By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More on the Abramoff connection

Boston Magazine has posted on its Web site a profile of disgraced former Mashpee Wampanoag leader Glenn Marshall, slated to appear in the September issue.

Tough timing — the article went to press before last week’s implosion. But writer Geoffrey Gagnon does have more on Marshall’s ties to Jack Abramoff, the former Washington lobbyist now in prison for his corrupt dealings. Gagnon writes:

Marshall doesn’t apologize for the fact that some of his efforts involved questionable characters, chief among them the notorious Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, with whom the tribe signed on in 2003….

Never major political donors before then, the Mashpee and their lobbyists started giving generously to select congressmen. Following Abramoff’s lead, they donated at least $20,000 to California Congressman Richard Pombo, who had taken over the committee charged with managing tribal issues. They also secured some face time with North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, who, in his capacity as vice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, pressed the Interior Department in the fall of 2003 to finally rule on the long-delayed status of the Mashpees’ application.

Abramoff is now serving time in federal prison for bilking other tribes and corrupting public officials. (The Mashpee were never implicated in any wrongdoing.) And though Abramoff himself became political kryptonite for the lawmakers and organizations he did business with, a couple of his lieutenants, Kevin Ring and Michael Smith, still work with the Mashpee.

Fortunately for Ring and Smith, they get a good character reference — from, uh, Marshall. “Kevin and Michael are very bright young men,” he tells Gagnon. “If they had done anything wrong, they would have been indicted — they wouldn’t be working for us. These are good guys.”

Of course, Ring’s and Smith’s reputations shouldn’t be smeared just because of their former association with Abramoff. But the Abramoff connection is something that needs to be thoroughly investigated before anyone breaks ground on a casino in Middleborough.

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  1. jvwalt

    Glenn Marshall isn’t the first person in the public spotlight who turns out to have covered up his past and/or puffed up his resume. Should it not be standard operating practice for journalists to double-check these things? If you’re doing a major piece on a guy who claims to be a war hero, for instance, shouldn’t you go to the Pentagon and ask? If s/he claims certain professional achievements, do you go back to the source? And if not, why not?

  2. Harry

    If the Globe had resources to spend months staking out Mitt Romney’s house to keep track of his groundskeepers, if the Globe could develop a video montage of Mitt’s hairstyles over 4 decades, why didn’t couldn’t they make a single phone call to the Boston Police and find out if Glenn Marshall had a rap sheet?The Globe featured Marshall as a subject, source, or author for 23 stories in 2007.Excuse me for suspecting there is media bias at the root cause here.

  3. Rick

    Not the Boston Globe!!! They are straight shooters.

  4. Anonymous

    Not media bias, media laziness.

  5. Harry

    The Globe seem to lose its laziness when reporting on Republicans, especially Republican Governors. Such selective laziness is not simply lazyness. It is bias.

  6. Anonymous

    Harry said… Such selective laziness is not simply lazyness. It is bias.Having read your “Squaring the Globe” blog, I’m inclined to defer to your wisdom. I’ve rarely come across a blog more determined to keep facts from getting in the way of a good rant.However, the Globe reporting on Republican governors is hardly shocking since they were all we had until recently. To go from that to citing the Globe not being the first to dig into Marshall’s past as an example of bias is ludicrous. Is Marshall even a “liberal?”You’re clearly on much more comfortable ground with your usual attacks on gays and minorities. You should stick to them.

  7. Harry

    I am simply saying that if a fellow at the center of a highly controversial question appears 23 times in the Boston Globe within a few months, the reporters should have checked the major “facts” about him with greater skepticism. How does that constitute “attacking gays and minorities”, Mr…what did you say your name was?

  8. Anonymous

    Harry said… How does that constitute “attacking gays and minorities”I think your blog speaks for yourself, but to spare people having to wade through your frequently homophobic and racist mewling, here’s a previous MediaNation discussion (“Not wild about Harry”): you yourself say:I make no claim of objectivity or even the peculiar virtue of fairness, which mainstream journalists often boast of so very unconvincingly. It’s a blog for heaven’s sake.I guess there’s nothing which can’t be excused by “I’m just blogging.” Remind me why bloggers are morally superior to the MSM again?

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