tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 3, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
i am asked constantly on radio shows today about members of congress and there are plenty of good members of congress on both sides of the aisle and there are some people that we know since i've gotten into trouble for unethical activities but the system itself is doomed to corruption. anything jack abramoff -- i.e. drank booze with james -- jake tapper mocks anything jack abramoff and i did is codified in united states law. if i'm a lobbyist and brian you are a congressman today, i give true examples in the book that it happened. i put these examples in the book sometimes with names omitted for a reason. if i want to i can take you to alaska and we can hunt. we could have a three or 4000-dollar dinner better food than jack abramoff had. i can raise to $75,000 in and take you a staffer in some of your family flight he was a congressman to las vegas. we can have eight two or
3000-dollar dinner. saw legal as long as we stand up at the reception in eat we are legal. i can have meals. i can still use -- alice fisher and that's the other thing. she said the congressman used low just for fund-raisers. no kidding. everybody listening to this program and everyone on my film today i was charged. i pled guilty and i did a lot of from things but using a loge for a fund-raiser collects the entire congress would be -- a loge is a private box. you go to them and you watch the game and you have a fund-raiser. this done today. nothing is changed on that. those are the types of things were they said he used the private lounge. it's done constantly. c-span: here's some video. tom rogers you mentioned and i want you to look at it and tell us what role you played.
>> my role was very small. also what happened was i had people who trusted me that came to me and they came to me in the year 2002. i walked into the bar and i looked for somebody who looked like they were looking for somebody and up walks this young gentleman former chairman anti-says tom rogers. this is earnest. tell me your story and i can -- you can imagine i was as a price. you are paid tens of millions of dollars to a lobbyist. jack abramoff? he said yes. i don't know what we are getting for it that was the constant narrative. c-span: how did he play such a significant role? >> guest: there are two movie movies. they're wonderful documentary. tom rogers is in their and my former chief of staff has a book
come into the sun and then there's the movie by kevin spacey. kevin spacey plays jack abramoff. i like spacey is one my favorite actors but that's a hollywood movie. it shows emily miller who was scorned by michael scanlon. scanlon was the business partner of jack abramoff. c-span: he had worked for tom delay. >> guest: abramoff was close to delay that emily miller didn't start all this. i was a misnomer in the media. tom rogers started all of this and i praise him for starting all of this. if i had anger in me i would say that guy did this to me. he didn't. he simply stood on -- stood up on behalf of native americans and found out something that didn't look or smell right. when you get to a certain level and to use members of congress to verify that this is a great
lobbyist. you want to keep hiring him and the native americans unfortunately aren't getting a return that is not a helpful situation. tom rogers told the truth when he found out and i give tom rogers credit. he's the man who got the ball rolling. c-span: fox com, what's that story? >> guest: fox, was an interesting aspect. the federal government wanted to -- at the end of the day foxconn was the weird contract that the providers decided. members of congress their time is extremely valuable and when they vote they either go underground or bagram. when you go underground to cell phones literally would not work. chairman thomas, bill thomas of california, there was a contract to wire on the house side these
devices that would repeat signals signal some members of congress could use their cell phones. there were two companies ldc and fox gone. two members of congress for supporting each company. one member was supporting one company in their district and fox gone was in tel aviv-based company. and had american connections but originally from tel aviv in israel. bill thomas did not want to get in between the two members of congress. as i came in as chairman he let the contracts it. our surgeon up arms to did a wonderful job and i had jurisdiction over the capitol police we talk. bill said this is a bad security at aspect of having these repeaters and we hold off on this? i said sure. jack abramoff represented fox gone. haley barbour who became governor mississippi was for ltc.
