The leader of a ritzy country club in Rockville, Maryland has confirmed to Indian Country Today Media Network that disgraced former super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has withdrawn his application.
Timothy Dec, president of the Manor Country Club, made the confirmation by e-mail June 14. Earlier press reports in June had indicated that Abramoff said he would withdraw his application to the golf club after controversy arose among members there about him joining.
Dec had not until now confirmed that Abramoff had followed through on that promise. Dec added that membership was “mixed” on Abramoff’s decision to withdraw, with some not caring whether he joined, but with others expressing major outrage.
That Abramoff was attempting to re-enter the country club world at such a pricey facility was an irony not lost on American Indians who have been following his travails since exiting prison in May 2010, having served four years for crimes he committed while bilking tribes out of millions of dollars. Late last year and early this year, he attempted a comeback with a book on his scandal and by making the lecture circuit rounds.
Some media outlets and even campaign finance watchdogs have welcomed him with open arms, but Indians have generally been skeptical of his talk about wanting to reform the lobbying system. It’s hard to believe someone who once privately said racist things about Indians, calling them “troglodytes,” “morons,” and “monkeys” in communications to his colleagues, revealed in later congressional investigations of his activities.
“It’s all bullshit,” Rick Hill, former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association and the Oneida Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, told the Huffington Post in March after an Abramoff appearance at The National Press Club. “You look at Jack—though he took money from my elders and our kids, and now he comes here, and he gets to prop himself up, and it’s an acceptable part of D.C. culture. He wouldn’t stand a minute on the reservation.”
Indians say he was once again trying to prop himself up by joining the country club where his main activity would have been golfing. It has been widely reported that on the golf course was where Abramoff liked to make many of his deals, some of which harmed tribes.
As for Abramoff, he now seems embarrassed that he submitted an application at all.
“I’ve rethought it and decided against it,” Abramoff told The Washington Post in an article published on June 6. “The fees are steeper than I thought. And I just don’t have time to play golf anymore.”
Abramoff also told the paper that he’s finding it “very difficult for felons to live in society.”
“Some people will think there’s not enough punishment someone can get,” he told the paper. “I’m not alone in experiencing that. Sometimes it hurts when it’s something important — and sometimes when it’s something like this, it’s, whatever.”