Thursday, June 08, 2006

Abramoff connection dogs Duncan campaign

The Duncan-for-governor campaign is being dragged down by the public-school-land-for-campaign-dollars connection with convicted felon Jack Abramoff.

Duncan "has been touched by one of the biggest Washington scandals in years after acknowledging that he took $20,000 in campaign contributions in 1999 from companies linked to Abramoff," the Baltimore Sun reports.

"The story has caused a stir in Montgomery County, less because of the Abramoff connection than because it fits with the view of many Duncan critics who feel he is too friendly with developers who contribute to his campaign.

"Drew Powell, executive director of Neighbors for a Better Montgomery, a group critical of developers' influence in government, said the association of Abramoff's name with the county executive might make the rest of the state realize that Duncan isn't the nice guy with the squeaky-clean reputation they have thought he was.

"'Mr. Duncan rules from his bully pulpit with an iron fist, unquestioned loyalty and special deals for contributors who give him a lot of money,' Powell said."