Thursday, December 08, 2005

Update to Saipan, Abramoff, etc.

Further to my post "Of Saipan, Abramoff and Jews for Jesus":

The Marianas Variety is reporting today that "GOVERNOR-ELECT Benigno R. Fitial says he will cooperate with federal authorities...." I'm posting the whole article because the Variety tends to let them lapse off-line the day after publication:
"GOVERNOR-ELECT Benigno R. Fitial says he will cooperate with federal authorities in the ongoing investigation of Rep. Tom Delay and former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, whom he once described as his “close friends.”
House leadership spokesman Charles P. Reyes Jr. said Speaker Fitial “will comply with all the legal requirements asked of him.”
But Reyes said it’s unfair that Fitial’s name is always being associated with Delay, R-Texas, and Abramoff.
In April, when news about DeLay’s and Abramoff’s possible ethical violations broke, Fitial issued a statement in their defense.
“I join Congressman DeLay in condemning this unfair criticism, which has even gone to the extent of attacking the Northern Marianas for its efforts to rightfully defend itself against hostile federal takeover attempts orchestrated by partisan political groups and other liberal special interest groups,” said Fitial in a statement issued on April 20.
Back then, Fitial said certain left-leaning parties hostile to the local garment industry are “attempting to undermine” his 2005 gubernatorial bid by linking him to the controversy surrounding DeLay and Abramoff, whom Fitial credited as the individuals who “successfully thwarted repeated federal takeover attempts against the CNMI.”
Supporters of Fitial’s Republican opponent in the election, Gov. Juan N. Babauta, tried to make an issue out of the speaker’s links with DeLay and Abramoff, but it never caught on.
According to the Associated Press, DeLay and two GOP fundraisers, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, are accused of illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate donations to 2002 Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature.
Under Texas law, corporate money cannot be directly used for political campaigns, but it can be used for administrative purposes.
On Monday a Texas judge threw out a conspiracy charge against DeLay but allowed money laundering charges to stand.
In a separate news article, the AP reported that the 2001 donations to Burns, a Montana Republican, included money directly from Abramoff and Northern Marianas garment magnate Willie Tan’s company, Tan Holdings Corp.
In that same article, Eloy Inos, a corporate executive of Tan Holdings, was mentioned as donating $5,000 to Burns’ political action committee.
Inos now serves on Fitial’s transition committee.
Fitial, a former executive of Tan’s, became speaker of the 12th Legislature largely through the help of DeLay’s aides.
But Reyes said if Fitial was given help it was “not surprising” since at that time he was still with the local GOP.
In a separate interview, Press Secreatry Peter Callaghan said the CNMI Attorney General’s Office has provided federal authorities with all the documents they needed regarding the CNMI’s previous transactions with Abramoff."


Anonymous Simone said...

Hello from Milan, Italy!

11 December 2005 at 12:44:00 am GMT+10  

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