Abramoff Offered His Services to Sudan

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Adding to the laundry list of unethical behavior by lobbyist Jack Abramoff is the new discovery that he attempted to sell his “services” to the destitute and crooked Sudanese government. Abramoff and his camp are denying the story, but according to eyewitnesses the lobbyist wanted to help Sudan improve its image during a genocide that has left more than 400,000 dead.

That’s no easy task, granted, which must explain the alleged $16-18 million price tag that Abramoff was charging. At the moment, Abramoff is headed to jail for fraud, tax evasion and conspiring to bribe public officials, which includes bilking an estimated $66 million out of Native American tribes.

According to Sudan’s ambassador and a prior Abramoff aide, the idea for a grassroots image campaign dates back to 2002 when Abramoff wanted to retain the services of Christian Coalition front man Ralph Reed to help convince evangelicals—who have often put pressure on the administration over Sudan—to back off a little. The former aide said, “Abramoff waved two videotapes at me that were made by a Christian-rights organization and said that the tapes showed the need for Sudan to have Washington representation that could relieve this kind of pressure.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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