Campaign 2010

Mar 31, 2006

DeLay Aide, Abramoff Colleague Tony Rudy Pleads Guilty: Will Congressional Republicans Do the Right

DCCC Press

Mar 31, 2006

DeLay Aide, Abramoff Colleague Tony Rudy Pleads Guilty: Will Congressional Republicans Do the Right Thing and Return Rudy’s Money?

With Former Senior DeLay Aide Pleading Guilty Today in a Washington Court in the Widening Federal Investigation Into Lobbyist Fraud, Will Congressional Republicans Return Their Tainted Tony Rudy Campaign Cash?

Newt Gingrich:

“…[T]his is not one person doing one bad thing. You can't have a corrupt lobbyist unless you have a corrupt member (of Congress) or a corrupt staff. ... This was a team effort.” [Gingrich Remarks, 1/5/06, mult]

Congressional Republicans have taken over $47,000 from Tony Rudy.

(Washington, D.C.) – Just two days after Jack Abramoff was sentenced to prison in a Miami courtroom, Tony Rudy pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy in a Washington courtroom. Rudy is just the latest member of the Washington, D.C. culture of corruption to face a judge in the ongoing and widening federal investigation into lobbyist fraud. Rudy is a former senior aide to indicted former Republican leader Tom DeLay, and also worked closely with admitted felon and super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Tony Rudy, just like DeLay and Abramoff, contributed tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to Republican members of Congress. Today, those contributions are being called into question.

Following the indictment of Tom DeLay and the guilty pleas of Jack Abramoff, most of of the congressional Republicans who took the tainted campaign cash returned the money or donated the funds to charity. With Tony Rudy pleading guilty to charges related to the lobbyist fraud investigations, will Congressional Republicans again return to sender?

“Just like his former boss Tom DeLay, Tony Rudy shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans in Congress. With Rudy now pleading guilty in the widening federal investigation into lobbyist fraud, will his Republican buddies in Congress return his tainted campaign cash?” asked Sarah Feinberg, press secretary of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “This is just the latest guilty plea to come out of the deplorable, special interest- and lobbyist-focused, Republican-led culture of corruption in Washington. American families are sick and tired of the Republican leadership’s special interest agenda and in November, they will vote for change.”

Tony Rudy – Entrenched in the Culture of Corruption:

Rudy Close to DeLay and Abramoff

Rudy Served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Tom DeLay. Tony Rudy working in several capacities for then Majority Whip Tom DeLay, press secretary, policy director, general counsel and deputy chief of staff. [Time, 3/13/05]

Rudy Worked with Indicted Lobbyist Jack Abramoff. According to Senate lobbying disclosures, Tony Rudy worked for the lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig from 2001 through 2003. Jack Abramoff worked at Greenberg Traurig from 2001 through the beginning of 2004. [Senate Office of Public Records,]

Abramoff Gave Gifts, Paid for Trips for Rudy

Abramoff Gave Expensive Gifts to Tony Rudy. Abramoff gave golf equipment, tickets to sporting events, and travel to DeLay staffers, including Tony Rudy. Former DeLay staffer Tony Rudy received expensive golf clubs and one senior DeLay staff member received a weekend getaway paid for by Abramoff’s own frequently flyer miles and hotel points, according to Time. [Time, 4/26/05]

Rudy Traveled to Scotland With DeLay and Abramoff. According to travel disclosure forms, Tony Rudy traveled to Scotland with Rep. Tom DeLay and his wife, and fellow DeLay aide Susan Hirschman. [Member Travel Disclosure Form, 6/30/00; Employee Travel Disclosure Form, 6/30/00]

  • Trip Paid For By Gambling Interests. The Washington Post reported that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and eLottery on-line gambling service, two of Jack Abramoff’s biggest clients, made donations of $25,000 each on May 25, 2000, the day DeLay departed to the National Center for Public Policy that covered most of the $70,000 trip taken by DeLay and his entourage, which included Tony Rudy, to Great Britain and Scotland. [Washington Post, 3/16/05; Employee Travel Disclosure Form, 6/30/00; Member Travel Disclosure Form, 6/30/00; Time, 4/25/05]

Abramoff Took Rudy to Golf’s U.S. Open. Abramoff took Tony Rudy to the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, California. According to the Washington Post, “They [Rudy and Abramoff] traveled aboard a corporate jet belonging to SunCruz Casinos, a Florida cruise line Abramoff was negotiating to buy…Rudy did not report this trip in his House travel records.” [Washington Post, 10/16/05]

Abramoff Client Sent $25,000 Check to Organization That Employed Rudy’s Wife. Abramoff arranged for eLottery to pay $25,000 to Toward Tradition, a foundation that hired Rudy's wife as a consultant. Abramoff was chairman of the board of Toward Tradition and the charity hired an Alexandria consulting firm registered to Lisa Rudy. [Washington Post, 10/16/05]

Rudy Was an Abramoff Operative in Congress

Rudy Helped Abramoff Kill Gambling Bill. Then a senior aide to then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Rudy helped scuttle the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act in the House. Rudy e-mailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff internal congressional communications and advice, according to the Washington Post. Abramoff was working to kill the bill on behalf of his client, eLottery. The work Abramoff did for eLottery is one focus of a wide-ranging federal corruption investigation into his dealings with members of Congress and government agencies. Additionally, eLottery helped underwrite a trip for DeLay, Rudy, and others to Scotland and England with Abramoff. [Washington Post, 10/16/05]

Rudy May Have Violated House Ethics Rules. While he was still a top staffer for Tom DeLay, Rudy reportedly aided the legislative agenda for a prospective future employer, indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Doing so would have been a violation of House Ethics rules. [Business Week, 7/11/05]

Rudy Listed as Financial Reference for Abramoff in Transaction that Led to Indictments and Convictions. Abramoff listed Rudy as a financial reference in the summer of 2000 for his bid to purchase SunCruz. That transaction ultimately led to the indictment of Abramoff and his business partner Adam Kidan on charges that they had forged a $23 million wire transfer. Abramoff and Kidan were sentenced to nearly six years in jail time on March 29, 2006 after negotiating plea agreements and cooperating with federal investigators. [Washington Post, 10/16/05, Washington Post, 3/30/06]