White House Axed Staffer at Abramoff's Request

Monday, October 16, 2006

White House Axed Staffer at Abramoff's Request

We know that political pimp Jack Abramoff had some House members in his hip-pocket. Less clear, until this Los Angeles Times article, is the degree to which Abramoff could call in favors from the White House.

A House committee has found that there were more than 400 lobbying contacts between Abramoff's team and the White House. According to the Times article:

For five years, Allen Stayman wondered who ordered his removal from a State Department job negotiating agreements with tiny Pacific island nations — even when his own bosses wanted him to stay.

Now he knows.

Newly disclosed e-mails suggest that the ax fell after intervention by one of the highest officials at the White House: Ken Mehlman, on behalf of one of the most influential lobbyists in town, Jack Abramoff.

The e-mails show that Abramoff, whose client list included the Northern Mariana Islands, had long opposed Stayman's work advocating labor changes in that U.S. commonwealth, and considered what his lobbying team called the "Stayman project" a high priority."

Mehlman said he would get him fired," an Abramoff associate wrote after meeting with Mehlman, who was then White House political director.

It's nice to know that Mehlman knows how to take orders.

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