Taylor Bobs and Weaves

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See Part One of the Taylor interview video here.
See Part Two here.

Former star at the Hendersonville Times-News, Joel Burgess, has moved to the Asheville Citizen-Times and penned a concise, well-researched article describing the links between disgraced super lobbyist Jack Abramoff and our own Congressman Charles Taylor (NC-11). The article unveils more of the context of the now infamous April 11, 2003 fundraiser:

Asheville Citizen-Times: "Congressman Charles Taylor said he met with lobbyists working with Jack Abramoff a month before writing a letter that would potentially net more than $3 million for their client, the Saginaw tribe of Michigan."

"The Brevard Republican said during interviews this week that the lunch with “several of the Greenberg folks,” meaning members of Abramoff’s Greenberg Traurig lobbying firm, was not to raise money or discuss the tribe."
"He said the April 2003 meeting may have been at Signatures, a restaurant partially owned by Abramoff and used by the lobbyist for fundraising events."
"Taylor said he remembered two of the “five or six” men at the lunch, Mike Williams and Duane Gibson. His campaign finance reports show checks of $500 each from the men on April 11, two days after he said the lunch happened. Abramoff was not at the lunch, but reports show he contributed $2,000, also two days later.

Four other Greenberg Traurig members linked to coordinated lobbying with Abramoff, sometimes called “team Abramoff,” also had checks of $500 apiece deposited on April 11. A $1,000 check from the Saginaw was deposited by Taylor’s campaign the same day.

A month later Greenberg Traurig gave another $2,000 to the congressman and another client tribe, the Mississippi Choctaw, gave $2,000, for a total of $10,000."
"The nighttime reception occurred at a room not far from his congressional office and netted about $30,000, he said."

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Taylor does his best to dissociate himself from Abramoff and his firm, but he sure doesn't plan on parting with their money. No documents have emerged (emails, invitations, receipts) to prove that Abramoff's firm sponsored the event. The presence of "Team Abramoff" and his Native American clients seems, however, to tell the tale. Charles Taylor isn't going to admit that he's been part of Abramoff's machine. He doesn't have it in him. The man may, after all these years of feeding at the Washington trough, be incapable of realizing that he's done anything wrong, but that doesn't absolve him of his undeniable loyalty to the Tom Delay/Jack Abramoff wing of his Republican Party.

AC-T Players and Timeline:

"- Jack Abramoff: The Republican lobbyist has pleaded guilty to defrauding Indian tribe clients, corrupting public officials and fraudulent dealings with a Florida casino company.

- Abramoff gave or directed millions in money and gifts to legislators in both parties, including $2,000 to Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard. Investigations are ongoing.

- Taylor has not been named in an investigation.

- The following were members of the same lobbying firm as Abramoff and are sometimes referred to as "team Abramoff" because of work done with the former lobbyist.
• Todd Boulanger
• Duane Gibson
• Neil Volz
• Shawn Vasell
• Mike Williams
• Kevin Ring

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- 2002 Team Abramoff lobbies Democratic senators for money for Saginaw school construction.
- 2003 Republicans take control of the Senate. The team turns to GOP senators to secure $3 million for the tribe.

In the House, Taylor takes over as subcommittee chairman of the Interior Department, which oversees tribal funding.

April 9: Taylor attends a lunch with members of Team Abramoff, whose client is the Saginaw.

April 11: Taylor gets $6,000 from the team and Saginaw.

May: Taylor and Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., write letters to the Interior Department pushing to include Saginaw in a school funding program. Around that time, Taylor gets $4,000 more from lobbying firm, Greenberg Traurig, and another client, Mississippi Choctaw."

The industry that's donated the largest amount to Taylor's campaign: Casino Gambling.


you go Screwy

I love your graphic.

there's so much material here I don't know where to begin.

Think the Shuler campaign can get the rights to the video for some kick-ass commercials?????

Could you help me

do some kind of summation of the Abramoff connection for the "Truth about Taylor" page?

