Ties That Bind?

“The White House is moving to distance itself from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff – who raised thousands for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

…On Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan announced that President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign will donate $6,000 in contributions linked to Abramoff to the American Heart Association. According to the Republican National Committee, which is handling the distribution, the campaign will donate three $2,000 checks from Abramoff, his wife and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe, which paid Abramoff tens of millions of dollars in lobbying fees to press lawmakers on gambling issues.

The move follows other top politicos in Washington, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former House majority leader Tom DeLay, who have announced plans to donate Abramoff-linked contributions to charity. All told, lawmakers from both political parties have given up nearly $300,000 in contributions with ties to the embattled lobbyist in recent weeks. Bush’s decision, McClellan told reporters Wednesday, was a “typical step” in the wake of Abramoff’s guilty plea on charges that he bribed public officials and their aides in exchange for official favors.

Yet the Bush-Cheney campaign is returning only a fraction of the campaign contributions it received with Abramoff connections. During the 2004 campaign, Abramoff was a top fund-raiser for the Bush re-election effort, raising more than $100,000 for the campaign…” (truthout)