Boehner's Policy Maker was Team Abramoff Deal Maker

April 5, 2011

Team-Abramoff lobbyists with former CNMI Congressmen on Rota in front of Wedding Cake Mountain: (Left to right) Felon and former lobbyist, Neil Volz, former Tinian Rep. Norm Palacios, felon and former lobbyist, Michael Scanlon, former Rota Rep. Alejo Mendiola, and Speaker Boehner's new policy director, former Team Abramoff loyalist, Brett Loper (Photo by Jigsaw Productions)
Award winning filmmaker, Alex Gibney has an article in The Atlantic about John Boehner's connection to Abramoff and his CNMI pals. Gibney commented on Boehner's questionable hiring of former Team Abramoff loylaist, Brett Loper. Loper was a former staff member former U.S. House Majority Leader and felon Tom DeLay (R-TX) before he jumped to K Street.

While working for DeLay, Loper took a few junkets. Among his travels was the infamous Abramoff-sponsored trip to the CNMI to twist the arms of former CNMI Representatives Palacios and Mendiola. They were persuaded to switch their votes for House Speaker from Rep. Hofschneider to Rep. Benigno Fitial in exchange for federal funding for their islands' infrastructure projects. The maneuver successfully ensured that Fitial got elected as speaker and his good friend, Jack Abramoff's expensive lobbying contract with the CNMI was renewed.

Loper, like so many staffers that were indicted, accepted favors from the lobbyist including tickets to a September 1, 2001 Baltimore Orioles ball game. Tickets, dinners and other perks were given to high level staffers in exchange for them pushing legislation favorable to Team-Abramoff clients, including the CNMI.

Fitial made a trip to Boehner's office during his February 2011 trip to Washington, DC. where he attempted to push his anti-federalization agenda. Loper should be familiar with both the agenda and the governor having assisted him previously.

As Gibney pointed out, there's nothing new about the "new" Republican House leadership. It has the same sleazy and corrupt characters moving about in a game of political musical chairs while conducting the same business that favors special interests.

Gibney stated:
"So, if history is any guide, we can be confident that, with Loper at the helm in charge of policy, Boehner's office will continue to press for wasteful subsidies to big business and the rollback of protections for workers. Deficit reduction appears to be a codeword for corporate welfare in exchange for campaign cash: "pay to play."
Read about Fitial's other Abramoff-connected friends in the Republican House and watch Gibney's film, Casino Jack and the United States of Money for more on the Abramoff-CNMI corruption connection.