When Jack Abramoff was the king of Washington’s lobbyists, with members of Congress awaiting his word, he probably would have relished a straight-up confrontation with a political opponent over just about anything.
He’s a changed man now, after having been caught up in the biggest lobbying scandal to hit Washington, and after prison time, he’s reformed and contrite, working to expose the corrupt world of federal politics.
But that doesn’t mean he backs off when there’s a legitimate reason to fight.
One reason, he said, is defending his name. And that’s why his argument with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over the use of JackAbramoff.com is heading toward arbitration.
The DCCC acquired the rights to the domain name in 2006, and officials there have been posting anti-Abramoff statements. They currently have a petition to “defeat ethically challenged Republicans.”
Abramoff recently approached the Democrats about having his name back.
He says, “I wanted to discuss with you guys whether I could wind up amicably figuring it out with you getting it back. … if you could call be back I’d appreciate it. … I’d be very grateful for a callback in any event. … Thanks so much.”
But he said they made a joke of his request.
And a DCCC spokesman told Yahoo News there are no plans to turn the domain over to Abramoff.
Abramoff, however, told WND that his legal counselors have said that, generally, such Web domains ultimately belong to the person who has the name. He said there is precedent for that with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Abramoff told WND today that the Democrats “don’t have a right to it.”
“It’s mine,” he said. “They’re just going to make it as nasty as they can.”
He told WND the Democrats probably expected the “old me to show up first.”
He said he’s not looking for a fight, but, “I’m under no obligation to allow them to do something illegal and abuse me.”
Abramoff served three years in prison after pleading guilty in 2006 to charges related to his donations, meals, trips and tickets to sports events for lawmakers and top aides in Washington to push the interests of his clients, native American tribes with casino operations.
It took only about 10 years for Abramoff to make himself 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, a reformed and contrite Abramoff is exposing the mysterious and corrupt world of federal politics as never before in “Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist.”
Branded by a TIME magazine cover as “The Man Who Bought Washington,” Jack was the centerpiece of the largest D.C. 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.