My words. He’s not under investigation, mind you. He’s just … in the mix.

The boxing tickets are the least interesting part of it, actually.

Reid had separate meetings in June 2003 in his Senate offices with two Abramoff tribal clients and Edward Ayoob, a former staffer who went to work lobbying with Abramoff.

The meetings occurred over a five-day span in which Ayoob also threw a fundraiser for Reid at the firm where Ayoob and Abramoff worked that netted numerous donations from Abramoff’s partners, firm and clients…

A few months after the fundraiser, Reid did sponsor a spending bill that targeted $100,000 to another Abramoff tribe, the Chitimacha of Louisiana, to pay for a soil erosion study Ayoob was lobbying for. Reid said he sponsored the provision because Louisiana lawmakers sent him a letter requesting it…

AP recently reported that Reid also wrote at least four letters favorable to Abramoff’s tribal clients around the time Reid collected donations from those clients and Abramoff’s partners. Reid has declined to return the donations, unlike other lawmakers, saying his letters were consistent with his beliefs.

Here’s ABC’s report on Hastert from last Wednesday. Read it and see if you can find any difference between what he did and what Reid is accused of doing. Feel free to offer your theories in the comments as to why ABC reported on one and not the other. Did Brian Ross simply get scooped on Reid? Does he not consider questionable behavior by the Senate minority leader to be sufficiently newsworthy? Or … might there be another reason?

Actually, here’s one difference between Hastert and Reid, according to ABC: unlike Reid, Hastert’s not going to keep the tainted campaign contributions he received from Abramoff’s cronies.

Nice job by USA Today in its choice of photo for the AP article, by the way.

Tags: Louisiana