Abramoff & DeLay: “free-market ” friends

· Edgewise, Paleoblogs, Republicans

Just cleaning out my files….here’s an excerpt from Thomas B. Edsall’s piece in the Washington Post from 2004:

In 1995, Abramoff took on another major client, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, an American protectorate in the Pacific. Again, he capitalized on his ability to exploit conservative ideology.
The Marianas sought to retain exemptions from U.S. immigration and labor laws to import laborers from China at $3.05 an hour — $2 under the federal minimum wage — to make garments labeled “Made in the U.S.A.” Abramoff portrayed the Marianas as a case study of the success of the free market unfettered by wage and immigration laws.
DeLay became Abramoff’s strongest ally, leading the fight against Democratic efforts to impose wage, hour and immigration regulations on the protectorate. On a trip to the Marianas, DeLay told officials, according to media accounts:

“When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made.”

[By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 8, 2004; Page A23 ]
and the latest on suspension of habeas corpus for Guantanamo prisoners….