WASHINGTON – In the span of 10 years, Jack Abramoff became the most powerful lobbyist on Capitol Hill. Congressmen lined up to do his bidding, executives heeded his advice, and heads of governments hung on his every word. But when scandal brought him down – ultimately casting him into disgrace and even prison – this power broker said nothing.
Now a free man, “Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist,” is Jack Abramoff’s autobiographical WND Books exposé unveiling the mysterious and corrupt world of federal politics.
Branded by a TIME magazine cover as “The Man Who Bought Washington,” Jack was the centerpiece of the largest DC scandal in since Watergate. Sentenced to prison, Abramoff became the poster child for why the political system needed to be cleaned up – but has the system really been fixed? In “Capitol Punishment,” Abramoff pulls back the curtain on K Street, revealing the dirty underbelly of America’s government and offers a harsh, thorough roster of reform imperatives. There will be little applause inside the beltway.
As the Abramoff name became synonymous with government corruption, the drastic fall from grace was his wake-up call. He admits he did wrong. He lost sight of the “line,” and he had plenty of time to reflect during his 43-month prison sentence. He has paid the price and now he is ready and willing to discuss details – as well as his unique insight into the systemic reforms needed to prevent others from falling into “disgrace.”
There is much to the Jack Abramoff saga that almost no one has heard before. The book is full of surprises and entertaining anecdotes that provide insight into many of the escapades and surreal dealings in his life. While he is the villain in the black fedora hat to most of the world, this narrative unearths Abramoff, the human being – tortured, troubled, guilt-ridden, broken, sorrowful, penitent. There are lessons in this book for all – a compelling and redemptive story.
Abramoff got an early start in politics. A magna cum laude graduate of Brandeis University and Georgetown University Law Center, he was national chairman of the College Republicans and leader of President Reagan’s grassroots lobbying organization.
He joined K Street in 1994, signing on with the lobbying division of Preston Gates where he built one of the nation’s most prestigious and profitable lobbying practices.
When a corporation, Indian tribe or foreign nation needed to win, they went to Team Abramoff. His lobbying guns didn’t lose, and clients reaped billions. Abramoff had it all.
Then it was gone.
Now, Abramoff is determined to do all he can to help end the corruption within the system he played so well. His saga will serve not only as a cautionary tale, but as an historic platform for reform.
His prescription will rock many boats inside Washington.
But Abramoff is no longer pleading the Fifth.
You may have seen the sensational Hollywood treatment of the Abramoff story, “Casino Jack,” starring Kevin Spacey. Spacey, who got to know Abramoff through his study for the role, had this to say about him: “They threw him under the bus pretty unceremoniously, I think, in an effort to show that they’ve cleaned up the lobbying industry, but I don’t think they have. I think he was working within a culture that exists. Now, he may have done it bigger and better and louder and made more money than anybody else, but he was living in a culture I think still exists.”
“Jack did wrong, there is no question about that,” says Joseph Farah, chief executive officer of WND and WND Books, the publisher of “Capitol Punishment.” “Nobody, not the least of all Jack, is trying to make excuses for his excesses and carelessness. The real beauty of his reflections in this book are his conclusions about what needs to be done to clean up Washington. As long as the federal government is operating way outside the bounds of the Constitution, Washington invites law-breaking from everyone involved. It’s just that simple, and nobody is better placed than Jack Abramoff to make the case.”
“Capitol Punishment” is available personally autographed by Jack Abramoff exclusively at the WND Superstore. The book is on sale Monday nationwide following his exclusive broadcast interview on “60 Minutes” Sunday.