Atlanta Journal-Constitution propagated false claim that Reid received contributions from Abramoff

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported as fact the false allegation that Sen. Harry Reid received political contributions from Jack Abramoff. While Reid received contributions from Abramoff's firm's PAC (to which Abramoff did not contribute) and from some of Abramoff's partners and clients, a Center for Responsive Politics breakdown of Abramoff's donations confirms that Abramoff himself made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats.

An August 14 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about an upcoming fundraiser for Sen. John McCain hosted in part by former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed reported as fact the false allegation that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) received political contributions from convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Referring to Republican National Committee spokeswoman Katie Wright, the Journal-Constitution reported: "Democrats have Abramoff's dirt on their shoes as well, she said, noting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accepted nearly $70,000 in contributions from Abramoff and his associates." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, while Reid received contributions from Abramoff's firm's PAC (to which Abramoff did not contribute) and from some of Abramoff's partners and clients, a Center for Responsive Politics breakdown of Abramoff's donations confirms that Abramoff himself made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats. In a December 21, 2005, article, Bloomberg News reported: "Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show."

As Media Matters documented, an August 12 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article uncritically quoted Wright's false assertion that Reid "took nearly $68,000 from Abramoff."

From the August 14 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article:

The Georgia Democratic Party was even more blunt. "John McCain says he takes the high road, and then he comes to Atlanta and chows down on shrimp cocktail with an unindicted co-conspirator," party spokesman Martin Matheny said.

The Republican National Committee struck back. Katie Wright, a spokeswoman, called the attacks "baffling" considering McCain led efforts to uncover Abramoff's corruption. McCain, she said, "has a solid record of integrity."

Democrats have Abramoff's dirt on their shoes as well, she said, noting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accepted nearly $70,000 in contributions from Abramoff and his associates.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Network/Outlet
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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