The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat sticks it to the editorial boards… including his own:
So our state’s senior senator, Patty Murray, is keeping $35,000 in campaign donations she got from clients of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Good for her. She’s one of the few politicians or pundits who understand what this corruption scandal is really about. Since Abramoff copped to a congressional bribery scheme last week, fearful politicians, including our other senator, Maria Cantwell, have been skittering to toss back hundreds of thousands of dollars in perfectly legal contributions from Indian tribes that once used Abramoff’s lobbying services.
Now, the editorial boards of three local newspapers, including my own, are pounding on Murray to do the same.
“It is simply not OK to profit from ill-gotten gains,” scolded The Columbian of Vancouver, Wash., telling Murray to return the “tainted money.”
But Murray is going with her gut. Her contributions were not from Abramoff, she says, and were “legally given, legally reported and legally spent.”
In comments that will have her colleague Cantwell squirming, Murray says returning the money is a hollow stunt to make politicians look good.
“I will not rush to scapegoat those tribes who have already been victimized by Jack Abramoff,” Murray wrote in a letter to The Seattle Times. “Your easy answer would be fine if all I wanted was to score cheap points on being ‘clean.’ “
I was getting pretty sick and tired of hearing self-righteous editorialists playing into the GOP propaganda mill, preaching to Democrats to give back these campaign contributions. Such admonitions would lead you to believe that Dems were somehow involved in this scandal. They weren’t.
Not a single Democrat received a dime of money from Abramoff. Not a dime.
This is a GOP scandal, and to attempt to shame Dems into giving back unrelated contributions from tribes, simply because they also happened to be Abramoff clients, is a misleading, disingenuous, and absurd game of blame the victim.
Abramoff and his GOP buddies screwed the tribes… they defrauded them, bilked them, robbed them blind! And as a result, the public should be led to believe that all tribal contributions are tainted?
What a load of crap.
Thanks, Danny, for calling it what it is.