of course those companies contacted us and as jack abramoff didn't haley barbour did and they wanted to see if their clients could get the foxconn contractor they ogc contract. i put it by the wayside because i was serious about the security of the capital. later when we kept getting complaints from members of congress not from haley barbour or jack abramoff but members of congress would say bob i want to use my cell phone so we looked into. i called the nsa national security agency. they came to my office. i said tell me what's the bottom line of the security aspect? they went ahead and looked at this and we went to a skip firm which is in the capital and that's a private room. nothing bounces and nothing bounces out and i won't reveal the information today because its security in the capital but they said it's okay to do these and if we do them this way. doesn't matter which company does it. the israeli-based company which in fact has an american enemy or
the poor american company doesn't matter which one. we do it this way it's involved this way and that's all i can say about them we are okay. so we made a decision to award the contract in what we did with the contract the administrator the house, what we did with the contract was had providers to a survey. the providers were sprint for eyes and at&t or whoever else. there were five of them. they would sign off. you want lg seeds or foxconn so we had that put into it. the majority said they wanted foxconn. there's one little twist in this though. at one point in time the word was used and this is how i met with foxconn but the word was used. i had many jewish friends. in israel israelis would say i am a jew or he is a jew or she
is a jew but when you refer to it another way to derogatory way. c-span: let me read what you wrote and you can comment on it. this is a couple of paragraphs. the gist of the story involves neal volz not as a lobbyist that staff director for the house of committee which you chaired, haley barbour the lobbyist for ltc. he had an air of quote k it's haley, need this one and translate that. >> guest: neal fuld can verify the story because he came to me and said haley is to be the head of the republican national committee. when i came to congress he was the money guy wanted to raise money needed to haley barbour you want to be reelected in native haley barbour. c-span: but he was an lobbyist for ltc. >> guest: a lobbyist who is against jack abramoff or foxconn. c-span: you right now told me at one point haley said something to the effect that he was fairly
busy and quote have bob call me on this sometime. normally two members of congress pickup the phone and ask for something like this? >> guest: it is happen. it probably happens today. neal's point was pretty flippant. hey i'm busy have bob call me. c-span: let me finish this. the real problem stems from something lgv -- he referred to foxconn as quote they'd jew and could not understand why i would want to give a contract to a foreign quote jew company. you don't say this but are you talking about haley barbour saying that? eisai -- so he said that referring to it as a jew company. >> guest: neal volz brought that to me and if anyone wants to verify that, that's what happened but it transcended from their and i believe jack sees this.
to get fox com before me which the government said he met with fox com. it was because of the jewish issue not the contract. whether jack picked it up or whatever that came to me personally and i remember what he said. this is about money this is about your reputation with the jewish community and its been told that this word has been said to you and you are maybe anti-jewish. i said that's ridiculous. i support the israelis. he said we have to clear this up. he brings fox, officials and they sit there and they say we want to clear this up about bob. at that point in time i said listen i don't know if you are going to get this contract or not but as far as not getting the contract because you are an israeli company that's absurd. jack said that's my point. knowing jack abramoff is neal bowles said he could talk a dog off a meat truck.
he could be who you thought he would be. possibly jack abramoff found out about this and seized it to get foxcom. that's possible so the government when they said to her attorneys he set the foxcom. yes i thought would -- sat with foxcom because of the issue of the story became part of my political problem. c-span: who got the contract? >> guest: foxcom got the contract. c-span: kinds of rights do have now? can you now? kenya guana house floor? >> guest: yes i can go on the house floor. i have food privileges in the house. i can take people on the house floor. speaker pelosi i would call her office and in fact it took him 10 days. his personal attorney called me john boehner speakers attorney called me and wanted to know if i was bringing former constituents on the floor. otherwise guess i had privileges of the house.
i was there this morning. c-span: how do they treat you? >> guest: the first time i got out of prison in 2008 i was working for ellen rattner and she wanted to go to the house dining room with some reporters for dinner. i said i'm not going to go to the dining room. i have a lot of shame. i had a lot of friends at the capital but it's not good for me i didn't feel. so she said just walk over and as i walked in i have my former members card that has my picture on it when i was a member and i will never forget this. the police officer is standing there and he says welcome back mr. chairman. that card is not needed here. i walked into the house dining room and a couple of lady started crying and i saw some members. they said hello democrat and republican. better than i deserve. it was in awe of moment for me and i went back to the capital in 2008.
