A bombshell article in today’s Washington Post sheds some new light on all expense paid trips taken by eight republican House members which were sponsored by foreign lobbying firms, including one owned by Edwin A. Buckham (former Chief of Staff to Tom DeLay) who is currently under investigation for his role in the scandals and crimes of republican felon Jack Abramoff.
If you recall, Buckham was also tied to Mike Ferguson (NJ-7), who accepted approximately $6,000 from Buckham and his business partner. But the revelations about Garrett come on the eve of this election, where hopefully this news can help Paul Aronsohn restore some decency and end the republican corruption that has now spread to NJ-5’s current Congressional representative.
A press release from the Aronsohn campaign summed the matter up nicely:
According to the Washington Post report, Garrett was 1 of only 8 Members of Congress to wrongly accept all-expense paid trips sponsored by agents of foreign governments and arranged by Edwin A. Buckham – a former Chief of Staff to now-departed Republican Leader Tom Delay, who is under federal investigation as part of the Abramoff probe. The report notes that the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council and the U.S. -Malaysia Exchange Association, "on the strength of Buckham's GOP connections, sponsored trips for Republican House Members Delay, John Doolittle...Scott Garrett of New Jersey."
As the paper notes, "House rules ban members from taking trips paid for by lobbyists or foreign agents."
With Garrett finally agreeing to a radio debate today (November 3) at 11AM you can bet that Aronsohn will hammer at this issue. As today’s release asks, the obvious questions that are facing Garrett with respect to his ties to these disgraced republican felons are:
(1 )Why did he break House ethics rules by accepting travel paid for by a registered foreign agent?
(2) Why did he wait 15 months to report the trip, when such reporting is due 30 days after travel is completed (see attached)?
(3) What is his relationship to Edwin Buckham, the former Delay staffer who arranged the trip and who is under federal investigation as part of the Abramoff scandal?
All very valid questions. And ones that need to be answered. NJ-05 doesn’t need or want another Jack Abramoff crony and corrupt representative in Congress.