Abramoff and Scanlon: There’s Nothing Like Vaudeville, Part One

It’s a gray wet Wednesday, and everyone in DC is scrambling to give away the “gifts” they took from Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon.
It seems that Abramoff has copped a plea, is naming names, and that has everyone as nervous as a whore in church.
We have to find our laughter where we can, and some was provided in a C-SPAN rerun of John McCain and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee from June 22, 2005.
It seems that the venal Abramoff and the wretched Scanlon were setting up fake corporations to launder the $66 million they scammed from Indian tribes. How low do you have to be to cheat an Indian tribe??? Here a friend of Scanlon’s explains how he became“director of a internationally respected think tank” :

MCCAIN: Mr. Grosh, you and Mr. Mann were designated as directors of the AIC, which was described in its own Web site as a, quote, "international think tank." It's a very interesting on its Web site. It's described as -- "The American International Center is a public policy research foundation founded in 2001 under the high-power directorship of David A. Grosh and Brian J. Mann.”
.... Mr. Grosh, I will begin with you. What did the AIC do?

GROSH: I was only involved maybe five months -- four or five months. The whole time I was involved, we rented the first floor of a house and installed some computers.

**** (omitted for length: Brian J. Mann invokes his Fifth Amendment rights not to answer.)

MCCAIN: Mr. Grosh, did you give Mr. Scanlon permission to put your name up on the AIC Web site?

GROSH: On the Web site, no.

MCCAIN: Did you give Mr. Scanlon permission to hold you out as a director for the AIC?

GROSH: Yes.
....

MCCAIN: Mr. Grosh, did the AIC conduct any board meetings?

GROSH: I recall one.

MCCAIN: And how long did that last?

GROSH: Fifteen minutes.

MCCAIN: Do you recall any business that was discussed at these board meetings?

GROSH: Off the top of my head, no. I'm sure we discussed something -- not to be glib.

MCCAIN: Mr. Mann, I think it says when these meetings took place, the extent of your role in the AIC at that time was cleaning the downstairs office space. Is that correct? [Mann repeatedly refuses to answer as is his right under the Fifth Amendment.] ....

MCCAIN: ... As far as you are concerned, Mr. Grosh, was this basically another Scanlon entity?

GROSH: Well, legally, no. It was Mr. Mann and -- he was calling the shots, sure.

MCCAIN: So were you really surprised when all this information started coming out that you were a director of a internationally respected think tank?

GROSH: Surprised, not really. The reason I got out of it when I found out it involved the federal government, Indian tribes and gambling, I knew that it was headed down the wrong way.

****
MCCAIN: Tell me how this all began, Mr. Grosh. Were you friends with Mr. Scanlon or...

GROSH: Yes, I've known Mr. Scanlon since I was about 14.

MCCAIN: And what happened? He approached you in some way.

GROSH: Phone call.

MCCAIN: And said?

GROSH: Do you want to be head of an international corporation?

(LAUGHTER)

A hard one to turn down.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: And at the time, were you living in Rehoboth Beach?

GROSH: Yes, sir.

MCCAIN: And Mr. Scanlon then informed you that your home would be the headquarters or did you...

GROSH: Actually, at that point, no, there was no headquarters.

MCCAIN: Well, tell me -- could you tell me just the sequence of events that took place after that?

GROSH: I asked him what I had to do, and he said, "Nothing." So that sounded pretty good to me.

(LAUGHTER)

And then he -- I'm trying to think how it all happened. He came by. We spoke about it. And at the time, I was like, "Yes, sure," but not really taking it seriously.

And then he had me sign some papers and then we went to a -- I met him here in D.C. and we took over the bottom of the house I was living in.

MCCAIN: Did you receive compensation for this role?

GROSH: Yes.

MCCAIN: And your background -- is a very honorable one -- I understand as a lifeguard, is that correct?

GROSH: Among other things. I'm not a lifeguard anymore. No.

MCCAIN: And could you give us a little resume as some of your background.

GROSH: Right now, I'm a excavator -- machine operator, construction worker, mentor in pre-schools, bartender and typical beach employment.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

And do you remember the extent of the compensation that you received from Mr. Scanlon, roughly?

GROSH: No more than $2,000, $2,500.

MCCAIN: A month?

GROSH: No, total.

MCCAIN: Total.

Did Mr. Scanlon promise you any fringe benefits?

GROSH: Well, I don't know if this is related to the AIC. We went to a Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.

****
Grosh’s opening statement was two sentences long: “I’m embarrassed and disgusted to be a part of this whole thing, The Lakota Indians have a word, washichu , which aptly describes all of us right now.”

Washichu, depending on whom you ask, either means “white man” or “he who steals all the fat.” Maybe both.

4 comments:

Taocat said...

Say, was it just me or did ol' Casino Jack Abramoff look like a serious film noir bad guy in the dark trench coat and matching fedora? You would think the man would dress to look a little less shady, but then again, maybe that's all he had in the closet.

Here's something that makes me quake with fear: http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13568438.htm I told someone recently that the U.S. has never been closer to having dictator than right now - and I was more right than I could have imagined!

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

We were going to get you a hat like that for your birthday: Abramoff's Hat Follow Up. Evidently it's the Como II, retailing from Bencraftt Hatters around $200, quite modest for a high roller I think.
Abramoff belongs to an Orthodox Jewish congregation at Southeast Hebrew Congregation in Silver Springs MD, and usually prefers a black yarmulke. Some big shrugs hereas to whether he's sincere about making good for those he's wronged or this is the cynical equivalent of Chuck Colson's judgemental jailbird Christianity.

Blair said...

this is the type of good blogger research the main stream media is scared to see. Fight the good figth.

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

In all modesty, all it took was a Google search for the transcript with a few phrases from the C-SPAN broadcast. I've no idea why the main stream media passed up such a howler. As Ernie Harwell used to say when exasperated with the Tigers, they "just stood there looking, like a house at the side of the road."

Michael