Over the weekend, AP reported that email from Tom DeLay's (R-TX) office to Jack Abramoff's office reveals that the indicted former-majority leader was quite aware of who was paying for his $75,000 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf in 2000.
All of which makes it likely that Bob Ney (R-OH) was similarly aware of who was paying for the lobbyist funded vacation to St. Andrews when he took a similar trip with Abramoff in 2002.
All of which makes it likely that Tom Feeney (R-FL), the third Republican Congressman to take the trip to hit the links in Scotland with Abramoff, he in 2003, was also aware of who was paying for it.
Feeney has done a fine job of flying under the radar on this matter up until now. But with DeLay now down and out, and Ney's chief-of-staff, Neil Volz, copping a guilty plea today --- making him the fourth such criminal to implicate Ney in the vast Right Wing Conspiracy --- we'd think it only a matter of time before the media start noticing Feeney's conspiratorial involvement as well.
Along those lines, a couple of notable pieces from from the Volz plea (courtesy of Paul Kiel over at Muckraker)...
That point may be useful as investigators and/or media take a closer look at Feeney and his other questionable trips, several of which are described here as part of CREW's "13 Most Corrupt" in Congress.
Secondly, Kiel reminds us about Ney's use of his pet bill, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, to help a few of his closest "friends":
We learned from prior plea agreements that Ney agreed to insert a line into the Help America Vote Act that would lift the Texas gaming ban on an Abramoff client, the Tigua tribe.
We've discussed how Ney used his authorship of HAVA and control of the House Administration Committee --- which he chaired until being forced to step down because of all of this --- in the past (almost one full year ago today, as a matter of fact).
More pointedly, however, we've reported on the roll Abramoff and Diebold played along with another former Ney chief-of-staff, David Distefano, in both passing HAVA in the first place, and ensuring it stayed intact as Diebold needed it to.
That story, in which funds were apparently funnelled through to Ney from both Diebold and Abramoff's firm Greenburg Traurig, has also been overlooked by the media in general. If they care to pick up that ball now, they can find a lot of still-uninvestigated open ends in our report right here.
Please feel free to let your media contacts know about both the Feeney issue and the Ney/HAVA/Abramoff issue, since both could use much more scrutiny by many more eyeballs.