Ante up!

‘Casino Jack’ Abramoff is at the center of a lot of dealing, and some local politicos have chips on the table

Illustration By Sandra Hoover

Gaming lobbyist Jack Abramoff is at the center of only one of the current campaign-finance, money-laundering and influence-peddling investigations going on in Washington. There are three investigations right now: Abramoff’s; the investigation into the political action committees of Representative Tom DeLay, R-Texas; and the bribery investigation surrounding defense lobbyist Brent Wilkes, which recently resulted in the resignation and guilty plea for bribery of former Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe.

It may be surprising how closely related these three high-stakes dealers—and their players—really are. We were especially interested in how local boys Representative John Doolittle, R-Auburn, and Representative Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, are playing their hands. To help our readers sort it out, we’ve come up with a little diagram to help with learning the game.