Despite some reports to the contrary, Abramoff was not prepared to turn on his Capitol Hill friends, DeLay among them. But there were occasional hints that the knowledge he possesses could indeed be quite damning. At one point, for instance, I asked Abramoff to gauge the influence of lobbyist money in Congress.Ah… do tell. Oh, by the way, I meant to link to this earlier, but The Hill ran a fascinating story a few weeks back that helps explain why so many moderate Democrats voted for the recently-passed bankruptcy bill. Seems Rep. that Joe Crowley (D-NY) had set about trying to re-assert his party's influence in K Street, by rounding up a bunch of Democratic financial-industry lobbyists and then sending them off to shore up Democratic support for the bill. Lobbyists turned out to be quite pleased with this, and "expressed hope that their joint effort on the bankruptcy bill would become a blueprint for future coordination between Democratic leaders and lobbyists."
''I just don't think members of Congress for the most part sell their votes or their ideology,'' he told me.
For the most part?
''Ahem!'' Lowell [i.e. Abramoff's lawyer] interjected. ''Hold on, hold on.''
Lowell stood and summoned his client from the table. The two men walked to a corner of the room and huddled with their arms around each other. After a minute or two Abramoff returned and sat down.
''I would say the same thing,'' he told me. ''I would say, generally speaking, that's the case.'' Generally speaking, that is.