John Boehner's policy director gave out Abramoff favor money

He greased the wheels for the symbol of GOP corruption, now he works for the leader of the new majority

Published April 5, 2011 10:01PM (EDT)

Jack Abramoff and Sen. John Boehner
Jack Abramoff and Sen. John Boehner

John Boehner is so obviously a favor-trading tool of monied interests -- this is the man, it must never be forgotten, who literally handed out tobacco company checks on the floor of the House -- that sometimes it hardly seems noteworthy when he again proves that he is nothing but a puppet of well-heeled lobbyists. But we must guard against cynicism and always take opportunities to remind the nation that Speaker Boehner is a corrupt tangerine.

So documentarian Alex Gibney writes today of Boehner's recently hired policy director, Brett Loper. Before joining team Boehner, Loper was, naturally, a medical device lobbyist, whose job was to protect the profits of the medical device industry at the expense of, among other things, the federal deficit. And before that, he worked for the gloriously amoral Tom DeLay.

While working for Mr. DeLay, Loper took a trip to the Marianas Islands with Michael Scanlon, super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's co-conspirator. They went to the Marianas Islands to deliver favor money to two legislators in order to bribe them into switching their votes to support an Abramoff ally in his campaign to become speaker of the House. They switched their votes, Abramoff's buddy got the job, and Abramoff was rehired and "resumed lobbying for the continuation of abusive labor practices in the islands."

This guy, a bagman for a corrupt lobbyist before he became a corrupt lobbyist himself, is now in charge of policy, for the speaker.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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