Abramoff to Implicate Aderholt?
The AP article speculates that the Justice Department may be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and their aides. A few of the targets are already known (Rep. Tom Delay (R - TX), Sen Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rep Bob Ney (R-OH) and Rep John Doolittle (R-CA). So there could be another dozen members of Congress implicated in these scandals.
No members of the Alabama delegation have been publicly mentioned as targets of the investigation. The only Alabamian with any ties at all to the Abramoff scandal is Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville). Aderholt accepted a $1,000 contribution from Abramoff's law firm after he (Aderholt) signed a letter opposing Indian gaming in Louisiana. Abramoff's law firm represented Indian tribes with casinos and thus opposed other rival tribes expanding into the gaming business.
There doesn't seem to be any evidence that Aderholt was aware that his contributions were coming from representatives of Indian gaming. And it is certainly not out of character for Aderholt to oppose extensions of Indian casinos. But with the Abramoff debacle set to hit the fan, Robert Aderholt seems to be the Alabamian most closely connected to the now disgraced lobbyist. It's unlikely that their connections are close enough to endanger Aderholt's political standing, but keep an eye out for Aderholt's name once the investigation goes public.
Tomorrow: Bob Riley's connection to the Abramoff scandal.