Abramoff Scandal Goes Hollywood

August 17, 2009

The New York Daily News reports that the filming of Casino Jack starring Kevin Spacey as Jack Abramoff just wrapped up. It looks like some Bush Administration figures will be featured in the story line that also has former Texas Rep. Tom Delay in the Marianas Islands. From the article (emphasis added):
The screenplay paints George W. Bush and Karl Rove as much chummier with Abramoff than they've acknowledged. ("How you doing there, buff guy?" Bush asks the black-hatted con artist in one Oval Office scene.)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay comes off worse. Cigar-smoking DeLay, played by Spencer Garrett, is seen golfing with Abramoff on that infamous junket to Scotland. He also enjoys the Polynesian scenery on the Mariana Islands, where Abramoff solicits his protection for American textile manufacturers, who, we see, are running sweatshops. Dining together at Abramoff's D.C. restaurant, Abramoff tells DeLay: "Tom, you'll never get a check in this restaurant." Says DeLay: "Good. … You're my dearest friend, Jack."
Reached at their Texas home, DeLay's wife, Christine, who accompanied him to the Marianas, fumed: "The Justice Department didn't find one e-mail that Tom and Jack exchanged! And yet they were supposed to be so close. They said Jack gave him cigars. He never did."
Bob Ney, former U.S. representative from Ohio, also takes his licks in a scene where Abramoff asks him to speak in the House on behalf of Abramoff's client, Suncruz Casinos. When Ney asks for "a pass on this one," Abramoff snaps, "After the dollars I've funneled into you this year? I don't think so."
Ney, who served time for his role in the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, quibbles that he didn't go to Scotland on the same trip as DeLay and only endorsed the casino "in the Congressional Record." But he admits he had "improper" dealings with Abramoff.
Norman Snider wrote the screenplay and the film is produced by George Hickenlooper who visited Abramoff in jail five times, once with Kevin Spacey.

Tom Delay Joins Dancing with the Stars
Meanwhile the real life Tom Delay (R-Abramoff) will join 15 other contestants on the popular television show, Dancing with the Stars. The new season kicks off September 21st. From the New York Times:
He was an extraordinarily easy sell, Mr. Green said. Mr. DeLay resigned from Congress in 2006 after being indicted on charges of violating campaign finance laws; the case has not yet gone to trial. He took the show’s phone call and was immediately enthusiastic.

“Within 10 minutes we were done,” Mr. Green said. It turns out Mr. DeLay “watches the show all the time,” Mr. Green said. “He likes dancing with his wife, and his daughter is a professional country-and-western dancer.”
The Washington Post has an interesting take, quoting remarks made on Twitter and Dancing with the Stars:
"It's official...I'm going to compete on 'Dancing with the Stars!" DeLay tweeted this morning, adding, "This is going to be so much fun. I will need your support."

But, as of yesterday afternoon, his supporters had not yet turned out to ABC's "Dancing" Web site; the comments were overwhelmingly anti-DeLay:

"This has been my favorite show since the first season. Tom Delay is a disgrace and that will prevent me from watching - unless he breaks his ankle and they show a re-cap on the news," one "Dancing" fan suggested helpfully.

"Where are the stars? ....I certainly don't classify political figures as stars - not even the president," added another.

"I'm especially turned off that ABC would put that Republican Thug Criminal Tom Delay on. Maybe if he's eliminated the first week, I'll watch," chimed in a particularly stern "Dancing" viewer.

"I think it is a disgrace to have Tom DeLay on this line up," added another.

"I have been a fan since the show start.... Tom Delay is a JOKE!" said yet another.

However, not everyone was non-DeLay:

"I think it is a great line-up. I knew everyone except the politician. Looking forward to another great season.....yeah DWTS," wrote one neutral "Dancing" fan.

"I think Tom Delay will be great and probably a better dancer than most," added the rare pro-DeLay commenter.
Hmm, maybe he can do the jail house rock.


Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Hollywood that the "Polynesian" scenery is actually Micronesian.

Anonymous said...

I like this comment someone wrote on the LA Times site...

"This will probably "delay" my watching "Dancing with the Stars" permanently. I generally do not support shows which reward bad public behavior. Mr. DeLay is a political thug and one of the most corrupt Texas politicians who has ever lived. Having him on the show makes about as much sense as having Michael Vick host a pet show on Animal Planet. Reality shows in general are about bad behavior, so maybe having DeLay on is natural; however, it does not make it a good thing."


Anonymous said...

He should do good in the hustle and the jerk.

captain said...

He should come to the NMI and run for an office. He fits in perfectly here as he has no shame or conscience like the rest of the elected and "connected" He probably would win as it seems the most corrupt get the position.(Not unlike American Samoa)

cactus said...

What island plays Saipan?

Anonymous said...

Probably some place in Polynesia or Hawaii.

the teacher said...

He (Tom Delay) wouldn't win here and would get 130 votes, the same 130 voters that John D. and Jack A. got.

They will probably use Maui or a back alley in Hong Kong to depict and further defame my island.

Who will play the other characters here?

Anonymous said...

It isn't Hollywood who defamed your island. It was the CNMI politicians who danced with devils like Abramoff and Delay;

Anonymous said...

Hot tub tommy -lap dance?

Anonymous said...

Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff were our benefactors and make the"Marianas Miracle" possible. Of course, our elected officials paid Jack huge amounts of money/taxpayer dollars to protect and advance the interests of the garment industry and a few local pols. A lot of that money went to advance De Lay's agenda and the right wing of the Republican Party.This money could have been put to much better use than promoting an industry which never had any concern for the local people or the beauty of the islands. We are left trying to fix the mess that the garment industry left behind and rebuilding our tarnishing reputation.Have we learned anything from this sad chapter in our history?

Anonymous said...

Nawh.. they won't film on Saipan... just like the movie "
Code Talkers" DEQ,EPA,MVA,DLNR, BSC,and all the other CNMI government aphabet soup groups on Saipan with their hands out for cash drove them off. They were here for photo shots for painted backgrounds and will film in Hawaii as usual. The greedy CNMI appointed positioners just never get it...