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How Abramoff ran his crew with the help of right wing leaders

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Washington Post has a long piece today exploring the inner workings of the Abramoff family through his dealings with a pro-gambling client, eLottery. Very interesting and worth a read. There are the usual DeLay related cronies involved, and a lot of right wing leaders are wrapped up with this guy:

Abramoff quietly arranged for eLottery to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign, including Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. Both kept in close contact with Abramoff about the arrangement, e-mails show. Abramoff also turned to prominent anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist, arranging to route some of eLottery's money for Reed through Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform.
Yep, Lou Sheldon, who Abramoff called "Lucky Louie." Course, now they are all scrambling to distance themselves from Abramoff:
A spokesman for Reed -- now a candidate for lieutenant governor of Georgia -- said that he and his associates are unaware that any money they received came from gambling activities. Sheldon said that he could not remember receiving eLottery money and that he was unaware that Abramoff was involved in the campaign to defeat the bill. Norquist's group would say only that it had opposed the gambling ban on libertarian grounds.
Sheldon claims to be "shocked" Abramoff was involved:
Sheldon said in an interview this week that he recalled little about his efforts against the bill in 2000. He said he did not remember receiving a $25,000 check from eLottery, but added that it is possible that his organization did receive it. He said he remembered some money coming in to pay for fliers he had printed and mailed to congressional districts to persuade members to oppose the bill.

"I wasn't aware the money was coming from them [eLottery]," Sheldon said. "I don't think I ever saw the check. It came in, and we paid the bill for some of the printing."

Sheldon also said he had no idea that Abramoff was lobbying against the bill or that he was working for eLottery.

"This is all tied to Jack?" Sheldon said. "I'm shocked out of my socks."
Abramoff's tentacles run deep in to the entire GOP leadership, through the White House, Hill leadership and, clearly, the right-winger establishment.

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