Jack Abramoff

Here's a headline in one of Roy Blunt's hometown papers, The Hill, that he can't be thrilled about: "GOP LEADERS PLEDGE K ST. PROJECT DEAD." 

Bad news for Blunt, and for his core constituency.

As you probably remember, Blunt's rise to power with Tom DeLay was inextricably linked with the development of "legion of Republican lobbyists into an arm of the House whip operation."  As summarized in the Washington Post's WhoRunsGov.com biographical summary for Blunt:

Throughout his time in office, Blunt has maintained close ties to lobbyists. He was a House GOP emissary for Tom DeLay’s notorious K Street Project, which prodded the Washington community to hire Republicans and raise money for the GOP cause. Blunt’s PAC employed Jim Ellis, who was indicted on corruption charges along with DeLay. Gregg Hartley, Blunt's former chief of staff, is now a vice chairman of powerhouse lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates.

Tom Edsall wrote (perhaps) the definitive summaries of Blunt's rise to power in 2006

Roy Blunt embodies the insidious, half-legal corruption that has permeated the G.O.P. majority since 1995. Blunt’s election as minority whip, by a 137-to-57 margin, was a defiant Republican rejection of calls to clean up their act. Warnings by Blunt’s challenger, John Shadegg of Arizona — “We ceded our reform-minded principles in exchange for a ...tighter grip on power” — went unheeded.

In 1998, DeLay put Blunt on the leadership ladder, making him chief deputy whip. Blunt modeled himself on DeLay, creating an identical network of state and federal political committees that raised money from the same lobbyists, corporations and trade associations that financed what became known as DeLay Inc...

In 2003, after DeLay moved up to majority leader and turned the so-called K Street Project over to him, Blunt promptly converted a legion of Republican lobbyists into an arm of the House whip operation. Lobbyists have always been close to Congress, under rule by either party. What DeLay and Blunt did was to sacralize this relationship. In doing so, they transferred a chunk of power from Capitol Hill to business interests.

This unholy alliance was a crucial factor in transforming the G.O.P. into an army of spenders whose earmarks, appropriations and tax cuts rivaled the government largess of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

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