I'm still trying to get a handle on the Ivanovo stuff and the Abramoff connection isn't my strong point.

Could we collaborate on something in the style of the other pieces. It will have to be updated as the news emergest. But I'd like a good summation of what we know now for that page.

Screwy...It's a thing of Beauty

Great, great work. You should cross-post at Talking POints Memo Cafe. You don't always get a lot of activity, but things do sometimes get noticed.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.



Thanks for the idea. I think I registered over there last time you mentioned such a thing.

I emailed the Muckraker last night and gave them all the latest on Taylor's muck + links to the AC-T story, ScruHoo, BlueNC, and, of course Charles Taylor for Congress.


The short answer is yes, I can. I've not been able to blog properly now for going on three weeks because of other non-virtual activities, so I'm not sure when I could get something comprehensive together. However, the AC-T stuff is great and Think Progress has a superb interactive chart on Abramoff's nastiness.

Drama Queen,

It's a news video. Shuler shouldn't need permission. It's fourth estate, right? Whether he gets permission or not, I'm guessing that other supporters might come forth and do something with the video and audio of the imperious, defensive, terrifically old-looking Taylor.

Did anyone else notice that he stopped dying his hair? I wish Taylor weren't so camera-shy. We'd be able to show how his political life has altered his physical one.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Fixed it

You left out the "http://"


I've done a tremendous amount of Abramoff research...the letters...contributions...FEC research....emails, etc. What do you need? They did such a great job at TPM Muckraker it would be easy to write something using their work - giving them credit of course. Their research is pretty impeccable.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Its for the CT truth page on

this site. A summation that puts him as the center of the story. It's just a matter of going through all the material, then rewriting it as needed to present the point of view for someone who knows nothing and is ONLY interested in how Taylor is involved. (Of course, there needs to be whatever background explains why it's important, as well. But it's not about Abramoff or anyone else. Just Taylor and the ties to Taylor that a novice would need to understand.)

For the other stories, it wasn't so hard to do. I just had to cut out all his PR crap and lies as best I could and bring them up to date (because they a were mostly older stories). For this one, I'm just overwhelmed.

I saw your stuff after I made the comment. I'll check muckraker,too. Thanks for putting me on to them.

Maybe I'll do a draft, insert my questions, and have y'all look at it.

Screwy, I learned something that might interest you

I didn't notice for a long time, but my floated images weren't floating in IE. The problem, I recently learned, is that IE doesn't recognize floats for inline elements (such as, say, images). This seems to be true in IE7, as well, though I have no idea why.

The cure is to wrap the images in a floating div, a'lika so:

<div style="float: right; margin-left: 1em;"><img src="bush-drinking-schnapps.jpg" /></div>

It was news to me, anyway. I'll update the BlueNC help files on adding images after exams.



The images float fine and rightly at my blog, so I'm not sure why not here.

I'm a technological numbnut, so learning new code isn't easy. I'll give your suggestion a try, but I'd like to know why what I'm doing now floats the images at ScruHoo but not here...

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us


Yes, there's more to this than I realized. And I don't know why. This is coming back out of the tupperware and returning to the back burner.


I tried it, and it doesn't look great. For some reason, the text is appearing well down the page from the title. I can't know why.

Practice, practice, practice...

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Thanks for the feedback

I'll work on it. I was about to complain about "why can't the web be simple," but then I realized that getting html and css to do what you want is easier than getting MS Word to reliably do the same.


Hey Screwy, I kinda miss the shoe polish black hair dye. It was a metaphor.

And it'll be interesting to see how the AC-T does with Joel on the beat. (Although I've heard he's covering "education" -- maybe that's how he got the interview!!!)

Is it egotistical to think we got muckraker to cover him AND to think we got the AC-T to get real and hire a good reporter?

Blot-egotism: n. 1. When a blogger thinks he's having an impact through his/her diary entries. 2. A fantasy enduced from hours sitting in front of a CRT.