Monday, October 02, 2006

Green to Abramoff: 2 degrees of separation

Does the name Susan Ralston ring a bell? Do you remember her Wisconsin connection?

Let's start with this Washington Post story:
Report Says Rove Aide Accepted Abramoff Gifts

A top aide to presidential adviser Karl Rove passed along inside White House information to superlobbyist Jack Abramoff at a time when she was also accepting his tickets to nine sports and entertainment events, according to e-mails released yesterday in a bipartisan congressional report.

The e-mails, released by the House Government Reform Committee, show that Susan Ralston also on occasion discussed possible business ventures with Abramoff. Ralston had worked for Abramoff before joining Rove in the White House in 2001.

White House contacts with Abramoff have been the focus of heated interest in Washington since he pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges earlier this year...

The report identified 66 Abramoff contacts with the White House, more than half of them with Ralston. Members of Abramoff's lobbying team at Greenberg Traurig LLP contacted Ralston 69 times.

Ralston has declined to comment on the report...

Ralston also helped Rove get tickets from Abramoff for a game in the NCAA basketball tournament, but Ralston told Abramoff that he "has to pay." The White House confirmed yesterday that Rove paid for the tickets.

But Ralston apparently did not pay for tickets she accepted to MCI Center events -- including two concerts featuring rocker Bruce Springsteen and singer Andrea Bocelli, three Capitals hockey games and a Wizards basketball game -- and seats at a Baltimore Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards.

On seven occasions, Ralston requested tickets, the report said. "You got 'em," Abramoff e-mailed Ralston when she asked in December 2001 for four prime Wizards tickets valued at $1,300, the report said.

In 2004, Ralston e-mailed Abramoff that she was "willing to pay" for Capitals tickets, but he replied, "No problem, and you don't have to pay!" In 2003, she thanked him for his "generosity" in providing Orioles tickets.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the counsel's office is examining the report to determine whether ethics regulations were violated. Rules prohibit the acceptance of gifts worth more than $20 from anyone doing business with the government...
Before she went to work for Rove in the White House in 2001, Ralston was the Abramoff aide who handed out the tickets. And she handed a lot of them out to Mark Graul, then chief of staff to Congressman Mark Green, now his campaign manager.

Did she just like Mark Graul? Or did Abramoff want something from Green?

There was a long string of blog items and stories about the Green-Abramoff connection a year ago, and Graul's story kept changing. There was a string of emails confirming that Graul was on Abramoff's freebie list, but Graul danced around the issue for months.

Finally, Graul was cornered and admitted to taking freebies in violation of the House ethics code, and asking for freebies, which is illegal for federal employees.

Now Graul spends most of his time peddling sleaze about Gov. Jim Doyle.

Maybe it's time again to consider the source.

11 Comments:

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Clint said...

Doyle to Abramoff = 1 degree of seperation

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Interloper said...

Isn't this the type of journalism the Journal Sentinel should be doing? Nice work.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger redvest said...

Doyle-Prange-Hurtgen 1 degree of seperation.

Are athoorities looking into Prange's partner on the WHEFRA board? I wonder if they are going to question Morrata?

Wonder if we will have to wait until after the Oct 11th Hurtgen hearing before the more indictments start flying?

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger slammer said...

Who the F cares? write something about the libs doing something positive, oh that's right this blog would be non-existant.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger Interloper said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger Interloper said...

Do these right-wingers need some spelling assistance or what, folks?

Seperation? Athoorities? Existant?

Is this pool of wisdom where you get your political ideas from as well?

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger badgervan said...

What's with redvest's Prange obsession?

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger krshorewood said...

With Green having been firmly fixed in this corrupt Congress, it is hard to believe that none of the mud has adhered to him.

But our Bargain Basement Bill Buckley George Mitchell does. Read this gut buster that Sykes ran on his blog and gaze at the delusion:

"Stepping back from the fray, it is just plain discouraging to realize if a straight arrow like Mark Green (!!!!!!!) loses it will because Jim Doyle — of all people — prevented him for using legally raised funds. Walters' story today on the joke of an institution that is our Elections Board makes this all the more troubling. Doyle has raised more "dirty money" than any candidate for Governor...EVER...and he caps that off by rigging the Elections Board vote.

Think what it will be like in Madison for the next four years...and beyond...if Doyle is re-elected. He will have debased the office of Governor and gotten away with it."

This from a man who has propagated countless boondoggle choice "schools."

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger redvest said...

Badgervan,

It's not an obsession with Prange/Hurtgen and Doyle but rather a little light on corruption in Wisconsin politics. Doyle is the epitome of that coprruption people like Hurtgen and Prange have been enablers and profitiers of the political system. they helped creat a culture of currption under tommy that has permiated under Doyle.

Turning politics into "an industry" as they have done, using political influence to enrich themselves in the system, is currpotion in the highest degree.

No one calls them out becuase they play both sides of the isles just trying to curry favor so keep thier money machines going.

It reflects a cynicism that fosters graft and subverts the democratic process.

But why should you care?

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger redvest said...

Badgervan,

Decide for yourself by checking out these links...

http://casinomagazine.com/managearticle.asp?c=540&a=1146

Judge for yourself if it's not a good time to stop this kind of corruption. The only problem is then we have to stop Jim Doyle too as he is apart of this very same corruption. Do people have the stones enough to call out Jim Doyle as a corrupt snake or not? Considering Doyle's long history of doing business with Hurtgen, which goes all the way back to the tobacco settlement monies, and his family ties to Hurtgen and Prange, I'm not sure the two party system can stand calling JB out and Doyle as well. But until this is done Wisconsin plitics will continue the cycle of corruption that it exists in today.

JB Van Hollen's connections to Hurtgen: the brother-in-law of his campaign manager Phil Prange:


http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=325410

Hurtgen Indictment:

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2005/pr0509_01.pdf#search=%22hurtge
n%20indictment%22

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=324847

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=P._Nicholas_Hurtgen


Two out of the three in the Hurtgen have pled guilty leaving Hurtgen the odd man out- unless he's cooperating with the feds then Doyle may be in big trouble:

http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/politics/15509413.htm


The Prange-Hurtgen-Doyle connection: Why are these "Republicans Giving to Doyle?"

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=468358
http://www.gmtoday.com/milwaukeetoday/editorials/belling/belling_08162006.as
p

Why is Phil Prange, Van Hollen's campaign manager, and his business partner Ed Aprahamien giving thousand of dollars to Doyle?

http://www.opensecrets.org/wdc/employerdetail.asp?name=Gateway+Ventures



Here's more good news for JB and his camp, Prange et al:

http://blogs.wispolitics.com/legal/index.html

Hurtgen is either on his own as a defendant or as many have suspected co-operating with the feds. If he is co-operating then it's time to duck and cover...Maybe that article in the Isthmus about how he was such a "good guy"
who got lead "astray" as Billy Mac stated was just a plant so that people in Madison would keep their heads together during the investigation?

Anyway, maybe if Jb wins JB's first job will be investigating his campaign manager Prange and Prange's Brother-in-Law Hurtgen? If he loses he'll perhaps at least have job defending them...

http://blogs.wispolitics.com/legal/index.html

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger badgervan said...

Oh. I still say that the repubs, especially at the federal level, play in a much higher league of corruption than the dems. Look at K Street, Delay, Abramoff, Scaife, Big Business, etc. Hell, just the totals being raised by the two parties should tell you which is the real "money" party. "Pay to Play" is an art form to rove, delay, mehlman, etc. Dems are still rank amateurs, but the internet has become somewhat of a leveler very recently. That must gall you.

 

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