Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who became the poster boy for government corruption during the George W. Bush administration, has been born again as a corruption-fighter.
His new blog, Republic Report, carries the slogan “Investigating how money corrupts democracy.” The blog is run in cooperation with United Republic, a group dedicated to getting corporate money out of politics.
Republic Report currently features stories such as Matt Stoller’s “Agribusiness Fights to Allow Children to Work in Manure Pits” and “Koch Brothers Convene Ultra-Secret Billionaires Meeting To Raise Funds, Plot Strategy” by Lee Fang, formerly of Think Progress.
It is not clear how much Abramoff will be contributing personally, although he does write, “I just want to say how honored I am to join Nick Penniman, Josh Silver, and the gang at United Republic in the vital effort to effect real reform in Washington. It is a privilege for me to add my insights and experience to their strong and sagacious team and I look forward to working with them to reveal to our nation the way Washington really works.”
“The people who were attacking me while I was a lobbyist — I don’t hold that against them in any way,” Abramoff told the Los Angeles Times. “Frankly, I agree with them at this point. It is I who had a journey, not them.”
The president of United Republic, Nick Penniman, was equally generous. “His name is toxic, right?,” Penniman said. “He automatically elicits that kind of reaction. But you sit down and meet him, you realize he’s really different.”
“People are calling this a redemption tour,” Penniman added. “But [Abramoff’s] not just trying to redeem himself. He’s genuinely on a reform mission.”