c-span: do you get a pension? >> guest: i did get attention. i got pension early because all my money was gone. c-span: how much did your legal fees cost? >> guest: $518,000. part of it is paid in part of it is not paid. c-span: how did you raise the money for that? >> guest: that was legal but then spun. i drained my campaign account which is their referred to in the book caused me to go before john boehner to ask them for money. karl rove's number one guy was sitting in a room which was to me very unusual but i is trying to get money to get through the election. i had run out of money basically. i won the primary and was headed to a zero balance into the election. c-span: here's jack abramoff talking about you. >> one of the reasons bob went to prison, bob apparently had a different issue that was unrelated to mine. he took $50,000 in casino chips from an iranian businessman who
wanted the government to give permission to sell planes to iran. now that act and doing it in a casino in london is what i think unhinged bob. probably he would have been convicted but in terms of the stuff with me nobody else was indicted because a lot of the congressional action is protected under the speech and debate clause. c-span: you write in your book, before you answer that i'm skeptical today as to whether jack abramoff has learned his lesson or if he is back after the mighty dollar rather than redemption. where are you today and have the sea nymph? >> guest: i send them a note on facebook and he sent a note back. c-span: this whole story? >> guest: this is the first time i've seen this. after seeing this i am sure that jack abramoff doesn't want to be
too frank about what really happened. c-span: so what really happened in? >> guest: for slowing jack said it was a problem of the chips i was not indicted for the chips. the government did not indict me and it was not an iranian businessman. he was a syrian businessmen and the other thing is that the government had this story about i asked colin powell to try to sell airplane parts. anyone is free to call colin powell. that conversation simply never happen. i never asked colin powell if he would help sell airplane parts to iran so when jack says they got bought because of casino chips, i did have a problem of declaring all the chips. i declare some and not others and i put that in the book but the government didn't invite me on that. what jack abramoff is saying there is well you know, i know what he is saying. if bob had a problem in the casino there was nothing bob and
i did that they would have convicted him for. that's why nobody else was convicted. that's not accurate. i had a string of favors for jack abramoff. took free food that should've been reported and i took free alcohol from jack abramoff they should've been reported. jack doesn't like the answer to the very question he has created a controversy. in 60 minutes not jack abramoff said i had a hundred dollars in my pocket and they spend a million dollars. jack abramoff spent 30,000 on me what was the difference between those members and myself? i'm not saying i would point the finger and say this member should be indicted or not but there were people that took trips with jack abramoff and signed letters for jack abramoff and inserted for things into the record for jack abramoff.
it was the london problem bob ney had. it was he and i and i argue the rest of it is jack abramoff and i write in my book i think once i went away the bad guys were imprisoned. they didn't have to go after anybody else. when john mccain at a senate hearing on indian affairs ralph reid former head of the christian coalition was involved in a secret plot, received money may be millions of dollars to act like he wanted to close the casino casino. jack was to open it and that was the tribe which i said to him jack is a good guy. i was culpable to the native americans. he didn't direct ralph reid there. when john mccain had his hearing the only one you mention was made. i did wrong things. i committed criminal acts but when jack abramoff said he would
have been found guilty of it wasn't for london that would be an omission of reality. c-span: let me read what you said at the end talking about the press and abramoff. you said earlier you corrected that you did not want to buy the roll call on capitol hill. he wanted to buy the hill. he did want to buy that any talk about john bresnahan and he said jack new meaning jack abramoff once i went away his friends like delay and others would be spared delay's legal woes are an state of texas and had nothing to do with abramoff. the justice department dropped it. should tom delay have been indicted by the federal government? >> guest: you know i can answer that because i'm not a part of gonzalez and i'm not jack abramoff but i will tell you this. if i was indicted, if i play played because i won a trip to scotland, tom went to marion island. the question is that an illegal
trip in itself? i don't know. tom's former chief of staff received a filtered million dollars in some type of foundation or some such thing. are those all indictable? i don't know. i'm not alberto gonzalez but my point is that if a jury in texas in fact convicted tom delay what happened with the justice department? these are peanut things as jack abramoff comes to a conclusion. i guess we were all indictable or we all work. c-span: let me show you the picture of you standing on st. andrews golf course i believe it is with a group and look at this picture. first of all you are how heavy there? >> guest: well when i went to prison i was 234 pounds. i was probably a good 212 there.
c-span: what are you now? >> guest: i will tell the truth, i was 168 and when i came back from india i was 173. c-span: the fellow in the back, safavian? >> guest: david safavian who spent a prison a year. ralph reid jack abramoff myself and some guy that jack hired. c-span: you suggested that ralph rood was on the airplane with you and i was in a passenger jet. who flew you to scotland? >> guest: jack abramoff. c-span: what year was this? >> guest: 2002. c-span: with a picture of a whole group if you standing in front of the plane. has this been cleaned up in this town? and a member, remember this picture? i think it's jack abramoff son. >> guest: this part of it may
have been cleaned up most likely. c-span: how available warplanes to you when you were chairman of the administration? >> guest: one pointed want to make about the trip. the trip was underreported. the trip did not turn out as we had listed it and didn't meet with people we were supposed to that should've written a check for the trip. tom heaney from florida got in trouble and didn't go to prison. i can't compare myself to other members and why did the government, why couldn't i write a check? as far as this trip we didn't know particularly it was still fuzzy who paid for it. a point to make in the book is the chairman of the hausa frustration committee i could call the state department say fire at the jets i want to go to scotland. i want to meet with so-and-so and by the way i want to stay three days and i'm going to
golf. i could do that. my one argument about this trip that i make is this. at no point in time and jack abramoff does this and everybody else under the sun. at no point in time did i say and want to go to scotland. at no point in time did i say what why don't you have indian tribes pay for? i'm referring to one thing. when jack abramoff told the indian tribes ney wants to take a trip in you pay for it i didn't have to do that. i could call the state department go to scotland in golf for threes straight days in a row. that part of it i had issues with jack abramoff. i did not ask him to pay for that. i didn't need that to happen. c-span: i want to be careful how i say this but when i read your book and you go into so much more detail than we have been able to cover in this.
