Crooked Lobbyist On Playing It Straight

Abramoff Abramoff visits USF to talk about reforming the political system to reduce corruption. Photo courtesy of Seasons Productions.

Disgraced super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—the man at the center of one of the biggest government corruption scandals in recent history—told a USF audience that his crimes were business as usual in Washington.

Abramoff spent 43 months in federal prison for conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and tax evasion. He is now a vocal advocate for lobbying reform.

During his talk in June, Abramoff recounted his exploits as one of Washington’s highest-paid powerbrokers.

“Government is broken because of unethical practices, compromised politicians, and special interests and their lobbyists who use money to game the system,” said Abramoff, who is author of “Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist.”

Abramoff, who’s been the subject of intense media scrutiny, said he’d been asked every question imaginable—until Davi Lang MoPA ’13 asked if female lobbyists faced obstacles that men don’t.

“I’ve never been asked that. That’s an interesting question,” he said. “I never thought about this before and shame on me for not thinking about it, but I think women are at an immense disadvantage in the lobbying game.”

The lecture was eye opening for Lang. “I had no idea the extent to which money was involved, with sporting events and schmoozing,” she said.

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