Daily Archives: 04/09/2006

Abramoff Tied To Guam Election

The big news swirling around the teapot that is Guam politics this week was a story in the Wall Street Journal detailing how Jack Abramoff attempted to influence the 1998 gubernatorial election on Guam by instigating a Congressional investigation of Carl Gutierrez by Tom DeLay’s office just weeks before the election. To quote from the KUAM article that first broke the story on island,

The WSJ piece further states, “In the fall of 1998, Mr. Abramoff wanted to help a Republican, Joe Ada, get elected as governor in Guam, even though he was trailing incumbent governor Carl Gutierrez badly in the polls.” Ada was running with current Guam governor Felix Camacho.

After lunch on October 26, 1998, Abramoff emailed Rudy wanting to know if Congressman DeLay could call for an investigation of the misuse of federal funds on Guam by Gutierrez. The WSJ went on to state that Abramoff suggested he would draft a statement for DeLay, and Rudy could “issue a press release and letter requesting an inspector general, from the Department of Interior, to investigate these matters”, saying it should have a major impact on the election next week.

Rudy and Scanlon released a statement from DeLay, along with a letter to the DOI’s inspector general, calling for a full federal inquiry into Gutierrez. DeLay said in the letter, “The allegations and materials I reviewed point to serious corruption.” The article goes on to state despite their efforts, Ada lost the race and the Department did not conduct an investigation.

The ’98 election was a heated one, with all sorts of bad blood between the two parties following the election. The fact that this embroils current governor Felix Camacho and candidate Carl Gutierrez in headlines with current political scape Jack Abramoff is really whipping up the flames. Seems like everybody was talking about this last week, and every day new facets were uncovered. Camacho said it was a political assassination attempt on his administration, former senator Mark Charfauros said he asked Abramoff to open the investigation, Bob Underwood jumped on the bandwagon and said Abramoff sabotaged his campaign in 2002 with a letter sent to Guam’s Filipino community, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Superior Court paid Abramoff for lobbying efforts a few years ago. And of course the kicker in this story is how US Attorney General Fred Black was replaced by a Bush appointee when he started investigating Abramoff’s involvement with Guam’s politics.

The Gospel Of Judas

This week the National Geographic unveiled their translation of a Coptic fragment known as the Gospel of Judas. The manuscript offers a radical reinterpretation of Judas Iscariot; rather than the damned betrayer of Christ, Judas was Jesus’ closest, most favored disciple; only he could be trusted with a terrible task, to deliver Christ in the hands of his oppressors.

This is not exactly a new idea. In fact, the manuscript was discovered twenty years ago in Egypt. But I first read this two decades ago in Nikos Kanzantzakis’ The Last Temptation Of Christ, it also is the central theme in Three Versions of Judaas by Jorge Luis Borges, and it is a common Gnostic theme that Judas was sent by Christ to betray him. Hell, Gore Vidal’s ridiculous Live from Golgotha has Judas nailed to the cross instead of a fat, waddling Christ – who presumably emigrates to Gaul with Mary Magdalene and fathers a line of French kings…

Anyway, the timing is impeccable. Holy Week is upon us, and the opening of The Da Vinci Code is looming on the horizon. Looks like National Geographic is trying to cash in on the Apocrypha rage.