In new must-read stories from The Star and Post-Dispatch, we are asked to believe that Roy Blunt -- "the House GOP emissary for Tom DeLay’s notorious K Street Project" who was designated as an exclusive "friend of owner" at Jack Abramoff's DC restaurant -- never actually met the most prominent GOP lobbyist on K Street.
This is how the denial reads in The Star's weekend story, Missourian embraces role of the insider:
Blunt spokeswoman Burson [Taylor] Snyder, who responded to most of the issues raised in this story by critics, points out: “Roy Blunt never met with Jack Abramoff.”
Emphasis added. And in today's Post-Dispatch story, Blunt's ties to Abramoff resurface, Taylor Snyder offers a less-sweeping statement: "she 'never witnessed, nor am I aware of, any staff level meetings' with Abramoff."
The Blunt campaign's 2010 assertion that he "never met with Jack Abramoff" is incredibly hard to believe. Remember that Blunt was listed as a "Friend of the Owner" at Abramoff's DC restaurant, Signatures. (This was before ol' Jack went to the pokey, of course.) Team Blunt claims now, as they did when this fact was first reported in 2005, that Blunt chose not to avail himself to the free food and beverage he was offered as a friend of Abramoff's. This is irrelevant to the fact that Abramoff considered Blunt a friend, and included him on a very short list of friends at Signatures. As reported by the New York Times in July 2005:
In the restaurant's early months, a customer list noted who could dine for free, according to two former managers. A copy obtained by The New York Times shows handwritten notes next to 18 names - lawyers, lobbyists and eight current or former lawmakers - designating them as "FOO Comp," for friend of owner, or "A-Comp," for associate of owner.
Only eighteen folks -- and only eight of them were Members of Congress. And Blunt was on the even more exclusive "FOO" list. How many people you've never, ever met list you as a "friend" at their swanky restaurants so you can have all the free food and drink you want?Read More »