Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Susan Bradford: Tom Rodgers, Obsessed with Jack Abramoff Much?

Our friend Susan Bradford has a piece on how Jack Abramoff is someone that must be making Tom Rodgers say.."why can't I quit you?"...

If there is a common denominator among the lobbyists who set up Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, it’s that they are a few feathers short of a headdress. Tom Rodgers has got to be the most insane of the bunch as he can’t seem to shake his obsession with Abramoff. To be classified as crazier than Larry Rosenthal, who is reputedly sleeping and boozing his way up the tribal ladder; Roger Stone, a drop out and proud sociopath who swings, smokes pot, and plays Mini-Me to Donald Trump; and Scott Reed, a crazy-eyed fund raiser for Sen. John McCain who decapitates Indian tribes so that he and his allies can take them over, is really saying something.

Yesterday Rodgers crashed a National Press Club event in which Abramoff was speaking to give a long, rambling rant against the superlobbyist. He was flanked by Mark Ranzenberger, the reporter for the Morning Sun which published lies about Abramoff on behalf of mendacious tribal leaders within the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council. After nonsensically blathering about Abramoff for ten minutes during a Q and A session, Rodgers frantically bolted from the room.

The Indians who constituted Rodgers’ posse said that their contacts within the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe enlisted the Carlyle Consulting lobbyist to investigate Abramoff over his efforts to work outside the tribal gaming establishment – including the National Congress of American Indians, an organization established to promote economic development on Indian reservations on behalf of oil interests and the nation’s leading industrialists which were heavily invested in the tribes; and the National Indian Gaming Commission which emerged from the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, legislation sponsored by Sen. John McCain.

(Interesting angle, since Rodgers said that he was principally concerned with Abramoff’s fees, but none of the accusers can keep their story or narrative straight.)

The fictitious Indians controllers of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, who represent the interests of the industrialists within the tribes are heavily influenced by the NCAI, and the tribe’s former lobbyist, Larry Rosenthal of Ietan Consulting, was former Chief of Staff for the NIGC. Both Rodgers and Rosenthal, who set up Abamoff for wrongful conviction, represent the National Indian Gaming Association, the NIGC’s lobbying shop.

Essentially, allies of pseudo-Indians appealed to Rodgers to investigate and take down the super-lobbyist since he was working outside the tribal gaming structures set in place by McCain and the nation’s leading industrialists, and was in the process of upsetting the status quo which had served and profited the nation’s elites so well.

Recently while surfing the Internet, I stumbled upon a blog on Abramoff’s appearance on the obscure Peter Collins radio show in which Rodgers decided to call in.

Rodgers is a self-described whistle blower who credits himself with bringing Abramoff to justice. His heroic efforts amounted to crafting a dishonest narrative and enlisting tribal members to lie to the media and Senate Indian Affairs Committee to run professional rivals into prison on trumped up charges.

I have traveled to the tribes and interviewed the tribal leaders and can assert without reservation that the allegations are false, and that both the tribal witnesses and Rodgers knew they were false.

This lobbyist, the son of a Standard Oil employee, is essentially working on behalf of the oil industry to whom he owes his livelihood and allegiance. The oil companies created Indian tribes and have enlisted poor whites, like those from Rodgers’ Irish Catholic background, to become tribal members. Rodgers has defended the white controllers in Indian Country who have oppressed the genuine Natives and stripped them of their rights, privileges, and inheritance and profited from their victimization.

The Carlyle Consulting lobbyist became interested in Abramoff when the super-lobbyist entered the Texas market to block the casino aspirations of the Alabama Coushatta, an oil-rich Indian tribe that was pursuing an illegal strategy of opening a casino in violation of state law. Abramoff actually tried to force Rodgers’ client to follow the law and honor the wishes of the Texas citizens who overwhelmingly voted to oppose casinos.

According to the tribe’s attorney, Rodgers, who said he was motivated to investigate Abramoff over his high fees, was fleecing the Coushattas by charging them of hundreds of thousands of dollars to subscribe to his news clipping service. He also participated in the Alex Gibney propaganda documentary without the tribe’s permission and was colluding with Louisiana Coushatta Council Member William Worfel, who had instructed Abramoff to block a casino for the Alabama Coushatta – a decided conflict of interest. In fact, Worfel was the mastermind of that campaign. The attorney said that Rodgers, who earns between $400,000 to close to a million dollars a year, was fired for “ethics violations.”

He’s less whistle blower and more show boat who is so desperate for attention that he is willing to do anything. Profoundly aware of his immortality, Rodgers, who is entering his senior years, is reaching for a permanent place in history books as the “whistle blower” who launched the most extensive corruption probe to ever grace Capitol Hill, except that his faux scandal was manufactured and pushed by gaming interests which targeted Abramoff for his effectiveness in blocking the expansion of casinos.

Rodgers did little more than prep tribal members to lie to the media, feed false information to reform groups, and then watch the wheels churn while multi-billion dollar interests guided the investigation to its natural conclusion. He’s only a hero because the narrative he crafted paints him as one, but the truth is, he is pretender.

Yet this alleged whistle blower, who has been shown original documents (from me) which refute his claims has not only refused to apologize but continues to stalk Abramoff and call up radio shows on which he appears. If I were Abramoff’s attorney, I would seriously consider slapping a restraining order on this man as he is clearly obsessed.

Upon hearing Rodgers’ voice, Abramoff hung up on him. According to the Legal Schanuzer blog, “Abramoff apparently sensed that Rodgers’ arrival meant the heat was about to get turned up.” The blogger clearly doesn’t know Rodgers very well. The moment this lobbyist enters the room, the misinformation spirals into the stratosphere. I expect Abramoff had better things to do with his time than shoot the breeze with a mendacious malcontent.

Rodgers maintains that he wanted to focus his attention on two subjects: that Abramoff offered life insurance for elders to apply death benefits to lobbying bills. First, the plan was packaged and promoted by Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s employer. Second, the plan is commonly offered to Indian tribes. Life insurance plans sold to tribes are intended to cover debts and bills. In fact, McCain’s fundraisers sold a similar plan to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

The Carlyle Consulting lobbyist also wanted to discuss whether Abramoff paid news reporters for favorable coverage. Let’s see, which is worse? Paying conservative writers to advance conservative arguments on behalf of policy initiatives they support or Rodgers’ method of planting false information in local newspapers, the Washington Post, and New York Times, and enlisting PR firms to blanket the nation with lies to sabotage a professional rival who outperformed him? I suppose it’s a matter of perspective.

Rodgers ended his interview by joking that it’s “about time an Indian gets to ambush a white guy.”

Even though he is merely pretending to be half Indian, Rodgers’ attitude reflects that he is a self-loathing racist who is intent on promoting the mentality of perpetual tribal victimization. In contrast, Abramoff was about empowering the indigenous people.

Rodgers doesn’t need another ethics award, he needs a new hobby. Word on K-Street is that he has recently taken up ballet. Pirouette, anyone?

Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched! The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power. For more information, please visit: http://www.susanbradford.org/
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