The BRAD BLOG Kindly Corrects the Congressman's Omissions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007, 1:21pm PT  

In today's Orlando Sentinel, Florida still-unindicted Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) pens an op/ed --- titled "Let me clarify facts about trip" --- in which he speaks about some mysterious trip to Scotland with some unnamed lobbyist.

Since the omissions in the op/ed may not help to fully clarify the facts about his trip as Feeney has intended --- and as a public service to America and those Googling for more information on one of the House's most corrupt GOP congressmen concerning his business relationship with one of the GOP's most corrupt lobbyists --- The BRAD BLOG is happy to reprint Mr. Feeney's op/ed in full below, along with a few words he must have accidentally left out from his attempted clarification; Words such as "Jack Abramoff" and "golf".

So here is Mr. Feeney's complete Sentinel op/ed, as supplemented by our hopefully clarifying additions (in bold)...

Feeney: Let me clarify facts about golf trip with Abramoff

Tom Feeney | Posted May 1, 2007

In recent weeks, the media have reported on my association with Jack Abramoff in a high-profile case, and I feel strongly that I need to clarify to my constituency a few brief, but very important facts about my golf trip to Scotland and relationship with Abramoff.

Most important, I say without any hesitation that I have personally followed the law, and during my 16 years of public service, I have in no way ever traded legislative favors to Jack Abramoff for personal gain or free golf trips to St. Andrews, Scotland. Any suggestion otherwise is untrue and incredibly offensive.

In August 2003 I went on a free golf trip to Scotland with Jack Abramoff, based on an invitation from Abramoff to meet governmental dignitaries and play golf. I was told, by Jack Abramoff, that a public-policy group was sponsoring the trip. My staff contacted the House ethics committee prior to my going on the trip and was told that members Tom Delay and Bob Ney had gone on similar golf trips to St. Andrews, Scotland with Abramoff in the recent past.

At the time of the golf trip with Abramoff, I personally paid for my flight out of Scotland, greens fees and other activities after Jack Abramoff had paid for my trip to Scotland on a private plane along with many other expenses. As soon as I learned that there was enough mainstream media concern about the trip with Abramoff and trip sponsor, Jack Abramoff, I took it upon myself to request an opinion from the ethics committee on how to proceed to ensure that all legal and ethical steps were taken by me after the fact. I immediately -- three and a half years after the trip with Abramoff -- followed their direction, and wrote a personal check to the U.S. Treasury in the only amount that had been reported to my office by Jack Abramoff's office at the time in association with the Abramoff golf trip, as is standard practice. The Republican ethics committee --- on the last day of the 109th Congress before it changed hands to Democratic control --- decided to take no action against me, other than to order me to pay the $5,643 I told them the trip had cost as instructed via email by Abramoff, despite the actual $20,000 value of the trip.

Investigations into a number of matters concerning my dealings with Abramoff and other questionable travel and business relationships and favorscontinue, and I have been told I am not a target. I am happy to voluntarily provide information concerning my relationship to Abramoff to investigators, and I know that the more information they have, the clearer it will become that I followed the law.

While serving as an elected, or unelected, official, I have voted my conscience based on huge corporate campaign donations and principles that haven't changed. Any suggestion that I have taken legislative action for personal gain or to benefit a lobbyist named Jack Abramoff is an outright lie.

I have said before, and will say again that I am saddened and embarrassed to be associated on any level with anyone, such as Abramoff, or Tom Delay or Bob Ney or Duke Cunningham or Rick Renzi or John Doolittle or Heather Wilson, et al. who abused the public trust. While I wish in retrospect that I had never been on that trip with Abramoff or given money to my fellow corrupt officials, I am certain that all facts uncovered will prove that I acted only in accordance with the law.

I take my position and responsibility as your elected (or not elected; see link above) representative very seriously, and assure you that my No. 1 goal is to serve my constituency and the interests represented by lobbyists such as Jack Abramoff through good public policy and principled representation.

I have represented the interests of lobbyists such as Jack Abramoff, the community leaders, businesses represented by the likes of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and lastly constituents in my district with the integrity it demands and deserves, and will continue to work toward achieving the goals of our community and business interests of corrupt lobbyists like Jack Abramoff and serving Central Florida.

U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, an Oviedo Republican, represents the 24th District of Florida. And Jack Abramoff.

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For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Corruption and Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis eventually ended up running for U.S. Congress against Feeney in 2006.
For more info, see: