. She agreed to help one of his top clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

The freebie tickets and other gifts amounted to between $25,000 and $30,000.

Copland is the latest Washington insider brought down by the Abramoff web of scandal. More than a dozen congressional aides, lobbyists, lawmakers and Bush administration officials have been convicted. They range from former Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio to Steven Griles, former deputy secretary of the Interior."

Get the Story:
Copland illustrates true case of greed (The Hattiesburg American 3/12)

Another Opinion:
Lobbyists: Members responsible for staff (The Jackson Clarion Ledger 3/12)

Relevant Documents:
US v. Copland (February 19, 2009)

Related Stories:
Ex-Senate staffer pleads guilty in Abramoff probe (3/11)
Former Senate staffer charged in Abramoff scandal (2/23)
E-mails disclose stream of gifts to ex-Senate staffer (2/11)
Ex-staffer linked to Abramoff took two salaries (1/30)
Another former Abramoff associate charged (1/29)