Jack Abramoff was the original “super lobbyist.” If you don’t immediately recall him or his associated corruption scandal, you nonetheless probably accepted trashcans full of money from the guy in the late 1990’s. We all did. I was on our middle school’s Student Council, and I accepted over $28,000 in campaign contributions from him and an all-expense trip to SeaWorld. (The important thing is that I won.)
To many, Abramoff was the embodiment of Washington graft: a hired mercenary of special interests who bought and sold congressional votes. In 2006 he was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy, and sentenced to six years in federal prison. The whole scandal was so notorious that it sank multiple congressional careers and even lead to a Kevin Spacey film called Casino Jack.
Last year Mr. Abramoff was released from prison, and like most graduates of the American penal system, has decided to go on a book tour. ClotureClub.com, a prominent Beltway networking website, asked me to interview him at the launch of his new book.
Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist is Abramoff’s perspective on the scandal which swallowed him whole, and his insider’s advice on how to best reform Washington’s corrupt system. Through his memoir and forthcoming publicity tour, Mr. Abramoff hopes to rebrand himself as a Beltway whistle-blower. He also owes $40 million to the various Indian tribes he defrauded, which may in some capacity factor into his decision to obtain a book deal.
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Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.