OT: Abramoff, DeLay top lobby group shutting down
- From: "kuff (Isaac Adams)" <kuff00@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 10 Jan 2006 06:27:08 -0800
One of Washington's top lobbying operations will shut down at the end
of the month because of its ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff
and former House majority leader Tom DeLay.
Alexander Strategy Group, which had thrived since its founding in 1998
thanks largely to its close connections to DeLay (R-Tex.), will cease
to operate except for a relatively small business-development division,
Edwin A. Buckham, the former top DeLay aide who owns the company, said
Buckham's firm employed DeLay's wife, Christine, for four years. It
also benefited by working closely with Abramoff. Abramoff's plea
agreement mentioned his close ties to Tony C. Rudy, one of Buckham's
colleagues at ASG, identified in the court papers as "Staffer A."
Rudy, a former DeLay aide, worked for Abramoff before joining ASG.
According to the plea document, a political consulting firm run by
Rudy's wife allegedly received $50,000 in exchange for official actions
Rudy took while working for DeLay.
A senior ASG employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because
of the sensitivity of ongoing discussions at the firm, said Rudy will
be leaving the company. Rudy did not return phone calls yesterday. ...
ASG, based in Georgetown, lobbies for an A-list of about 70 companies
and organizations, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Microsoft, and
the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. ASG ranked
No. 21 on National Journal's 2005 lobbying list with $8 million in
revenue, a 34 percent jump over the previous year. ...
Financial disclosure forms show that ASG employed Christine DeLay from
1998 to 2002. Lobby filings also show that Buckham hired Julie
Doolittle, wife of Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), to do bookkeeping
for a nonprofit group he created called the Korea-U.S. Exchange
Council. A year ago, Julie Doolittle and her firm received a subpoena
from the grand jury investigating Abramoff, according to her lawyer.
Former lobbying associates have said that Abramoff shared some
high-paying clients with ASG, including Malaysian interests, the
Mississippi Choctaw Indian tribe and online gambling firms. Federal
investigators have questioned some former Abramoff associates about
whether those referrals were related to Christine DeLay's employment
there, sources said.
The Washington Post reported in November that a federal task force was
investigating Abramoff's connections to ASG and its hiring of
In court papers filed with Abramoff's plea, prosecutors said that
Abramoff sought Rudy's help in killing a bill to prohibit gambling on
the Internet. Rudy went on two luxury trips with the lobbyist,
including one partly paid for by Abramoff's client, eLottery Inc., a
gambling services company. Abramoff also arranged for eLottery to pay
$25,000 to a Jewish foundation that hired Rudy's wife as a consultant,
according to documents and interviews. Months later, Abramoff also
hired Rudy as a lobbyist.
Abramoff and others looked to Rudy to help scuttle a postal rate
increase, the court documents said. The Magazine Publishers of America,
which had hired Abramoff in 2000 for a campaign against the increase,
told The Post last week that it paid $25,000 to the same Seattle
foundation. A spokesman for the publishers group, Howard J. Rubenstein,
said its directors "had absolutely no knowledge of how the money would
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