Saturday, May 27, 2006

County Exec says he never noticed the money from Saipan and Guam

County Executive Doug Duncan and his gubernatorial campaign staff say they just didn't notice the Saipan and Guam addresses of Abramoff-related donors who maxed out on their contributions.

"Although the 2006 campaign acknowledged Abramoff's role in helping raise money for Duncan, officials insisted that the county executive had no knowledge of the contributions from Saipan, an island in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US territory of Guam," the Washington Post reports today.

That's kind of a stretch, because the Post ran a series of major page-one stories about Abramoff and his controversial lobbying on behalf of Saipan sweatshop interests.

Duncan's campaign staffers say it isn't unusual for a candidate or official to let the staff handle fundraising issues on a "week-to-week basis." But the fishy contributions made up a quarter of Duncan's fundraising for an entire month.

Isiah Leggett, who hopes to succeed Duncan as county executive and who supports strengthening the county Inspector General to investigate fraud and abuse, said he would have noticed cash from Guam and Saipan.

"I would know -- at least I would see the address," he tells the Post.