Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is LaTourette Next to Plead Guilty?

Willoughby, Ohio -- Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney pleaded guilty, and the F.B.I. announced it is not stopping there. The U.S. News and World Report stated that the F.B.I. indicated “[the investigation] is really about to expand. It’s not ending anytime soon or even when [Abramoff] goes to jail.”

Jeff Coryell is tracking the story and released information further tying Steve LaTourette to Abramoff and Ney.

Lew Katz, Democratic candidate for the 14th District, stated that “we need to let the F.B.I. complete its investigation. However, the timeline between Congressman LaTourette’s letters on behalf of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s clients and the avalanche of contributions is very suspect.”

1996-1998: Ratners donated $35,700 to LaTourette

1997: Redevelopment of the Southeast Federal Center (SEFC) in the works

2000: Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act created

LaTourette co-sponsored the redevelopment of this area with the non-voting representative Eleanor Norton.

2000: No donations from Ratners to LaTourette

2001-2005: LaTourette, Chair of Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Building and Emergency Management

2002: LaTourette ran against Dale Blanchard, an opponent whose financial resources did not even meet filing requirements of the FEC.

May 8, 2002: Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act passed

2002: Neil Volz, former Abramoff associate and staffer to Rep. Bob Ney composed a letter for LaTourette and Don Young to send to the GSA

September 5, 2002: LaTourette signed Volz’s letter and sent it to GSA official Steve Perry urging the agency to give preferential treatment to disadvantaged business groups when evaluating development proposals for the Old Post Office. Abramoff’s clients, two Native American Indian Tribes, were among the disadvantaged groups, and they subsequently donating to LaTourette in October 2002.

September 16, 2002: The following individuals donated $500 (law requires donations to be deposited within 10 days of receipt)
Albert Ratner: Executive VP Administration, Forest City Enterprises
Audrey Ratner, Housewife
Betty Ratner, Retired
Brian Ratner, Executive, Forest City Enterprises
Charles Ratner, Exec. VP Administration, Forest City Enterprises
Deborah Ratner, Homemaker
Ilana Ratner, Retired
James Ratner, Executive, Forest City Enterprises
Mark Ratner, Professor, Northwestern University
Nancy Ratner, Teacher, North Shore School
Ron Ratner, Executive, Forest City Enterprises
Susan Ratner, Administrator, Bellfaire
Tawny Ratner, Housewife
Deborah Salzberg, Executive, Forest City Enterprises
Michael Salzberg, Contractor, Salco Mechanical Contractors
Samuel H. Miller: Executive, Forest City Enterprises
Abraham Miller: self-employed, Graffiti, plus owns 37,988 shares of Forest City Enterprises as of 2001
Barbara Miller: Self-employed, Graffiti
Not sure of the connection, but were the only two other people to donate on Sept. 16th and for $500
Avery Meckler: Owner, Jase Inc.
Esther Meckler: Homemaker
October 18, 2002: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California, well-known client of Abramoff, donated $1,000 to LaTourette. Never returned.

October 19, 2002: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians of Mississippi, well-known client of Abramoff, donated $1,000 to LaTourette. Never returned.

2002- June 2006: Ratner and Salzberg families donated $112,000 to LaTourette.

September 26, 2003: Neil Volz donated $500 to LaTourette. Never returned.

July 27, 2004: Neil Volz donated $500 to LaTourette. Never returned.

June 2, 2005: GSA awarded Forest City Enterprises with a contract to develop 44 acres of the SEFC

October 29, 2005: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians of Mississippi, well-known client of Abramoff, donated $1,000 to LaTourette.

December 27, 2006: LaTourette returned the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians $1,000 donation that he received on Oct. 29. He stated, “I didn’t ask for the money and said to send it back.”

June 26, 2006: “If Jack Abramoff himself came into my office asking me to sign a letter saying sunshine was good, would it make sunshine bad just because Abramoff wrote it?” LaTourette comment.

October 13, 2006: Bob Ney pleaded guilty to corruption charges related to Abramoff

Jeff Coryell's blogs:

http://ohio2006elections.blogspot.com/2006/10/cong-oh-14-latourette-r-awash-with_12.html#links
http://ohio2006elections.blogspot.com/2006/10/cong-oh-14-abramoff-probe-expansion.html

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