Sunday, February 05, 2006

Did I Miss Something?

Last week on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace interviewd Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC. Here is the final exchange (from the Fox News Sunday web site):

WALLACE: I just want to ask you about this question of the Democratic involvement. I want to put up something from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. This comes directly from their Web page, and it says, "Here is a detailed look at Abramoff's lobbying and political contributions from Abramoff, the tribes that hired him, and SunCruz Casinos, which is a company that Abramoff owned since 1999."

It lists recipients by the amount of money they received. Well, the top two are the Republican campaign committees. The third and fourth biggest recipients were Democratic campaign committees. And if you go down the list, Democrats received more than $1 million from Abramoff-related interests.

DEAN: There's two points to this. First of all, actually, we — the DNC actually got $100,000-some odd. Now, I can assure you Jack Abramoff never directed that money. It is possible that some of Jack Abramoff's clients may have decided on their own to give Democrats money. The key is...

WALLACE: I'm sorry, did you say, I'm sorry. Did you say that you're sure that Abramoff didn't direct them to give that money?

DEAN: No, what I said was that it is possible that some Democrats got money from some of the — yeah. No, what I'm saying is that Abramoff may not have directed some of this money toward the Democrats.

WALLACE: In fact, he did, sir. We've got evidence of that.

DEAN: But the point is that not one Democrat either knew it or acted on it. Nobody got anything out of the Democrats from Jack Abramoff. No Democrat delivered anything, and there's no accusation and no investigation that any Democrat ever delivered anything to Jack Abramoff. And that's not true of the Republicans.

WALLACE: So if we find — and I just want to — we have to wrap this up. But if we find that there were some Democrats who wrote letters on behalf of some of the Indian tribes that Abramoff represented, then what do you say, sir?

DEAN: That's a big problem, and those Democrats are in trouble, and they should be in trouble. And our party, if the American people will put us back in power in '06, we will have on the president's desk things that outlaw all those kinds of behaviors. Right now it's a Republican scandal. Maybe they'll find that some Democrats did something wrong, too. That hasn't been the case yet.

But our reforms in the Democratic Party are going to be aimed at both Democrats and Republicans. We want to clean up Congress, and we will within 100 days of the new Congress in 2007.

WALLACE: Chairman Dean, we're going to follow up on that. Thank you. Thanks so much for joining us. And don't be a stranger. You're always welcome here.

Later in the show Chris Wallace said that Fox News did indeed have proof that letters were written by Senators on behalf of tribes that Abramoff represented. The clear implication was that Dean needed to crack down on some Democrats and this is a Democrat and Republican scandal.

From the interview it looks like Dean side stepped the first trap, but FNS clearly got him on the second and then after he was off the air and couldn't respond. I watched again this Sunday expecting to hear more about this Democratic scandal. I must of missed something. I didn't hear more explanation about which Democrats had been implicated and details of what they did wrong. Did I miss it? Fox said they had proof and then nothing? If there are Democrats involved in the Abramoff scandal, I want to know who they are.

And if the FNS proof is not there, why wasn't there an apology? Maybe I just missed it.

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