Jack Abramoff sat down with 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl in a segment called “The Lobbyist’s Playbook,” and had a lot of criticism about the current political system, saying nothing has changed to improve ethics since he worked on K Street, despite HLOGA and other reforms enacted largely in response to the scandal that erupted around him.
Early in the interview, Abramoff responded to an astounded Stahl, who inquired whether his actions were legal, “We would certainly try to make the activity legal if we could. At times, we didn’t care.” He went on to tell her that the problem with our system is that “our system is flawed and has to be fixed. Human beings populate our system. Human beings are weak.”
Abramoff suggested that one way to improve ethics is to close the revolving door between K Street and Capitol Hill. “If you make the choice to serve the public, public service, then Buy Cialis serve the public, not yourself. When you’re done, go home. Washington’s a dangerous place. Don’t hang around.” He explained how the revolving door benefited him as a lobbyist trying to wield influence over congressional offices:
“When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, ‘You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.’ Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ’em, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do. And not only that, they’re gonna think of things we can’t think of to do.”
Tags: 60 minutes, congressional hires, Jack Abramoff, Revolving Door, the lobbyists playbook