i thought maybe a shower might be useful not thinking about you but thinking about this town. how much of this goes on to the state? more than anything that we haven't talked about are all the staff abusing their privileges behind the scene. >> guest: jack abramoff and i would agree on one thing to claim this town up. everything we did this on steroids now. everything jack and i did and maybe the trips but everything is on steroids. they can do all kinds of things appear. the power games in the money games. everybody on the hill does what i say is true. if you want to be a chairman you have to raise that money in play that game to be part of the system. the leaders i make an incredible amount of money and they control the power grid. the big pharmaceutical companies etc. don't have to go to individual members. go to some of the leaders. at the end of the day on the shiny bright capitol hill are some of the most wonderful
people in this country democrat and republican but also this is corrupt. a lot of good people and some bad people mainly good i argue that the system is broken. the barrel is corrupt. c-span: let me ask you in a different way. if you were teaching a high school or college course would you teach and academics view of how it becomes law? >> guest: i would tell the academic process i would have them read this and tell them the truth and the reality of how some bills become law. it's a mixture. if you take away the money game and i would agree with abramoff and things i've heard him say. if you want to serve in congress don't become a lobbyist. if you are a staffer you don't become a lobbyist. this is not the feeding ground for the lobby circuit. take the money out of the syst system. don't buy chairmanships of committees. don't have that nuclear campaign arms race of raising money. today people take their staffers
to the democrat war room i call it and the republican war room across from the capitol and they raise money on federal time. is it illegal? no. is it right? bell. c-span: [inaudible] >> guest: it's done as we speak. i can safely say somebody's doing it. there are a lot of changes but today speaker boehner and minority leader pelosi could join hands today and within 24 hours of such a dynamic change on the hill and allow these good people there up their democrats and republicans to function. c-span: we don't have any time left but when was the last time you had it during? >> guest: september 13, 2006. c-span: go to aa everyday? >> guest: four times a week. 12 step recovery, i'm sorry. the traditions of aa. c-span: i assume when you refer to old bill you are talking
about bill wilson. guess who i'm talking about my friend in ohio and his wife judy. i do 12 step recovery because the traditions of aa we don't talk about aa. i do 12 step recovery. c-span: the name of the book is "sideswiped" lessons learned courtesy of the hit men of capitol hill. our guest has been rubber ney former congress for him -- former congressman from ohio. we thank you. >> guest: thank you. >> for dvd copy of this program call 1-877-662-7726. for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program visit us a few and a.org. duende programs are also available at c-span podcasts.
>> i always knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle and i decided to take it because whether it's an illusion are n not, i don't think it is, it helped my concentration. to stop me from being bored. it stopped other people from being boring to some extent. it would keep me awake and to prolong the conversation. ..
sheet and make it clear and aware of how much it is costing. but when you deliver it through third parties with a public shareholders and executives that can extract it that is not a good way of ownership. >> our special programming continues with book "police state u.s.a.: how orwell's nightmare is becoming our reality" in an hour, john dean talks about his book the nixon defense, what he knew and when he knew it. and then ben carson discusss one nation: what we can all do to
save america's future. after wards with theresa payton is next. cheryl chumley book "police state u.s.a.: how orwell's nightmare is becoming our reality" traffic light cameras, drone monitoring and more is amounting to a police state that must be rolled back. this program is about an hour. >> host: cheryl, it a pleasure to be here and i enjoyed your book "police state u.s.a.: how orwell's nightmare is becoming our reality" i am a data junky by nature. i love the opportunity to talk with people about how to protect their data. d