Monday, January 23, 2006

Pombo does the Abramoff two-step

Shorter Richard Pombo: I'm not involved with Abramoff because he always sent in his surrogates to lobby me. And by the way, Abramoff was primarily looking for clients rather than engaging in lobbying.

The Contra Costa Times interviewed Pombo and asked him about Jack Abramoff. (warning mp3 file possibly behind a subscription site)

Rough transcript:

Interviewer: Have you ever met Jack Abramoff?

Pombo: Yeah. I've met him. I've seen him probably, I don't know maybe, half a dozen times. Um, different big Republican events n'stuff. And I had lunch one time, I was having lunch with John Doolittle, and Abramoff came in and sat down and had... John invited him to have lunch with us and he sat down. I had never met him before that. That was probably, I don't know maybe 4 years ago. It was the first time I met him. Um, he was a big player. Always very, very involved with the political side, of stuff.

He never lobbied me, on anything. I can't ever remember a single time that he ever asked me about a bill, about a vote, about anything. I know, I read that I'm one of his best friends. But I mean, there are a lot of guys who are his best friends now because they're on the target list. I mean thats, the game.

Interviewer: But it wouldn't be unreasonable for him to want to meet with you and ask you about bills...

Pombo: No it wouldn't have been. On stuff that was comin' before my committee, you know there were different guys that worked for that firm [Greenberg-Traurig] that would come in and talk to me. That, you know, 'cause the clients were represented by the firm so, different guys would come in and talk to me and bring in, you know, the head of this Tribe or the, you know, the other guy and say, you know, this is our issue, this is why want it or why we don't want it or, you know, whatever the case may be but he [Abramoff] just never, never did. And I don't know how much of that he [Abramoff] really did. In him, actually going in and lobbying.

Interviewer: Well, he sent his people in, you know, and his staff...

Pombo: I think he did a lot more trying to find clients than he did actually lobbying us. 'Cause most of the guys I've talked to, they're supposedly his best friends, have the same kind of story, that, you know, unless they went to a fund raiser with him or something like that, that he didn't do a lot of that.

Interviewer: His, or his people, to influence you...

Pombo: Try to influence me? The guy, different people that worked for that lobbying firm, sure they tried to influence me. That's their job.

Interviewer: Right.

Pombo: They bring in somebody and say, this is why we think, you should do this, you know, pass this bill, or vote against that bill, or whatever. And, you know, 10 minutes later, you got the guys from the other side coming in telling you the opposite.

emphasis mine


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Matt said...


Great catch on the mp3 files. And good luck with this new blog. Send me an e-mail, I have a couple of suggestions for what you can do with your template and such.

Also, I'd enable word verification if you want to avoid having a lot of comment spam.


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