Jack and James went up the Hill
So, occasionally being in Colorado Springs has its perks. Like, being on the front lines with Jimmy- this little town can go toe to toe with itself readily and easily, and it does so quite often. The Colorado Springs Independent, a lovely little weekly publication that was my staple while I lived there, makes no bones about how it feels about Focus. And they’re not exactly fans. Most of my friends read the Independent, and most of them also had bumper stickers on their ’88 Subaru wagons that read “Focus on your own damn family.” So, just so you know where I’m coming from here.
Last week when I was down in the Springs, I picked up the Indy at Kinfolks, a bar/bike shop/live music venue/outdoor outfitter, in Manitou. (That’s actually a normal type of establishment here. And you can bring your dog in, too.) And found out something new and enjoyable about our friend Dr. Dobson, and Jack Abramoff, and gambling. According to the Indy article, located in its entirety here, Dr. Dobson rallied followers in the state of Louisiana in 2002 at the suggestion of Ralph Reed, and the ultimate prompting of Abramoff himself (Reed, a mutual associate, was contacted by Abramoff to get Dobson on board). The reason? To oppose a new casino being introduced by the Choctaw tribe there. However, the reason Abramoff was interested in keeping this casino from going up wasn’t because he was anti-gambling; quite the contrary.
Abramoff was employed by the Coushatta tribe, which already owned a casino there and was worried about the potential for competition with the Choctaws. It had a lot more to do with money to be made than moral conscience. Dobson rallied the Right, and the proposed new casino died in its tracks. Abramoff pocketed a tidy sum, and the Coushattas were able to keep rolling, quite literally, without fear.
Another thing I found while checking for additional news on this subject was an article from the Kansas City infoZine that discussed Abramoff’s involvement with the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Apparently, Abramoff once again got a large coalition of right-wing groups and advocates, including several Jewish associations (not to think he just picks on the circumcised lot) and killed the bill while it was still in Congress with intense lobbying. Those who rallied on behalf of Abramoff were reimbursed financially with proceeds from an internet gambling company, at Abramoff’s direction. Though FOTF wasn’t as closely tied to this one, they were mentioned as part of a larger group in the coalition that stood behind shutting this Bill down.
The question is, was anything Dobson did illegal? That, for now, remains unclear. But what does become clear is the ridiculous nature of James’ press release of condemnation on the Family website of Abramoff’s activities. Like it or not, he was a part of them. And Ralph Reed certainly had to know- he has been implicated in numerous other documents besides the ones that mention Dobson. Apparently, the Religious Right is for sale, just like Capitol Hill.