Kornblut falsely stated that Democrats took contributions from AbramoffDecember 19, 2005 6:42 PM EST ››› EVA HOWE
New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut falsely stated that Democrats accepted campaign contributions from indicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (here and here), only Republicans received contributions directly from Abramoff.
Appearing on the December 16 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Kornblut falsely claimed that Abramoff had given contributions to Democrats. Yet a Media Matters for America search of the Center for Responsive Politics database of campaign contributions did not find any contributions from Abramoff to Democrats or Democratic leadership political action committees.
Although Kornblut amended her statement to claim that Abramoff "had his clients donate to Democrats," her comment falsely suggests that Republicans and Democrats are equally enmeshed in the scandal surrounding Abramoff. In fact, while Democrats have received contributions from Abramoff's lobbying groups and his clients, Kornblut's statement ignores the difference between accepting contributions from groups linked to Abramoff, which is legal and proper, and taking contributions in exchange for official actions, which is illegal, and which is at the heart of the ongoing investigations.
A November 25 Washington Post article identified four lawmakers under investigation in connection to Abramoff -- former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), and Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-CA) -- all Republicans.
From the December 16 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Anyway, this whole thing with Abramoff, a story we're probably going to cover a lot next year. It has the tentacles of an octopus. It reaches out to Congressman [Bob] Ney [R-OH], it reaches down to [former House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay [R-TX]. There's talk now that he's [Abramoff] going to turn, that he's going to flip. What do you hear this? If Abramoff flips, there's only one reason. He's going to throw the big boy at them. I mean, Tom DeLay must be worried about this guy.
KORNBLUT: Well, I mean, or the big boys plural. I mean, this is a case -- look, he was the pride of K Street, of the lobbying world for years. This is what Tom DeLay did, was to help Republicans get jobs in lobbying. And now to have it turn all around -- I mean, look, he helped get tons of people elected. He donated to Democrats, had his clients donate to Democrats.