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Abramoff and the Northern Marianas Islands

Jul 31, 2020
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At the start of the Bush administration, the Mariana Islands were a top client of Jack Abramoff’s lobbying firm. The string of 15 islands between Hawaii and the Phillipines has been a part of the U.S. since World War II. The islands get to use the "Made in the USA" label, though the garment industry there, dependent on a female labor force, is notorious for sweatshops and human-rights abuses. Abramoff flew former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and some of Delay’s staff to the islands to push for federal labor law exemptions for his client. The House enforcer and his staff had a tropical holiday in the process., snorkeling in the calm Pacific waters and playing golf at the four championship courses.
The Abramoff report released today by the House oversight committee lays out the astonishing extent of the disgraced lobbyist’s influence on the islands. Abramoff was, in essence, human resources manager for the policy arm of the U.S. government on the islands — the Dept. of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs — that coordinates federal policy in the islands.
The committee obtained a bunch of emailsshowing that White House personnel officials would fax resumes of potential Insular Affairs employees to Abramoff. Two Insular Affairs employees were not appointed after Abramoff, and Karl Rove, then the White House’s senior adviser, said their re-appointments were not a good idea. Moreover, Abramoff appears to have gotten the Bush administration not to endorse the Republican running for governor of the islands in 2002. A Republican White House not endorsing a GOP candidate is rare — but that’s apparently what happens when Abramoff favored the third party candidate.
All these Mariana Islands-White House-Abramoff shenanigans took place between 2001-2002. We’re just learning about them now due to a few White House officials agreeing to be interviewed by the oversight committee.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

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Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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